Located on a bluff high overlooking Bath, NY, you’ll find the beautiful Mossy Bank Park.
This 167-acre park was created in the aftermath of a wildfire in 1963 which burned much of the escarpment. The town of Bath purchased the land to create a park centered around a fantastic overlook 500 feet above the valley far below.
Wanting to see this great overlook, I decided to make a short detour while driving I-86 through Steuben County to visit the park. If you find yourself driving down the interstate, this is definitely a detour that I’d recommend. That being said, even though the park is basically right on top of the highway, it takes about 12-15 minutes to get to this spot from I-86.
Mossy Bank Park is primarily a local park with pavilions, a playground, a small nature center, and some short hiking trails. However, what makes this park of interest to visitors is the aforementioned fantastic overlook.
This overlook sits on the edge of a cliff hundreds of feet above the valley below and offers a more than 180-degree view. From here, you can get an excellent view of Bath, NY, I-86, and the surrounding countryside in the Cohocton River Valley. Unfortunately, you can’t see Keuka Lake from here despite not being that far away.
The overlook is located along a dirt road that loops around from the main area of the park near the nature center and playground. This road is in good shape, and I think that just about any car could handle it fine. However, since I wanted to stretch my legs, I opted to park near the nature center and walk the relatively flat half-mile loop that the overlook sits on.
This dirt road that the overlook sits on passes through a beautiful forest that has regrown here in the 60 years since the fire decimated this area. It’s truly amazing to see how a forest can reemerge from the ashes.
Along the way to the overlook, I passed a turn-off for the Purple Trail. This is one of eight marked trails in the park that add up to several miles of trails.
These trails looked great, but I opted to not take any of them because, somewhat surprisingly, there’s not a logical trail that heads from the parking area to the overlook that doesn’t require a fair bit of walking on the dirt road.
As I rounded a corner, near the halfway point of the loop, the overlook came into view.
The overlook area is several hundred feet wide, and if you opt to drive here instead of walking, there is room to pull your car off to the side of the road. In the middle of this expansive overlook, there is a small pavilion, which is a nice spot to sit and enjoy the view (or to dodge rain showers as I did during my visit).
The view here is quite breathtaking, and it made me a little sad to see all the cars passing below me having no idea of the excellent view just a few hundred feet above them. This is definitely one of the most expansive vistas in the Finger Lakes.
Once I’d had my fill of the overlook, I simply continued following the road, which loops back around to the main park area near where I had left my car. You could also hop on some of the trails to extend your time in the park and create your own loop.
Overall, Mossy Bank Park is a really neat spot to stop and stretch your legs while traveling through the region. It’s also an easy drive from popular spots like Hammondsport and Corning, so if you are visiting one of those towns (or traveling between them), this is a nice spot to add to your list.
That being said, I wouldn’t plan an entire trip to just visit this overlook. However, given its prime location along the highway, you can definitely find many other great spots to visit in the area.
How to Get to Mossy Bank Park’s Overlook
There is no address for the overlook in Mossy Bank Park. However, you can use the address for the nature center (6732 Mossy Bank Park Rd, Bath, NY 14810), and then take the obvious dirt road near it to drive to the overlook. You can also park at the nature center and walk to the overlook as I did.
For those that prefer them, however, the coordinates for the overlook are 42.322772, -77.314048.
It’s also worth noting that the gate to Mossy Bank Park is only open from May 1 through October 15 each year. I have confirmed with the park that visitors are allowed to park at the gate and walk into the park outside of those dates, but you will be looking at a mile roundtrip walk to the overlook instead of either driving right up to it or the half-mile walk mentioned here.
[Click here for information on how to use the coordinates in this article to find your destination.]