Waterfalls, Hiking & Wine

Have you ever been to the Finger Lakes Region in the state of New York? This was my second trip there and this time I wasn’t messing around!

On my first trip there, I was with my grandson about three years ago. We went to Cooperstown, did some hiking and watched the Porsche’s race around the track at Watkins Glen but we weren’t there very long and I always knew I wanted to go back when I could really explore the area.

I stayed at a very small RV park halfway between Watkins Glen and Corning. There were eleven sites to be exact and the campground was very rustic and quiet. It had water, electric and sewer but very limited reception on your phone.

My friend Tracy camped caddy-corner from me and the campers were situated so that the doors of our campers faced each other. We had our own common ground in between which made it nice for preparing meals, sitting around the fire and playing games on the picnic table.

We visited nineteen different waterfalls while in the Finger Lakes region. Most of which were around Seneca and Cayuga Lakes, two of the largest Finger Lakes.

We spent time in the tiny town of Montour Falls outside of Watkins Glen, looking for the Shequaga Falls, while actually driving by this waterfall a couple of times before we found it! When we did see it we felt foolish and wondered how we could have missed it, LOL.

Shequaga Falls is in the center of town and is a 156 foot cascading fall.

On the other end of town was a city park called Havana Glen Park where we took a hike back to Eagle Glen Falls.

The 100 foot cliffs open up to the 50 foot plunging fall that leads down to smaller cascading falls.

Also in the town of Montour Falls was Deckertown Falls. Down a tiny residential street you can take a short walk back to the series of cascading falls, the tallest being around 30 foot.

As you head out of Montour Falls towards Watkins Glen you will find a beautiful 90 foot free fall and cascading waterfall called Aunt Sarah’s Falls.

It is left of the highway as you leave town.

In the afternoon we made reservations to take a two hour cruise on Seneca Lake on this 1926 John Alden Schooner. The Schooner was in the 1956 movie “High Society” featuring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra.

What a beautiful boat and what a beautiful day!

From the boat you could view all 250 feet of Hector Falls with its multiple cascades. This is the only way to view the entire fall as the bottom portion is owned by private residences.

This is Hector Falls from the road up on the ridge. I took this picture on our way to a festival.

To escape the heat of the day we planned on leaving early for Watkins Glen State Park the next morning.

But first, a trip back to Montour Falls to the Farmers Market where I got the best strawberries!

I was so excited because this was the day we head to Watkins Glen State Park!

Watkins Glen State Park has a total of 19 falls and if you add all 19 into our previous count we actually saw 37 waterfalls but I counted Watkins Glen as one.

The gorge trail was 1.5 miles and had approximately 862 steps (1724 in and out).

The waterfalls heights ranged from a few feet to 60 feet.

The gorge itself descends some 400 feet and displays a variety of waterfalls, such as, cascades, plunges, free falling and chutes.

What an amazing place to visit. I could walk that every day.

If you visit the Finger Lakes and you are bored, something is wrong! We found tons of places and activities to explore, including attending the Varick Cherry & Wine Festival.

There were arts and crafts, music, wine tasting, cherry picking and spud chucking.

And these adorable alpaca’s!

Of cousre we found a few more waterfalls after we left the festival.

Oak Tree Falls was a very remote waterfall. We actually stopped to ask where the trail was and fortunately we were talking to the land owner. She and her daughters were kind enough to take us to the place to get a peek at the falls. What special people to do that!

This 40 to 50 foot free fall waterfall is only visible at this point unless you walk the creek bed to the bottom of the falls. There were no trail heads.

With plenty of daylight left we decided to visit a few more waterfalls on our list.

This is Taughannock Falls. Absolutely breathtaking! At 215 feet high this plunging waterfall pours into an amphitheatre like canyon.

We decided to forego the hike to the bottom as we had a couple more stops on the way back to camp.

Robert Treman State Park boasts two waterfalls. The first is Enfield which is a 70 foot cascade and popular swimming destination.

After a two mile hike along the gorge trail you make your way up to Lucifer Falls.

This cascading fall states it is only 115 feet high, but I beg to differ. Look at how small the people are. I hiked up the rim trail to get a shot of the entire fall.

This was the Mill at the parking area for the shorter trek to Lucifer Falls.

Up the road from Robert Treman State Park is Buttermilk Falls State Park. Right at the entrance you can view the 165 foot cascading fall.

As evening approaches it’s time to head back to camp and we decided to take the backroads. That is when we found this wonderful old covered bridge in Newfield, NY.

The bridge was built in 1853 and is the oldest covered bridge in daily use in the state of New York.

For the 4th of July we went to the Windmill Farm & Craft Market near Penn Yan, NY. This market boasts over 200 shops from fresh produce to amish baked goods, cheeses and wines, arts, crafts, music and food.

I bought some amazing mango salsa, corn on the cob, string beans, baby red potatoes and cantaloupe.

I had bought a pet stroller so we took Harlie and Frannie with us too!

Tracy bought some grass fed beef for dinner one night and we both agreed we like the Sam’s Club steaks better.

We found another market down the road and I bought some bone in ham and I made green beans, baby reds and ham one day. It was so delish!

After our shopping excursion we drove up the road to find a couple more waterfalls. One was home to a mill in an earlier time and the other has the mill still standing but it was not in use anymore.

This is Seneca Mill Falls, a cascading 40 foot fall.

Cascade Mills Falls was a 20 foot cascading fall next to the abandoned mill of yesteryear.

The following day we agreed that we needed to relax and explore Watkins Glen. Probably one of the most notable things about Watkins Glen is the big NASCAR race that takes place in August at Watkins Glen International Race Track.

It was a very nice day to walk around browsing through the shops.

We had lunch at the mexican restaurant on the main drag and when we got up to leave, there sat race car driver, Juan Pablo Montoya and his wife and daughter having lunch too. I spoke to him for just a second but didn’t ask for a photo or autograph.

Now it’s time for some wine tasting! There are countless wineries in the Finger Lakes region, so we asked a local which ones were the favorites. He gave us two that had been around for years.

Fulkerson Winery, established in 1989 by 6th generation Sayer Fulkerson, was impressive but I didn’t find a wine there that really caught my attention.

Lakewood Winery, established in 1989 by the 3rd generation Stamp family who moved to the region in the 1950’s.

Currently ran by family members this was by far the friendliest and most hospitable of the wineries we visited and I walked out with two bottles of to die for wine.

We also stopped by Worthog Cidery where we sampled a variety of delicious hard ciders and my favorite was the strawberry.

Almost everyday we had planned something to do or explore, even if it was driving out to a local dairy farm and sampling cheeses.

One of those days, Tracy and I had intentions of finding and hiking Excelsior Glen Falls but instead found no clear path to the trail nor any trail head. It was too hot and buggy for a not so leisurely hike in overgrown weeds to see a waterfall.

We did however, find another waterfall on the map and decided to go find it. We drove out past the race track taking a few turns and found this little gem, Templar Falls a 20 foot cascading waterfall.

The creek was shallow and we didn’t mind at all to get our feet wet!

We did hike some of the Finger Lakes Trail as it passes over the creek.

We have had an awesome time so far here in the Finger Lakes.

We headed out to see a movie one really hot day and ventured into Elmira, New York to find the resting place of Samual Langhorne Clemens *Mark Twain* at the Woodlawn Cemetery.

As you can see this was a family plot in the cemetery. Olivia Louise Langdon was his wife and her home was Elmira. She and their three children are buried here as well. Samual Clemens would spend his summers in Elmira writing from Olivia’s family home.

We also found this monument noting all the names of people buried in the cemetery that helped with the underground railroad.

Tracy visited the Corning Glass Museum in Corning, New York and liked it very much and recommends it to anyone who visits corning. She also took this picture at the Rockwell Museum of a buffalo coming out of the wall.

Our big final day before we leave for our next journey was exploring Ithaca, New York.

We started our day at the Farmers Market. What a very cool venue.

From there we walk over to the Ithaca Science Center to follow the Sagan Planet Walk. This is a .75 mile walking scale model of the planets and their positions in the solar system.

We never found Saturn as there was construction where Saturn was placed and it was in storage. What a great way to get kids out walking and learning.

When we reached the Sun we were at the Ithaca Commons. It was Sunday so there weren’t alot of shops open but we had a great time finding some of the local art work displays.

As we walked back to the Farmer’s Market not only are we tired but we are hungry!

After lunch at Firehouse Subs we spent the rest of our day finding the last of our list of waterfalls.

Ithaca Falls is a 150 foot cascading fall just a short walk from a parking lot.

This is Businessman’s Lunch Falls which sits next to an abandoned mill. This fall has four cascading falls, one 30 foot, one 5 foot and two 15 foot.

We hiked a half mile down to this waterfall from a parking lot across the street.

Cascadilla Falls was a little harder to find but lucky for us a nice lady pointed us in the right direction.

The falls were actually in a residential area and the fall was a 54 foot cascading fall. This was a short walk across the street.

Triphammer Falls is a 55 foot multiple cascading fall that is on the Cornell University campus.

I took a short walk to the bridge to take a look at this one.

Last but not least was Ludlowville Falls. Located in a city park near Lansing, New York.

This waterfall is a 35 foot plunge and cascade fall which has a massive cave under the falls.

New York state did not disappoint when you are looking for beautiful scenery and places to visit. Small quaint towns, dairy farms, grape vineyards, cherry orchards, markets, amazing waterfalls and rolling hills of wildflowers were in abundance in the Finger Lakes region.

I hope you enjoyed my journey as much as I did. That’s it for now! I hope this finds you happy and healthy!

Goodbye New York, Hello Pennsylvania!

9 Comments

  1. The waterfall excursion through New York was my favorite so far, Lori! I love upstate New York, but you found many things that I have never discovered before. I can’t wait to see your Pennsylvania blog. I have taken several solo trips there recently to do family genealogy research and love every minute of it.

    Like

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