NILES, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — After nearly a year of construction, Carpenter Falls Unique Area has reopened to the public.

Carpenter Falls Unique Area closed in September 2021 to improve public access to the 37-acre property. The falls were originally a tough hike with some rough trails, but the upgrades have made the natural wonder more accessible than ever before. The $1.27 million project created a new parking lot, bicycle rack, toilets, and a new elevated boardwalk and observation area. A new path with stone steps was also developed.

You can see some of the improvements in the slideshow below.

“DEC designed the new features and upgrades unveiled today to help increase safety, reduce long-term environmental impacts to the area, and protect water quality in Skaneateles Lake, a popular recreation destination and drinking water source, and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners to build upon this progress throughout the region,” said NYS DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.

The DEC says that the new boardwalk and stone steps will help protect sensitive soil and vegetation from the harmful impacts of erosion that can sometimes be caused by pedestrian traffic on the steep slopes. The boardwalk is also accessible to people with mobility impairments, allowing those with handicaps to venture closer and safer than ever before.

Carpenter Falls Unique Area was imparted to the DEC by the Finger Lakes Land Trust in 2008. You can watch drone footage of the property on the NYS DEC website.