Usually, the only gorging I become preoccupied with is that involving food. But this late August found us trekking through some of the most beautiful naturally carved gorges to be found in the eastern USA. Thirty-two years ago, after the birth of my first two children, we left the Finger Lakes region of New York state to begin a new life in Mason-Dixon land. Our final day in Ithaca was spent meditating along the shores of the peaceful Cayuga Lake.
Certainly the most memorable moment of our recent excursion was the dramatic and sudden entryway from the woodland into the Upper Glen of Robert H. Treman Park, with its tunnel view toward a beautiful stone bridge archway. Carving its way down through the glen corridor is the powerful Enfield Creek, as it meanders onward to the impressive Lucifer Falls. As we headed downward, we exited the corridor into a wide amphitheater with an eye catching mini-falls, before the steep decline down toward Lucifer Falls. And oh my, what a decline! You become one with the falls as the trail immerses you only yards away from the 115' vertical drop of Lucifer Falls.
We trekked the ever popular Watkins Glen Park, with its narrow, winding gorge of 19 waterfalls, including the impressive Cavern Cascade, Rainbow Falls, Triple Cascade, Pluto Falls, and Central Cascade. Although lesser known, we followed the gorge trail along Buttermilk Falls Park, which has many small, secluded falls emptying into colorful pools of water. While in town, the roaring and partially sunlit Ithaca Falls greeted us with a fortuitous photogenic moment. The towering Taughannock Falls impressed us once again with its chiseled sandstone and shale side walls and the steep 215' waterfall drop (tallest single-drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains). Finally a short, casual, level walk took us through tranquil Sapsucker Woods, a Cornell wildlife bird sanctuary of 230 acres, with a spacious pond and expansive wetlands (images at the end of the "Trees" gallery), providing a stark contrast to the steep gorge trekking experienced earlier.
Three decades may have passed, but the peacefulness still lingers along the shores of Cayuga Lake, as evidenced by the witnessing of the Kayaking German Shepherd (see below).
I invite you to view all the images from our return visit to the Finger Lakes region at my photo gallery titled, "Gorges and Waterfalls". I can assure you that it will be well worth your time. Enjoy.
See my image gallery at http://dworr.zenfolio.com/p862779778
D W Orr
Environmentalist, Historic Preservationist, and Photographer
Harford County, Maryland
September 6, 2015
Cindy & Doug at Cayuga Lake