Buttermilk and Taughannock Falls

105-709.jpgThis week I took a quick trip to a couple of local-ish state parks. Now, as far as I can make it out, “New York State Park” is an old Native American phrase meaning “Let’s pour some concrete”.

I generally avoid state parks around here as they are very developed. Buttermilk Falls for instance has a beautiful big wide ski slope shaped fall that pours into a large pool. This must have been a pretty place at one time. These days the pool has had concrete steps poured all the way around it with seating for bathers and life guards. That’s right – life guards. The natural pool has been converted into a “cement pond” complete with restrooms, pop machines, walkways, and heaps o’ signs.

Most of the really unique and spectacular natural areas in NY are state parks and have undergone similar treatment. If you want to go and see these natural wonders, your best bet is to go early morning way “off season” when the weather is really bad to avoid the crowds. Then try and turn a blind eye to the copious signage, light show equipment stashed in the bushes (no kidding), and chain link fencing.

I just wanted to go somewhere with some water in the stream. This dry summer has beaten many a stubborn waterway into just a pile of damp rocks. I didn’t get out as early as I would have liked, but at least the weather was cold and rainy and the autumn leaves are gone for the most part.

105-731.jpg

After climbing the hill past the first fall and beyond the brown chain link fence designed to keep boneheads from falling into the gorge, I was able to settle down to some relatively undisturbed shooting. I walked the gorge all the way to the upper end and back and then headed to another park that I would pass on the way home.Taughannock Falls is another spectacular feature. It is a single stream that free falls 215 feet straight down. Even now with the water levels low and just a thin veil falling, it is pretty amazing. There isn’t much to it though. Just a short walk (less than a mile) from a playground along a not too interesting stream bed to one huge waterfall.

105-662.jpgThis place gets photographed by everybody and his brother – especially from the overlook parking lot – especially in the autumn. All the photos that I have seen look pretty much the same. The fall is so singular and so huge that there really is not much that you can do with it. None of the photos I took were even decent, but I included one just so you can see what it looks like.

One weird thing that has always struck me when I visit – it is very quiet. Must be something to do with the acoustics of the gorge. It just doesn’t seem to make the kind of sound you would expect from water plunging that far. Today it was just a whisper.

Anyway – not exactly a wilderness experience, but once in a while I do the tourist thing just to see stuff like this.

MDW

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , ,

7 Responses to “Buttermilk and Taughannock Falls”

  1. Photo Buffet Says:

    These are beautiful images. This last one is especially appealing because the wet rock adds just a touch of color to that rock wall. How high is the fall? It reminds me of our South Falls at Silver Falls State Park here in Oregon.

  2. Bernie Kasper Says:

    Fantastic images Mark, like I said before you have a way with water :)

  3. forestrat Says:

    Thanks folks.

    Taughannock falls itself is over 200 feet high, but the gorge walls are said to be close to 400 feet at some points. Letchworth state park is another huge gorge in the area. It has several big waterfalls with a 200 foot train trestle running over one. Walking on the trestle used to be a big thing to do there, but lately lawyers have gotten involved and now there are signs warning people off.

  4. fencer Says:

    Wonderful shot of the waterfall, although I know what you mean about the lack of variety in approach the one vista allows. Enjoyed the other water shots as well.

    Those New York parks sound too much like that Joni Mitchell song…

    They took all the trees
    Put ’em in a tree museum

    Regards

  5. fencer Says:

    Wonderful shot of the waterfall, although I know what you mean about the lack of variety in approach the one vista allows. Enjoyed the other water shots as well.

    Those New York parks sound too much like that Joni Mitchell song…

    They took all the trees
    Put ’em in a tree museum

    Regards

  6. Mark Says:

    That’s pretty cool about the acoustics of that waterfall. Thanks for sharing it.

  7. chalets in la tania Says:

    Many thanks for writing this great concept

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: