Great Gully

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On Great Gully Creek, a tributary of Cayuga Lake in Cayuga County, between Aurora and Union Springs.


The lower entrance to this gully is on Private land. There is a well-used pulloff from NYS Route 90 fifty yards north of where the highway crosses the creek. Upstream from the highway, the gully is on Nature Conservancy land.


It is an easy, short (200 yards) walk from Route 90 to the Lower Falls. You can then walk in and out of the creek for about 1/3 mile to reach the Tiny Falls pool and another 1/3 mile to reach the main waterfall.


This is a big gully with a good sized stream. (The watershed is about 25 square miles.) Above the lower falls, there are short stretches of trail through beautiful mixed hardwood and hemlock, but much of this walk is in the creek bed. The limestone bed is smooth but heavily eroded with small cracks and holes. It can be rough going in spots and can also be extremely slippery. In high water, this would probably be a difficult hike.

The Lower Falls is about 7 feet high and 40 feet wide with a large plunge pool that attracts swimmers on hot summer days.

Tiny Falls is only two feet high, but has a wonderful swimming hole with smooth ledges.

A rectangular limestone ledge forms the main Great Gully Falls. This waterfall almost looks artificial with a sharp, straight crest and large overhanging, rectangular ledge. There are reportedly more waterfalls in the gully but the stream bed above the main waterfall was choked with fallen trees and poison ivy and we turned back.