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Carpenter Falls Unique Area

Carpenter Falls Unique Area locator map

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Beginning July 2018, DEC is conducting preliminary engineering studies to develop a detailed design plan focused on improving public access to Upper Carpenter Falls. DEC is mowing and cutting trees to provide safe access for the Engineering Team to conduct these studies. For more details, please see the Accessible Trail Project informational handout (PDF).

The 37-acre Carpenter Falls Unique Area was created for the purposes of recreation and watershed protection. Upper Carpenter Falls is located in the southern most portion of the property, just off of Appletree Point Road. Lower Carpenter Falls is located in the northern most portion of the property.

Featured Activities



General information on hiking includes how-to, safety tips, and links to rules and regulations.

There is a 0.59-mile trail that runs across the length of the property providing scenic views of Bear Swamp Creek and two sets of waterfalls. The upper falls are located at the southwest end of the trail and the lower falls are located at the northeasterly end of the hiking trail. This trail also connects with the adjacent Bahar Preserve (link leaves DEC website), which is managed by the Finger Lake Land Trust (leaves DEC website), and provides access to an additional 1.6 miles of trails and access to a picturesque waterfall.

Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross country skiing

General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to, safety tips, and links to rules and regulations.

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted on all hiking trails.


General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.


From Skaneateles: Head south on State Route 41A for 11.15 miles and then take a left onto Appletree Point Road. Continue on Appletree Point Road for 0.5 miles and the entrance and parking area is opposite the intersection with Carver Road.

  • Carpenter Falls parking area (5 car capacity) (42.8132858°N, 76.3415527°W) Google Maps (link leaves DEC website)

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace principles (link leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.

All users of Carpenter Falls Unique Area must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

How We Manage Carpenter Falls Unique Area

Carpenter Falls Unique Area is part of the Hewitt-Cayuga Highlands Unit Management Area. DEC will be starting work on a re-write of the Hewitt-Cayuga Highlands Unit Management Plan (UMP) which will describe the management activities for the Unit. In addition to management objectives, the UMP will contain detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural and human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

DEC Lands & Facilities

Where to Find Amenities

Gas, dining opportunities, lodging, food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Moravia, Skaneateles, and Auburn.

Finger Lakes tourism and Tour Cayuga (link leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Bahar Preserve (link leaves DEC website), which is located between Carpenter Falls UA and Skaneateles Lake, is owned and maintained by the Finger Lake Land Trust (leaves DEC website) and provides continued recreational opportunities in a picturesque setting.

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores and online booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (link leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.