A FINGER LAKES FALL

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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With three more days of driving around Seneca, Cayuga and Keuka lakes we came across many scenic opportunities.  Here are three of them:

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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. 🙂

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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.

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Selected images from the trip can be seen in one of my galleries

by clicking here.

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18 Responses to “A FINGER LAKES FALL”

  1. Linda Colgan Says:

    Beautiful photographs, especially looking back from our cold winter days. The waterfall photos are exquisite. Linda

  2. Ken Curtis Says:

    What a wonderful trip, Ralph. You captured some of nature’s finest and the beauty of the towns, buildings and scenes. Now, I’m going to have to go.

    • Ralph Berglund Says:

      Well worthwhile, Ken, but I think I’d wait for spring. Driveable roads amd increased water flow. Strongly recommend the guide I referenced in the post. Just great for photo ops at places you’re not familiar with

  3. gordon Brummer Says:

    Great photos Ralph. We congratulate you for staying clear from the vineyards but sorry you chose to ignore lovely Aurora, home of Wells College.

  4. Kathleen Says:

    Ralph thanks for the Tour of the Finger Lakes, I guess I know where to go this Fall. Beautiful images!!

  5. Tom and Jeanne Says:

    I went there a million years ago with my parents. Beautiful falls
    and wonderful rock formations. Thanks for the memories.

  6. Terry Wilson Says:

    Great images. I was in the area once for a wedding, but as it was a (long) day trip, there was no time to do anything else. I’ll have to go there someday. I know the Photograph America newsletter and have used it before too.

    • Ralph Berglund Says:

      Thanks, Terry. Nice to have you blogging again. I enjoyed the post about all of the succulents. Tough to have that much nice weather. There’s a gentle snowfall outside my window as I post this reply.

  7. MikeP Says:

    Hey thanks for the tip about the newsletter… I loose a lot of time wandering 🙂
    Really,really like your last pic!!!!!

  8. Nina Says:

    What a wonderful,happy experience for you …and for those of us that get to enjoy your photography. Amazing photos! Nina

    • Ralph Berglund Says:

      Thanks, Nina. Jack L. responded to me in an email saying that the Keuka Lake YC is just north of Hammondsport, and promising some interesting tales about nights at the winery with the E Easterns. Best to Paul.

  9. denisebushphoto Says:

    Great post Ralph! And now that I see the scenery so beautifully displayed here I’ve added the finger lakes region to my photo bucket list. I love the waterfalls and the train tracks shot!

    • Ralph Berglund Says:

      Do it! Not much potential for sunrises or sets because the lake is bounded by mountains but I bet there could be some beautiful skies. The waterfalls and the gorge carvings will keep you busy. I’m partial to that train tracks shot also.


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