Head for the Hills
Looking for a great spot to get away from your hectic everyday routine? How about Mossy Bank Park located high on a hilltop overlooking the lush Cohocton Valley?
You might think The Southern Finger Lakes is part of a particular mountain range given the endless rolling hills and frequently mountainous features of its landscape, but the region is actually part of the Allegheny Plateau.
Though it may have been flat at one time, the plateau has been cut deeply into hills and ridges over millions of years by numerous streams and rivers and, as a result, has an abundance of scenic valleys and steep slopes which also lend to the sublimely beautiful topography of the area.
“Today, the park gives visitors access to a gorgeous panoramic view of the town and surrounding region. The spot is so picturesque, a bald eagle has nested on the hillside. It can often be seen taking in the same majestic views that visitors get. It’s a short drive from the village, but one you absolutely should not miss.” - Chris Clemens, Exploring Upstate
Located on 167 acres of land at an elevation of 1,647 feet (about 500 feet above the Cohocton River), Mossy Bank Park offers breathtaking views overlooking the valley below.
The park was donated to the village of Bath in 1958, but remained undeveloped until 1963 when the hillside was hit by lightning which caused a forest fire that lasted for days. Temporary roads were built for firefighters who battled the blaze and after the fire was finally out, the village board decided to develop the property as a public park.
Don’t forget your fishing poles. In 1966, a 5.2 acre pond was constructed on 14 acres of the property providing water for fishing and outdoor activities. Over two decades later, the Mossy Bank Nature Center was constructed to "provide a setting for indoor study of nature, displays, activities and programs of interest for the public." It’s advisable to call ahead to check the availability and hours of the Nature Center.
With pavilions, picnic areas, playgrounds, trails, and a scenic overlook, the hillside has been transformed into a beautiful park visited by many for hiking, picnicking, birdwatching, mountain biking, and more.
Two Wheeled Exploration
Over the past few years, a fun and somewhat challenging mountain bike course has been cleared through the forest offering visitors another unique way to experience the area. The trail is also home to the annual Hills on Fire Enduro XC mountain bike race which consists of riders traversing two courses in the iconic park.
This new style of mountain bike racing is pretty intense, but you don't have to be a diehard racer to enjoy the twists and turns through the beautiful forest of hemlock.
A Family-Friendly Day in the Woods
With a playground and picnic area, as well as an assortment of wildlife, plant life and interesting geology, there’s a lot of nature to explore including a bald eagle nest which is visible from the lookout. You might even see the eagles soaring overhead.
Whether you’re looking for some quiet time in the woods, a great spot for painting or photography, a chance to test yourself with a mountain bike ride, a relaxing hike, or some quality family get together, Mossy Bank is one of those local treats many of the locals aren’t even aware of.