Archive for the ‘Waterfalls’ Category

by Michele Accorso | Cardinal Courier, link to original post

Watkins Glen State Park has the type of setting I would expect to see in a fantasy film rather than Upstate New York. This trail is located at the tip of Seneca Lake and is less than an hour and a half away from Rochester, New York. Watkins Glen State Park has a reputation of having the most beautiful scenery and breathtaking views.

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY available at www.footprintpress.com (includes Watkins Glen)

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY available at http://www.footprintpress.com (includes Watkins Glen)

The park is divided into two sections: the deep shale and limestone glen that the park is known for, and the upper park, which is filled with picnic, camping and recreation facilities. The hike is about two miles long and consists of numerous 200-foot cliffs that generate 19 graceful waterfalls along its course. The gorge path allows hikers to stroll behind these waterfalls and provides a truly amazing view.

Campers and day-visitors can attend scheduled summer tours through the gorge, swim in the Olympic-size pool and spend the night at tent and trailer campsites nearby. Visitors can also picnic or fish near Seneca Lake. The Watkins Glen trail is the center of attention in this city and leads visitors through various cliffs and scenery.

The view of this gorge is beyond anything that I had imagined. I honestly was not expecting such an impressive and break-taking view at Watkins Glen.

The journey begins in the lower parking lot, which is actually where the massive mouth of the glen lies. This trail put me in a world of serenity with calm flowing water, birds singing above, gentle breezes and natural stone.

On the hot summer day I was there, the gorge provided coolness and surprising elegance as I hiked up this long trail.  My favorite aspect of the path at Watkins Glen was a spot called “Lover’s Lane”, which was the most unique scenery I had ever witnessed. At this location, it looked as though the water had torn away at the rocks and made a heart-like shape.

I witnessed many couples taking pictures at this particular spot. As the sun shined on the marvelous aspects of the trail, I had many opportunities to take pictures that would last me a lifetime.

Some of the cliffs were pretty high.  There were a lot of steps, so be prepared if you are terrified of heights! It took me about an hour to hike up the entire thing, but no worries – there is a shuttle to take visitors back to the ground or up to the top if preferred. I would not recommend wearing sandals or flip-flops due to mud or wetness on some parts of the trail, especially the waterfalls.

Aside from the gorge, I tented at one of their campsites. The staff was extremely friendly, helped us carry firewood back to our campsite and provided us with any information we needed.

The camping site was roomy and contained a grill and electricity. The bathrooms were clean and there were many of them around the camp. The Olympic-size swimming pool is definitely worth the time out of a vacationer’s day and the water was clean and clear.

The Seneca area is known for its wineries, and some even offer casual dining and gift shops. There are plenty of ice cream parlors nearby, along with the village’s waterfront park for you to enjoy the scenery.

The Watkins Glen Gorge Trail is the heart of the park and is why people travel there year after year. Although it is tucked away in upstate New York, Watkins Glen is an attraction worth visiting. This camping trip was one of the most enjoyable vacations I had ever taken, so plan a day and visit Watkins Glen!

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By Charley Hannagan, Syracuse.com,link to original post

The Spafford Town Board is discussing a Finger Lakes Land Trust plan to buy 205 acres from the Burns family on Route 41 to create hiking trails at the southern end of Skaneateles Lake.

A waterfall on Randall Creek is part of the property the Finger Lakes Land Trust plans to buy from the Burns family in Spafford to create hiking trails at the southern end of Skaneateles Lake. (Courtesy Andy Zepp)

A waterfall on Randall Creek is part of the property the Finger Lakes Land Trust plans to buy from the Burns family in Spafford to create hiking trails at the southern end of Skaneateles Lake. (Courtesy Andy Zepp)

The Finger Lakes Land Trust has an agreement to buy the property from Bill and Leonard Burns. “It’s the linchpin property in our goal to create a greenbelt along the south of Skaneateles Lake,” said Andy Zepp, executive director of the land trust. “There’s a lot of it rugged woodland. It includes small meadows and agricultural areas that provide wonderful lake views, and a waterfall on Randall Creek.”

The town board must make sure the plan conforms to local zoning laws enacted in 2010 and a state environmental review. The board was to discuss the plan Thursday night and a public hearing on the project will likely be held in mid-August, said town Supervisor Webb Stevens.

Zepp is hopeful the town will approve the project soon and that the trust can buy the land within two months. The Burns family will continue to farm the rest of the 600 acres they own nearby, he said.

Map of the land the Finger Lakes Land Trust hopes to buy from the Burns family in Spafford. Courtesy Karen Edelstein

Map of the land the Finger Lakes Land Trust hopes to buy from the Burns family in Spafford. Courtesy Karen Edelstein

The majority of the land is located on the west side of Route 41 near a scenic overlook. About five acres on the east side of the road will be part of a 4,000 foot-long corridor that will connect the property to the Ripley Hill Nature Preserve, a 130-acre preserve owned by the Central New York Land Trust.

The Finger Lakes Land Trust plans to demolish an abandoned house on the property, build a 12-car parking lot, build interpretive kiosks and create a 1.5 mile loop trail over the more rugged sections of the property, Zepp said. A second trail of a little more than a mile would be built to connect the property to Ripley Hill, he said.

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blueberryWhile this summer’s plentiful rain has had many folks grousing about ruined outdoor plans, the wet weather has been mostly beneficial to crops in the Finger Lakes region, especially blueberries.

Click here to read an article about pick-your-own blueberries in Erwin NY.

Take A Hike - Finger Lakes available at www.footprintpress.com includes many dog-friendly trails.

Take A Hike – Finger Lakes available at
http://www.footprintpress.com includes many dog-friendly trails.

Or, head to Finger Lakes National Forest where you’re bound to find a bountiful crop available for picking. The location of the blueberry patch can be found on the map on page 252 in the guidebook “Take A Hike – Family Walks in New York’s Finger Lakes Region.” It can also be found on page 277 in “200 Waterfalls in Central & Western New York.”

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY available at www.footprintpress.com

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY available at http://www.footprintpress.com

Go for a hike, visit some waterfalls and munch on wild blueberries. Now that’s a heavenly summer day.

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Click here for a comedic look at Rick French, the fearless Leader of Pack Paddle & Ski as he and a few friends explore Conklin Gully and Parish Hill in Naples NY. As the video shows, Rick is an intrepid leader who leads groups on adventures all over the world. Check out his trips at www.packpaddleski.com.

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY available at www.footprintpress.com

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY available at http://www.footprintpress.com

To explore Conklin Gully, Parish Hill and many more areas on your own, pick of copies of Footprint Press guidebooks such as 200 Waterfalls in Central & Western New York and Take A Hike – Family Walks in New York’s Finger Lakes Region.

Take A Hike - Finger Lakes available at www.footprintpress.com

Take A Hike – Finger Lakes available at

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By George Bailey, Niagara Falls Review, link to original post

Bruce Trail hiking narrative available at www.footprintpress.com

Bruce Trail hiking narrative available at http://www.footprintpress.com

As a travel writer, once in a while I get invited to attend various travel-related events. When an invitation was extended to me to take part in one of the soon-to-be-introduced Bruce Trail Waterfall Walks (August 2013), I thought it would be just like any other hike. Boy, was I wrong. Yes, it was a hike, but much more.

Maria Fortunato, executive director of the Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association (www.theheartofontario.com), explained, “This walk has been a year in the making. It’s a type of packaged walking tour that’s never been done in Ontario. It’s most unique”. There are two tours offered, all-inclusive two-day and five-day waterfall walking holidays that wind along the Bruce Trail atop the Niagara Escarpment in the Hamilton-Halton area. Groups consist of anywhere from 12 to 20.Participants stay over night in top-notch hotels with scrumptious meals. No beans and wieners here.

1297441800177_ORIGINALI decided to put on my best walking shoes and try out this new adventure.

From the moment I stepped onto the trail on the rocky collar of the Niagara Escarpment (a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve) near the edge of Hamilton, I knew it was going to be interesting. What was unique about this hike was that I observed my surroundings in a different way. It was because I was accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, Beth (Kummling) Gilhespy, executive director of the Bruce Trail Conservancy (www.brucetrail.org or 1-800-665-4453). She was a walking encyclopedia about the geology along the trail.

The morning walk took us through a Carolinian forest, past numerous waterfalls (there are 28 waterfalls along the Niagara Escarpment) and scenic lookouts that left me in awe. Things you might see along the trail are paw paw, flowering dogwood and sweet chestnut. If you’re lucky (I wasn’t), you might get a glimpse of a southern flying squirrel or wooded warbler. This hike would be perfect for birders to add more names to their list of birds they’ve spotted.

1297441800207_ORIGINALAfter a full morning of walking 10 kilometres, we took a lunch break at the Ancaster Mill Restaurant. This landmark Ancaster dining establishment is a beautifully restored 19th-century grist mill. The nature theme continued with our Earth to Table cuisine. We lingered after lunch to absorb the lovely waterfall outside our dining room table.

After another afternoon of hiking (we were all wiped, but with that type of tiredness that you feel good about), we were shuttled to the Best Western Luxury C Hotel on Stone Church Rd. above the escarpment, which was home for the night. Home was never like this. After a real good shower, I rested for a few hours and then headed downstairs for another delicious meal, where we reminisced about our day of adventure. Sleep that night was easy.

I have to make a confession at this point. Due to other plans I had that day, I didn’t continue the hike. A few days later I spoke with a few of my fellow hikers who said they were now hooked on hiking and plan to do it again.

About the Bruce Trail

The Bruce Trail starts (or ends, depending on where you are) at Queenston Heights and winds its way along the Niagara Escarpment through the Niagara region before heading towards the Bruce Peninsula at Tobermory. It is Canada’s oldest and longest footpath, over 880 km beginning to end.

The Bruce Trail is funded almost entirely by individuals, organizations, foundations and corporations. Less than 1% is contributed by any level of government. Isn’t that refreshing?

Costs for the Bruce Trail Waterfall Walks

Keep in mind this tour includes a highly knowledgeable trail guide, accommodations in first-rate hotels, breakfast, lunch and dinner each day and ground transportation between your hotels and restaurants. Also included are a one-year Bruce Trail Conservancy membership and an official Bruce Trail guidebook.

A two-day hike of 25 km where you view 19 waterfalls is $588 (+tax) per person, double occupancy. Single occupancy is $794.

A five-day hike of 45 km where you view 28 waterfalls is $1,198 (+ tax) per person, double occupancy. Single occupancy is $1,499.

www.grand-experiences.com/bruce-trail or 1-888-258-0441

To read about an adventure thru-hiking the entire Bruce Trail pick up a copy of Bruce Trail – An Adventure Along the Niagara Escarpment.

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NY State Parks has begun offering a longer-term camping option at Max V Shaul State Park in Schoharie County.

In the 179 NY State Park system, this is only the third Park that offers this opportunity.  This is the first park in the Saratoga / Capital / Hudson Valley and Taconic regions that this is being offered.

For campers interested in spending several weeks – or more – at a time, a number of campsites are being made available for this special option. This will save campers time and reservation fees because they only need to make a single reservation for their extended stays.  (Typically at most state park campgrounds, campers are limited to a maximum of 14 continuous nights.)

Seasonal camping reservations must be made with the park directly at 518.827.4711.

The only other state park locations in the state that offer longer term camping are in our Central Region – Bowman Lake and Oquaga Lake.

If you are unfamiliar – Max V. Shaul is a quiet setting with wooded sites. Highlights at the park include fishing in the Schoharie Creek, hiking the park’s nature trails, enjoying shady picnic grounds, open playing fields and a playground.  Additionally, campers have free vehicle access to nearby Mine Kill State Park which offers an Olympic size swimming pool, multi-use trails, boating by permit and views of the scenic 80-foot Mine Kill Falls.

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Click here to watch The Beauty Of Watkins Glen State Park

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY

Then pick up a copy of “200 Waterfalls in Central & Western New York” and go see for yourself.

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by Rick Brockway, The Daily Star, link to original post

Millions of people flock to see the great waterfalls of the world. They watch the millions of gallons of water wash over Niagara Falls or see the water come out of spectacular mountains to fall hundreds of feet into the valleys below. Waterfalls are truly some of nature’s most beautiful sights.

When I moved to the Adirondacks, I found a set of falls not far off Route 8. Griffin Gorge was one of my favorite spots. The water of the Sacandaga River tumbled down through a series of narrow chasms and huge boulders. I could climb down the steep rocks and get to fishing places that few ever reached. Many a beautiful trout were taken by working a night crawler in the deep pools below the various falls.

Auger Falls was another great spot. It was referred to as Hidden Falls for many years. A short hike from Route 30 takes you to another spectacular place in the forest. A series of large waterfalls also held some great fish, but getting into the pools was far more difficult because of the steepness and slipperiness of the terrain.

Many of the better waterfalls are not found along the highways and back roads. To get to places such as T-lake Falls, you have to hike 5-7 miles. T-lake Falls is the highest in Adirondacks. Water comes over the top and falls around 300 feet into the valley below. It’s located a little northwest of Piseco. The trail into the falls has been closed by the state for many years, though.

Approaching the falls from the top is very dangerous. Several people have fallen and died over the years trying to see this spectacular sight. The problem is, you can’t see the falls from the upper approach. The rock curves out and downward away from the mountain, and people would try to walk out to see the falls only to slip and fall to their deaths.

To see the falls, you must enter from the bottom, walking about 7 miles through the woods. Unless you go in the early spring or late fall when the leaves are off the trees, however, you will never see the entirety of this Adirondack wonder.

Recently, the state has acquired the Finch and Pruyn Paper Company lands in the Adirondacks. Hidden away from the public until recently is another of New York’s highest waterfalls. OK Slip Falls cascades down about 250 feet but has been seen by relatively few people because it was on private land. With this region soon opening to the public, we will be able to hike or cross-country ski into this area and see one of the Adirondacks greatest wonders.

If you are into waterfalls, there are a couple of good books available giving you all the details and their locations. Waterfalls of the Adirondacks and Catskills is available in bookstores or on Amazon if you’re interested.

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY

Whether you go to fish or just see the beauty of nature, waterfalls are some of the greatest attractions that the world has to offer. Sure I’ve fought the crowds to see Niagara, but I really like my falls a little more secluded. There’s nothing like breaking through the trees and having the mist hit your face when there’s not another soul around.

For exploring waterfalls throughout central & western NY, pick up a copy of the guidebook “200 Waterfalls in Central & Western New York – A Finders’ Guide.”

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by David Figura | Syracuse.com, link to original post

Central New York is an outdoors wonderland. The diversity of eye-opening and mind-clearing settings a little more than an hour’s ride from Syracuse is incredible.

There’s picturesque waterfalls; lush, green hiking trails; multi-facted nature centers; the breath-taking scenery around the Finger Lakes; Adirondack-like woods; nationally recognized birding areas – ocean shore-like settings on Lake Ontario.

There’s 15 weekends, beginning with this weekend and extending through Labor Day. With that in mind, here are 15, great Central New York outdoors destinations that will reveal how generous Mother Nature has been to us.

Take the Figura Challenge. Visit them all this summer.

Take your family, your significant other or just check out the spots yourself. Pack a lunch or dinner. Make a morning, an afternoon or a day of it. Take pictures.

Send your experiences and photos to me at dfigura@syracuse.com. Briefly note what you liked, what you didn’t like and recommendations for others who are planning to visit there. I’ll compile your impressions each week on my outdoors page on Syracuse.com.

Have I left out any of your favorites? Drop me a line. The guidebooks from Footprint Press can provide maps & all the details you’ll need to explore these and other places. Meanwhile, here’s my list:

Birding in Central & Western NY

Birding in Central & Western NY

1). Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge: A mecca for bird lovers. Enough said. The refuge headquarters and visitor’s center is off Route 20, west of Auburn. For more, see fws.gov/refuge/montezuma or call 568-5987.

2). Fair Haven State Park: Features high bluffs above sandy beaches and hilly woodlands. Inland, there is Sterling Pond. Fishing is excellent and very accessible. Rowboats, paddleboats and canoes are for rent. The park is located off Route 104A in Fair Haven. For more, see nysparks.com/12 or call 947-5205.

3). Sterling Nature Center: This 1,400-acre nature center located in the northeastern corner of Cayuga County in the town of Sterling on Jensvold Road boasts more than 10 miles of hiking trails and two miles of lake shore. The center is open dawn to dusk. One particular highlight is its huge great blue heron rookery (nesting area). For more, see cayugacounty.us/web/Departments/Parks/Sterling or call 947-6143.

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY

4).Taughannock Falls: The hiking trails at this state park offer spectacular views and unique geological formations, including the 215-foot falls, which is 33 feet taller than Niagara and is the highest vertical single-drop waterfall in the Northeast. It’s located on the western side of Cayuga Lake off Route 89.For more, see nysparks.com/parks/62 or call 607-387-6739.

5). Fillmore Glen State Park: This park is an oasis of cool, dense woods crowding into a long, narrow gorge. Its hiking trails offer great views and unique geological formations, including five waterfalls and a botanically rich glen. Located off Route 38 in Moravia. For more, see nysparks.com/parks/157 or call 497-0130.

Take Your Bike - Finger Lakes

Take Your Bike – Finger Lakes

6). Bear Swamp: A picturesque state reforestation area in Sempronius, in southeastern Cayuga County off Route 41A, with several vantage points overlooking Skaneateles Lake. It contains about 15 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Enter by the Colonial Lodge restaurant/tavern in Sempronius. (It’s also a good place for a meal or drink afterward).

7). Baltimore Woods Nature Center: This outdoors gem, located off Bishop Road in Marcellus, features more than six miles of hiking trails, numerous outdoors-related programs and an interpretative center. A great place to check out woodland wildlflowers along hiking trails and also at the center’s Faust Garden. A heads up: no dogs allowed. For more, see baltimorewoods.org or call 673-1350.

Take A Hike - Finger Lakes

Take A Hike – Finger Lakes

8). Beaver Lake Nature Center: The popular, county-run facility offers nine miles of hiking trails and more than 400 annual nature/outdoors-related programs. It offers a rich mix of habitats, that create the possibility of seeing more than 200 species of birds and more than 800 varieties of plants. It also features a small lake, which visitors can enjoy with rented kayaks and canoes. For more, see onondagacountyparks.com/beaver-lake-nature center or call 638-2519.

9). Labrador Hollow Unique Area: Nestled in a valley on the Onondaga/Cortland county line on Route 91 east of Tully, this area offers an Adirondack-like, forestry feel and picturesque Tinker Falls in one part — and an expansive, bio-diverse wetland and pond made accessible by a raised boardwalk in another. The area’s 1,474 acres is a favorite spot for hikers, birders, nature lovers and other outdoor sports enthusiasts.

10) Highland Forest: This county run park, which is tagged the “Adirondacks of Central New York,” is located in southeastern Onondaga Couny in Fabius. It features more than 20 miles of year-old trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. It also overs group camping sites for youth and a huge lodge with an eye-opening view of a valley below. A self-guided nature trail is the perfect introductory hike. For more, see onondagacountyparks.com/highland-forest or call 683-5550..

11). Pratt’s Falls: Scenic trails leading to a 137-foot waterfall beacon visitors to bring a well-stocked picnic basket and a sense of adventure at this county park, located on Pratt’s Falls Road in Manlius. In addition to hiking, Pratt’s Falls offers an archery range. This park has been used for national, state and local orienteering events that allow participants to navigate through a marked course using only a map and compass. For more, see onondagacountyparks.com/pratt-s-falls-park or call 435-5252.

12). Chittenango Falls State Park: An eye-opening, 167-foot waterfall is the main attraction. Glacial sculpting of 400-million-year-old bedrock is responsible for this scenic feature. An interesting variety of both plants and wildlife may be found along the trails. Located off Rathbun Road in Cazenovia. For more, see nysparks.com/parks/130 or call 655-5205.

13). Green Lakes State Park: The highlights of this popular park in Fayetteville include two glacial lakes surrounded by upland forest. The lakes offer opportunities for swimming, fishing and boat rentals. Hikers, joggers and mountain bikers can take advantage of more than 10 miles of trails. Camping facilities are available. And yes, there’s also an 18-hole golf course. For more, see nysparks.com/parks/172 or call 637-6111.

14). Clark Reservation State Park: This park is a geologic wonder of the last ice age and a botanist’s paradise. The park’s natural features include rugged cliffs and rocky outcrops, woodland meadow, a wetland and glacial plunge basin lake in which surface waters and bottom waters do not mix. Features include five hiking trails. Fishermen and birders are frequently visitors here. For more see, nysparks.com/126 or call 492-1590.

15). Selkirk Shores State Park: This state park’s campsites overlook a bluff on Lake Ontario. In addition to Great Lakes swimming, visitors can expect outstanding fishing and sunsets, plus hiking and biking trails. Birders take note: It’s on the direct migration route for a wide variety of bird species. It’s located off Route 3 in Pulaski. For more, see nysparks.com/84 or call 298-5737.

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by Glenn Coin | syracuse.com , link to original post

New York state has bought 9,300 acres of Adirondack land that is part of the former Finch, Pruyn & Co. property.

The land sprawls across several Adirondack counties and contains waterfalls, wetlands, camping spots, hiking and hunting areas, and access to the Hudson River and Lake Champlain.

Today’s announcement is the second of five installments in the state’s purchase of 69,000 acres owned by The Nature Conservancy was begun last year.

“Adding these former Finch lands to the Forest Preserve will open a magnificent stretch of the Upper Hudson to the public and attract new visitors to the interior of the Adirondacks,” Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said today in a statement.

The parcels bought today include:
— OK Slip Falls tract, Hamilton County (the Adirondacks’ highest waterfall which was previously inaccessible)
— Casey Brook tract, Essex County
— Spruce Point and Saddles tracts, Washington County
— Hudson Riverside/Ice Meadow Tract, Warren County
— Indian River tract, Essex and Hamilton counties.

The total purchase price of the 69,000 acres over the five years will be $49.8 million, and that will be drawn from the state Environmental Protection Fund. The land includes 180 miles of rivers and streams, 175 lakes and ponds, 465 miles of undeveloped shoreline along rivers, streams, lakes and ponds, and six mountains taller than 2,000 feet.

The majority of these lands are concentrated within the central lake and tourist region of the Adirondack Park in the towns of Newcomb, Indian Lake, North Hudson and Minerva.

The Nature Conservancy purchased 161,000 acres of Adirondack land from Finch, Pruyn & Co. for $110 million in 2007. Martens was president of the Open Space Institute when it loaned The Nature Conservancy $25 million to purchase the land.

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