18 mile Creek Park is an Erie County conservation parks. Below are aerial and topo maps of the trails through the park. Click on either one for a larger picture.
A parking lot is located at the end of South Creek Road in the Town of Hamburg. The parking lot also serves as a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation public access site for fishing in 18-Mile Creek.
The main trail (about 5 miles round trip) runs from the parking lot alongside the south side of the north branch of 18-mile creek until it meets the south branch of 18-Mile creek, after which the main trail runs along the north side of the south branch until the it reaches the southeast corner of the park. At that point there is loop trail through the pine forest. There are also several spur trails off of the main trail, the most popular one starting at about the one-quarter mile mark that will take you down to the edge of the creek. More details are set forth below.
The trail starts at the north end of the parking lot and heads west along the bank of the creek.
The first .2 miles is along an old paved path.
You will pass an old stone chimney on your left at the .2 mile mark.
At about the .25 mile mark you will come to a path leading off to your right that appears to go to the creek. However, it doesn’t go all the way to the creek.
Just a tenth of a mile ahead is a better path to the creek (also off to your right) that will take you down to the creek to an open area with a log bench and an illegal fire pit, and some nice views of the creek. This spur trail is only about .22 miles long roundtrip.
At .3 miles the trail splits. Take either one as the meet up again in .1 miles.
Along the way you’ll be treated to some spectacular views of the gorge. If hiking or snowshoeing in winter remember that cornices can form on the edge of the gorge giving the appearance of a jutting ledge that in fact cannot support your weight.
At the 1.7 mile mark you’ll come to another trail leading off to right and down the embankment. This is actually a watershed rather than a trail. You can hike down it to the creek and then hike a little ways along the creek side, but it is not as nice as the spur trail to the creek at the .26 mile mark.
At 2.5 miles there is a trail heading off to your left. This is the beginning of the forest loop trail (which is about .75 miles long. It comes back out about .1 mile ahead. You’ll see some posted signs but they are placed well within the boundary of the park which extends to the edge of the forest. That is probably why those signs don’t have the supposed owner’s name on them. The forest loop is a level winding path created and maintained by mountain bikers, but usable by hikers, snowshoers and x-country skiers.
Below is the description of 18 Mile Creek Park from the Erie County Parks 2003 Master Plan.
5.2 EIGHTEEN MILE CREEK PARK
Eighteen Mile Creek Park is defined by the two branches of Eighteen Mile Creek; the North Branch and South Branch. This 464-acre park is presently undeveloped. Access is extremely difficult to the Creek and parking is currently very limited, however, this portion of the Creek is a hot-spot for fishing. While the park’s landscape character is dramatically marked by a 60’ deep gorge cut by Eighteen Mile Creek, most of the Park’s land above the gorge and between the two branches of the creek is very flat. The park is generally tree covered, with former farm fields reverting back to woodlands. Previous concepts for this park proposed a conservation-oriented park with nature study and passive recreation, and an alternative proposed developing the land into a golf course. Current plans call for maintaining the passive, natural setting of the entire park area.
Located on the southern edge of the Town of Hamburg, Eighteen Mile Creek Park lies approximately 15 miles south of Downtown Buffalo. The Park is located between the fork of the North Branch and South Branch of the Creek. It is situated roughly 3.5 miles from Lake Erie and 3 miles from the Village of Hamburg. The center of the park is accessible only via South Creek Road, a narrow, two-lane Town Road. The area around the property is largely rural, with a few newer residences and housing developments nearby. Also, to the east and north of the park is the thickly settled Village of Hamburg. The south fork of the Creek borders on the Town of Eden.