I grew up riding my bike to a wooden bridge on 18 Mile Creek not far from my house. I loved standing on the bridge and peering over into the water below. If I stood there long enough, and quiet enough, large fish would gracefully circle below me. This is why I was excited to see that a park on 18 Mile Creek was one of my next stops for our Feature Friday Blog series.
18 Mile Creek Park is another Erie County Park, located just south of the Village of Hamburg. Once you get to Lakeview Rd., which is accessible by Rt. 62 in Hamburg, Rt. 20, or Rt. 5, you turn onto Smith Rd. towards the creek (a left turn if you are coming from the Village of Hamburg, a right turn if you are coming from the Lake View area). Smith Rd. mergers into Old Lakeview Rd., and leads you to South Creek Rd., which will be the first street on your right. South Creek Rd. almost immediately splits into two roads, so stay to your right on the street that is labeled a dead end. The park is at the very end of the road, and there is a large stone parking area with wooden signs detailing the park rules.
From the parking area, there is an initial path into the 464-acre park that leads you along the ravine’s edge. The beginning of the path is partially paved, and about a quarter of a mile in, there will be stone pillars that might have once belonged to the front of a house. As you continue down this initial path, you will see that it starts to open up into an abandoned farm field. There is a large, beautiful lilac bush right before the field. The lilac bush stands next to a path “spur” that will lead you down to the creek. This is a DEC public fishing access site.
The day I went to go and hike this park, fishing was not on my to-do list. I wanted to see as many spectacular views of the gorge as I could. The paths wind along the 60 foot cliff that borders 18 Mile Creek. About a mile into the trails, I came across a spectacular waterfall. My pictures, and the lack of rain we had at the time of my hike, do not do it justice. This looks like a waterfall out of the tropical island getaway commercials that they play on TV! It is very serene, with jet black shale rocks slowly being covered in bright green moss. I cannot wait to visit it when the falls are in full force.
If you continue along the trails, it will take you to a pine forest that has a .75 mile trail loop. You then take the same trail you walked in on to get back to the parking area. Over all, it is about a 5 mile roundtrip hike. The trail has multiple “spurs,” some of which lead you down to the creek and others that lead you deeper into the woods. The trail also splits and meets back together a couple of times as well. It’s an easy hike with not too many hills. Be careful, because there are a lot of tree roots sticking up in the path, and you are very close to a 60 foot drop!
Check out the rest of our pictures on Facebook, or better yet go and see the great gorge views of 18 Mile Creek Park yourself.