Comes fall, comes color, but where to seek it. For years it’s been Vermont and I thought I’d go up there again but for some reason it wasn’t sitting comfortably. I opted instead for the Finger Lakes which we hadn’t visited since 2003. In early October we headed for Watkins Glen at the southern end of Seneca Lake, and about five hours driving plus any pit stops. We had stayed in a B&B further up the lake previously but thought the Watkins Glen village would be a good base. Also, my fantasy was to enjoy sunset while sitting on the town dock there and looking up the lake and at the marina. It was a pleasant fantasy and it was realized.
The number one attraction at Watkins Glen is the gorge within the state park. In 2003 we hiked this 1.1 mile trail which rose 500′ through a carved canyon and some 19 waterfalls. I thought I would die before I got to the top (hey, that’s a forty story building) . Since then they’ve added a transfer bus such that one can park at the top, walk down, and then bus it back to the car. Great! Except it only runs on weekends in the fall. So, we just walked in a little way this time.
The day being a little threatening we took off to drive west to Hammondsport at the south end of Lake Keuka, described as “America’s coolest small town.” Well, that’s OK; we thought it was nice, and you could drive around its center square pretty quickly. The stores and nearby houses converted to stores were in the Halloween mode.
From there we went along the lake’s western shore, stopping for lunch at Swissy Castel Grisch and taking in the lake from the restaurant.
With three more days of driving around Seneca, Cayuga and Keuka lakes we came across many scenic opportunities. Here are three of them:
In addition to the many falls in the Watkins Glen Gorge there are over a dozen scenic falls in the area of Seneca and Cayuga lakes. We hiked into four of them and, while the water flow wasn’t great, they were enjoyable destinations. Here’s one I particularly liked but I’m going to have to go back to figure out which one it was.
My guide to the falls in the area was the Finger Lakes issue of Photograph America Newsletter which I have enjoyed using for many other locations. I recommend it.
Selected images from the trip can be seen in one of my galleries
by clicking here.