Down in Southern Livingston County/Allegheny County is a great place to hike –Rattlesnake Hill Wildlife Management area. It is situated 8 miles west of Dansville, NY and is comprised of over 5000 acres of upland used mainly for wildlife management. But it is a great place to hike with children or if you are a beginning hiker because the trails are wide and flat and easy to follow. It is also fairly isolated and we didn’t see any other hikers on the gorgeous late summer day when we decided to hike.
When you first arrive, you will go down a small dirt road with places to pull off and park head out on the trails. There are about 10 parking areas along Ebert Road (small, barely two cars wide dirt road) to choose from marked with a Trail marker at the beginning. We chose the 4th parking area and headed out on this nice wide path.
We really enjoyed this trail. On a day when we didn’t want to get in a strenuous hike, it was perfect. You meander up hill and down, into the woods, meadows, by and between various ponds and thankfully, we even came to an outhouse which is invaluable when you are hiking with kids. (Outhouse is a great word for it.. nothing fancy here!)
The trail will eventually loop you back to Ebert Road but you’ll have to walk up the road a little to get to the parking area that you started in.
When heading into this management area, I’d recommend printing off a trail map because although there was one on the large wooden board at the start of one trail, I like to have one handy with me when I’m hiking, especially if I have children with me. I definitely would love to go back and hopefully see wildlife because besides birds, we didn’t see any on this trip. But in the area there is beaver, mink, raccoon, and yes… rattlesnakes but don’t let that keep you from hiking. The timber rattlers prefer the remote areas since they are as shy of us as we are of them.
We had a great day hiking and the ride through the countryside was equally lovely.