New York Vacation: September 2014

Browse vacation days

Wednesday, September 10 - State Park Day

Today was our day to visit a handful of the state parks we had on our radar. The tourism office had sent us several park specific pamphlets, which were extremely helpful and allowed us to gauge just how relaxing or strenuous we wanted to make our trail hikes, as well as in which order to visit the parks.

Our first stop was Watkins Glen State Park, located in the city by the same name, at the Southern tip of Seneca Lake, the Finger lake just to the West of Ithaca's Cayuga Lake. Once you park, you walk through a small tunnel, and over a stone bridge. There are several cascading falls there, and even a small one you can walk behind. The water has also cut out a very interesting, winding path through the layers of slate giving off an alien landscape sort of feel. It took an hour and a half or so to walk all the way up to the "upper" park entrance a little more than a mile along the Gorge Trail and back again.

Photos of Watkins Glen State Park (63 images)

We then traveled a short distance to Robert H. Treman State Park, located off Highway 13 Southwest of Ithaca. We entered at the "upper" entrance and hiked down a bit, visiting an old mill called "Old Mill", and Lucifer Falls, which towers over 100 feet. Then we got back in the car and drove down the hill to the "lower" entrance and hiked up a bit to the swimming area at the Lower falls. To our dismay, a man illegally fly fishing in the gorge itself below the falls disrupted our pictures. Ginger, being the rules oriented individual, reported him to a park service worker at the park entrance, and we were told later that it was taken care of.

Photos of Robert H. Treman State Park (38 images) Photos of the lower part of Robert H. Treman State Park (7 images)

Making our way back toward Ithaca, our next stop was at the small parking area off Highway 13 to try to find Missing Falls from a couple days before. We did cross the old railroad bridge, and Neil plowed forward another 5 minutes or so, catching up to just a few feet from where they had left off that Monday, guided by the maps app. He did find a small waterfall, but nothing as spectacular as the people had discribed.

Photos of Lick Brook (4 images)

Buttermilk Falls State Park was out last waterfall/hiking stop of the day. The sites we considered worth visiting are in the lower section of the park, so we parked at the lower entrance and hiked up past the park's showcase Buttermilk Falls to Pinnacle Rock and back down again.

Photos of Buttermilk Falls (29 images)

Dinner on Wednesday was at Kilpatrick's Publick House, a pub on the ground floor of the Hilton hotel in downtown. After walking around "The Commons", Ithaca's downtown shopping area, Neil got some coffee at Collegetown Bagels, and we stopped by Wegmans for some cheesecake to take back to the hotel for dessert.

Photos of Kilpatrick's (2 images)