Pinnacle State Park and Golf Course

1904 Pinnacle Rd.

Addison, NY 14801


Services: K,L,M,O,P,R,S,Q,W,CC


Sign at the entrance to Pinnacle State Park in Addison, New York.



Pinnacle State Park and Golf Course is located in the towns of Addison and Tuscarora on both sides of Ackerson Road, which is a townline road in Steuben County. Turning left into the main part of the park, you enter on Pinnacle Road and head uphill to the lodge, which is at the high point of Orr Hill at 1,719 ft./524 m. Orr Hill, in turn, is part of the Allegheny Plateau. The open area in front of the lodge looks out over the Canisteo River Valley and the Town of Addison. The back of the lodge looks out over a good portion of the golf course. Either way, the views are spectacular.


Looking west from Orr Hill into the Canisteo River Valley and the Town of Addison from Pinnacle State Park.


The park was once a dairy farm belonging to the Ackerson family and was called Ackerson Farm. It later became a private golf course and downhill ski facility. Some of the T-bar poles are still located on the property. When the ski facility failed, Corning Glass Works acquired the property. In 1978 it sold the golf course and land around the course to the State of New York for $1.00. The State opened Pinnacle State Park the next year. In 1986 a total of 115 acres, including Levi Pond, was acquired by the park, which now has about 758 acres.

Golf Course

The 9-hole course was designed by Geoffrey S. Cornish in 1969. Cornish has designed more than 200 courses worldwide, including a number of courses in the Finger Lakes region. The par 36 course is challenging for a number of reasons--sand bunkers are strategically located throughout the course, it has five water holes, four of the greens are elevated, and trees, bushes, and roughs are scattered throughout the course. But the most challenging aspect of the course is that nothing on the course is level, absolutely nothing. White and blue tee markers are alternated to allow golfers an 18-hole challenge. Many of the paths are paved, and a covered picnic shelter is conveniently located on the course.


A view of part of the course at Pinnacle State Park from the balcony of the lodge.

The lodge is built into the hillside so that the front (west side) of the building is on the ground floor. Entering the building from the west, you come into a large dining room with a bar and large, stone fireplace. The other side of the room (the east side) is totally taken up with a wall of windows that is now on the second floor and looks out over most of the course. A door on the east side of the building leads to a balcony with picnic tables.


Decisions, decisions. A golfer, who says he plays the golf course at Pinnacle State Park three times a week, plans his next shot. This is the 7th hole, considered by some to be the most scenic. This golfer said he likes the course for its openness, its clean air, and the exercise he gets by walking the course.


The lodge has no pro shop but does sell a few items like balls and hats. There are no locker rooms, but there are bathrooms. Carts can be rented at the bar.


Outside the lodge is a practice putting green and a driving range, neither of which is level.


Father and son practice on the driving range at Pinnacle State Park. The land takes a serious dip in front of the pair, to such an extent that the area is used for sledding in the winter.


Golf season runs from April through October. The course opens at 7:00 a.m.


Course design (pdf)

Group Events

The Lodge at the Pinnacle is an ideal place to hold a wedding, reunion, or other group event. The dining room seats 100, and there is room for tents outdoors in front of the lodge.


Besides the small pavilion on the course intended for golfers, there is an entire picnic area separate from the golf course. It is accessible by going down Ackerson Road, past the main entrance to the park, and turning in at the first driveway on the left. The driveway goes uphill to a parking lot for the picnic area. The picnic area is shaded by large trees with a large pavilion, overlooking the golf course, that can be reserved for groups. There are also bathrooms and an old-fashioned swing set and slide. (You remember, the metal ones we all had so much fun on, even if we did knock our shins climbing up the steps.)


This large pavilion is on a ridge overlooking the golf course. it's park of the picnic area and can be reserved for groups.


The park has miles of color-coded trails suitable for hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Although cross-country skiing is not permitted on the golf course, sledding is permitted on the driving range.


Wildlife abounds in the park. In the woods, you should be able to see deer, squirrels, chipmunks, and a wide variety of birds, including turkeys and grouse. The golf course has a wide variety of passerines, including bluebirds (the state bird), robins, cowbirds, grackles, red-wings, goldfinches, kingbirds, and geese. The ponds have fish, reptiles, amphibians, and dragonflies, and Levi Pond has beavers.


Canada geese enjoy the pond between the 3rd and 4th holes of the golf course at Pinnacle State Park in Addison, New York.

Levi Pond

The pond itself is about 10 acres. The bottom appears to be silt, and the quality of the water is not suitable for swimming. (Technically, none of the state parks permit swimming when a lifeguard is not present.) The shore of the east side is mowed grass with picnic tables. The pond is surrounded by woods and thick stands of bushes.


The easiest way to get to the pond is to walk on the blue/orange trail at the spot where park property borders the McCarthy Hill State Forest on Ackerson Road. The walk is about 300 ft./ 91.4 m. or less downhill.


If you drive to the trail head, park where you see the wooden McCarthy Hill State Forest sign. Walk around the gate and down the wide path marked with blue and orange painted blazes.


Levi Pond on a summer's day is quiet and relaxing. Picnic tables are provided. So is the view.


You can also access the pond by taking the blue path across Ackerson Road from the entrance to the picnic area. This will lead you through an interesting woods. However, there is a part of the trail that is very wet and muddy. Going around the mud is impossible as the woods on each side is full of multiflora rose. You will have to either brave the mud or walk it in the dry season. It's definitely a ski-able trail.


Pets must be leashed at all times and are not allowed on the golf course.


This is indian-pipe (Monotropa uniflora), a ntive parasitic plant common to the Finger Lakes region. It was found in the woods along the blue trail on the way to Levi Pond. As a parasite, it produces no chlorophyll and is entirely white or pink.The golf course if lovely and worth every shot. The woods can be shady and requires a tripod. However, certain parts of the woods that haven't been cultivated in decades have an amazing array of native wildflowers. During a moist summer, you'll also find a good selection of fungi and parasitic plants.


Because the park is in the hills, when nights are cool (compared to the days), moisture hangs in the air as fog. Getting to the park early in the morning and photographing the fog that has settled in the valleys can produce some interesting shots. Sunsets from the lodge would also produce nice shots.

McCarthy Hill State Forest

McCarthy Hill State Forest borders the park land to the east. It has roughly 8 mi./12.8 km. of trail for hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. The forest is 794 of mixed moist forest. Like the park, it is anything but flat.


Pinnacle-McCarthy Trail Map (pdf)


Note: This is bear country. Always be on your guard. Never come between a mother bear and her cubs. 

Within Easy Driving Distance


Indian Hills State Golf Course

Parker Nature Preserve

Key to Services



C-Boat Launch Sites

D-Boat Rentals

The practic putting green has five holes.E-Cabins

F-Camper Recreation



I-Dumping Station

J-Empire Passport Accepted





O-Nature Trail


Q-Picnic Tables


S-Playing Fields


U-Recreation Programs





Z-Tent/Trailer Sites

AA-Vacation Rentals

BB-X-Country Skiing

CC-Scenic Views

DD-All above


Updated 30 June 2010








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