Sharing a Secret

Labrador Hollow Unique Area

Labrador Hollow Unique Area, straddling the border of Onondaga and Cortland Counties, may be one of the best-kept secrets in the Finger Lakes Region. The beautiful and diverse natural habitat, acquired in 1972 by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, provides abundant recreational opportunities. The scenery there is highlighted by the 100-acre Labrador Pond, and by Tinker Falls, an impressive natural rock amphitheater about 50 feet high.

Carved out by the glaciers of the last Ice Age, the pond is nestled in a valley about one-half mile wide, with walls that rise abruptly for several hundred feet. The pond is shallow, averaging about four feet deep.

There are two access points to the pond. Both are launching points for kayaks and canoes – no motorized boats are allowed on the pond.

The first is on the north end, and offers a beautiful view down its entire length to the south. A second access point and fishing pier area can be found halfway down the west side.

The Labrador Hollow boardwalk is also a major attraction to the area. It’s located at the north end of the pond and winds its way through a diverse wetland complex. A bird watcher’s paradise, the boardwalk is handicap accessible and provides access to view various flora and fauna native to the region.

Another must-see attraction is Tinker Falls, which can be reached for viewing from a handicap accessible trail from Route 91. The falls are most spectacular during spring runoff. During the summer and fall months, the falls are normally reduced to a trickle, except during periods of heavy rainfall. In winter, the falls are a haven for ice climbers.


story and photos by Chris Murray