Located in the southwest corner of Tompkins County, the Town of Newfield is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. With names like Bull Hill, Doll Hill, Protts Hill, and Irish Hill (to name just a few), Newfield is a series of rolling, wooded hills through which lies Pony Hollow, a broad, flat, fertile glacial valley. Drainage from the surrounding hills runs into Pony Hollow Creek, which eventually flows south, into the Chemung River. State Route 13 runs through Pony Hollow between the cities of Elmira and Ithaca. This road, with its wide, well paved shoulders is an excellent route for biking and can connect you to many other scenic bike routes as well.
Hiking through the Newfield hills is a popular activity. The primary route is a portion of the 563-mi./ 906 km. Finger Lakes Trail, well marked on trees as white blazes and maintained by the Cayuga Trails Club.
Cross-county skiing is also a popular activity in the winter. There are many places in Newfield that offer secluded skiing trails. One of the most popular is Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area. This 11,045-acre parcel, spanning both Tompkins and Schuyler counties, is New York State’s largest wildlife management area. Rich in wildlife, the area provides many opportunities for watching birds, deer, foxes, and raccoons and looking for reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Connecticut Hill itself is also the county’s highest peak at 2093 ft./638 m.
Besides Pony Hollow Creek, Newfield has a number of other creeks, including Fish Kill, Carter, Chaffee, and the Cayuga Inlet, most of which flow north into Cayuga Lake. These creeks all have the same general appearance–narrow, relatively shallow, with clear, clean water, flowing over flat rocks, usually in a cool, heavily wooded location. Look for crayfish, darters, and unusual salamanders in these creeks.
To explore other places in Newfield that offer a variety of outdoor opportunities check out the following.