Labrador Hollow Unique Area
Labrador Hollow Unique Area encompasses 1,474 acres and is located in the towns of Fabius and Truxton on the borders of Onondaga and Cortland County. It is well known for its diverse recreational activities, some of which include hiking, fishing, hunting, trapping, bird watching, nature viewing, canoeing, and even hang gliding. Labrador Hollow includes a number of unique resources including an accessible trail into a waterfall, an accessible boardwalk of nearly 2000 feet in length and a picturesque pond with accessible access for canoes, or row boats.
Labrador Hollow Unique Area was acquired with funds provided by the Environmental Quality Bond Act of 1972 as a means to protect areas of great natural beauty, wilderness, and/or historical, geological or ecological significance. This includes rare plant life and scarce animal habitats. Labrador Hollow's topography is responsible for its unique character. The area is located in the middle of a valley running north to south that was dug out by glacial movement that occurred during the Pleistocene Epoch. Massive ice sheets from the last glaciation episode (Wisconsinan glaciation episode) retreated from the area approximately ten thousand years ago. They left behind numerous sedimentary deposits and superficial features, some of which filled with water and are now called the Finger Lakes, while others became known as valleys. The floor of Labrador Hollow's valley is only about one-half mile wide, but its walls rise abruptly for several hundred feet. Today, this unique and attractive area provides diverse ecological, economic, and recreational services for many New York residents and visitors alike.
Much of the area in Labrador Hollow is shaded for a majority of the day, resulting in plant life that is typically characteristic of high mountain bogs, such as those found in the high peaks of the Adirondacks. The Area provides a diverse habitat for a variety of wildlife. Turkey, ruffled grouse, woodcock, and various waterfowl species inhabit Labrador Hollow. While the prominent cover type is northern hardwood forest, several uncommon and rare species have been identified in the area.
Labrador Pond is one of the main attractions of the area. This 100 acre pond is relatively shallow, averaging about four feet in depth. The pond has a hand launch and accessible fishing pier area. The launch and pier provide good access to pan fish and largemouth bass fishing as well as non-motorized boating. Other common species found in the pond include: small yellow perch, pumpkinseed, bluegills and brown bullheads. An Osprey nesting platform was installed on the west side of the pond in March of 2010.
Canada geese are the primary water fowl in the area, however, keep an eye out for the more rare species such as the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) and the pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), as their range is known to extend through Labrador Hollow Unique Area.
The Labrador Hollow boardwalk is nearly 2000 feet in length and is a well known attraction. Accessible to those with mobility impairments, the newly rebuilt boardwalk traverses a diverse wetland complex and provides a glimpse of flora and fauna that inhabit New York's wetlands.
Another must see attraction is Tinker Falls, an impressive natural rock amphitheater about 50 feet in height located on a small stream in the southeast section of the area. The falls are most spectacular during spring run off, and they can be reached for viewing from an accessible trail from Route 91.
Reports have identified more than 107 different bird species within Labrador Hollow. At least twelve different species of warblers have been identified, including the Kentucky Warbler (Oporornis formosus), which has been identified as a rare and protected species by the New York Natural Heritage Program.
Near the north end of the steep east side of the valley, conditions combine to create a popular hang-gliding site. As westerly winds cross the valley floor, thermals are carried up the slope toward the launch site at the tip of a 700-foot hill. All hang-gliding conducted in Labrador Hollow is by state permit only.
Management of this area will be guided by the Hill and Hollow Unit Management Plan which is being developed at this time.
Labrador Hollow's accessible facilities are described above. The boardwalk has benches along the way and there is an accessible rustic toilet building at the boardwalk parking area. To reach the fishing pier, turn left from the boardwalk parking area onto Labrador Cross Road. Turn left on Markham Hollow Road. Proceed about ½ mile south down the road along the western shore. To reach the Tinker Falls accessible trail, turn right from the boardwalk area onto Labrador Cross Road. Turn right on Route 91. Proceed 1 1/4 miles south to the trailhead parking area.
Full listing of DEC's Accessible Recreation Destinations.
Through a partnership wit the Onondaga Chapter, Adirondack Mountain Club, there are 4.8 miles of well-marked hiking trails that are quite popular. Some of the trails run through the Unique Area and continue east and west through the adjacent Morgan Hill and Kettleball State Forests, linking their three tracks of state land.
***Stay Safe- Bring A Friend When Out On The Trails***
From NY 80 to NY 91, Labrador Hollow Unique Area may be accessed from Markham Hollow Crossroad as well as Labrador Road. The main parking area is just north of the pond off Markham Hollow Crossroad. Parking for Tinkers Falls is available form RT 91, across from the trail entrance. The boat launch and accessible pier is off Labrador Road.
Unique Area Regulations
For your safety and protection of the resource, the following regulations are in place:
- All State Forests and Unique Areas are Carry in Carry Out facilities.
- Unauthorized cutting of live trees or new trail building is prohibited.
- Mountain Bikers must stay on the DEC designated trails.
- The DEC requests that Mountain Bikers not ride during wet conditions.
- Swimming and bathing are prohibited.
- Camping, along with the building of fires, is prohibited on Labrador Hollow Unique Area.
- Fishing is permitted from a boat on the pond or creek, or from the boardwalk.
- Boating is restricted to non-motorized boats, which must be carried to the pond at designated access sites only.
- Non-motorized hang-gliding is allowed by permit only.
- Keep pets under control and on a leash while other forest users are around.
- Hunting and trapping is permitted as follows:
- Unauthorized use of motor vehicles is prohibited. This includes cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATV's.
State Forest Office (M-F 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.): 607-753-3095 ext. 217
Forest Ranger (Law Enforcement/Emergencies): 607-283-1159
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850