In spite of this snowless winter, I spent my last Sunday in New York with a girlfriend exploring two of the many waterfalls in on the Finger Lakes’ largest lake, Cayuga Lake. In fact, there are over 28,000 acres of public New York State forest ripe for hiking and exploring.
Before going on a hike, one must fuel up. Luckily Ithaca has more restaurants per capita than New York City! It’s a delicious statistic that hints Ithacans are passionate about food. Collegetown Bagel, “started with a bagel and a dream,” was just the fuel we needed. After a sandwich served on fresh baked artisan rye bread and a heavenly pastry we were ready to hit the trail to Ithaca Falls.
With a drop of 150ft and width of 175ft, Ithaca Falls is the region’s most powerful and most impressive. By 1817, a half-dozen mills were operating here, their ruins are still visible on the south bank. The plunge pool is famous among anglers for lake-run trout and salmon during season. It was an easy year-round trail to a bridge over Lake Street for an amazing view.
A few miles later we were at Buttermilk State Park, which takes its name from the foaming cascade formed by churning Buttermilk Creek as it flows down the steep valley side toward Cayuga Lake. The Gorge trail was closed, and the falls frozen, since it was bitterly cold today. But it made no difference. We were just happy to be outdoors.
Spending time in nature helps renew and rejuvenate our bodies, minds and spirits. Take a hike, enjoy the scenery and natural world around you.