The Backbone Trail begins at the Backbone Horse Campground, and traverses the forest through shrub lands, pastures, old roads and many old homestead sites. It intersects the Interloken and Burnt Hill Trails to the south and the No-Tan-Takto trail to the north. It is a relatively flat primitive trail with natural tread, gravel in wet places and mowed paths through fenced pastures. Please close gates behind you. From the north the Backbone trail can be accessed at the corner of Ball Diamond Road and Wardner Corner Road or at the Foster Pond parking lot. Follow the signs and blaze mars. Please practice Leave No Trace ethics, such as carry out what you carry in.
Caution: be aware Hikers, Skiers and Snowmobiles also use this trail in season.
Directions: From the South, take State Route 17 (I-86 in some areas) to exit 52 (Watkins Glen exit/State Route 14 North). In Watkins Glen, turn right on State Route 414 North. At the Fourth St. intersection go approximately 9 miles north, past the Hector Ranger Station of the Finger Lakes National Forest on the right. Continue for ½ mile and turn onto County Route 2, which is the next asphalt road. Travel for 3.5 miles east. Backbone Campground is on the left, opposite the intersection with Burnt Hill Road. Start hiking following the signs and blaze marks.From the North, take I-90 to exit 41 (414 south to Hector, NY) the second asphalt road on the left, ½ mile past Wickham’s Plaza is County Route 2, turn left and go 3.5 miles east Backbone Campground. It is located on the left, opposite the intersection with Burnt Hill Road. Start hiking following the signs and blaze marks.
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The Backbone Trail is about 5 ½ miles in length and is rated as an easy hike. The trail is a multipurpose trail and is open to hiking, skiing, horseback riding and snowmobiles. The trail traverses the Forest in a north south direction. It passes through shrub land, pastures, old roads and many old homestead sites.Directions
From the north the trail can be accessed at a parking lot at the intersection of Ball Diamond Road and Potomac Road. To the south the trail is accessed by aparking lot on Burnt Hill Road about3 miles northerly of State Highway 79.