Sunday, June 19, 2016

Buttermilk Falls

During my western New York state childhood, I had traveled to Ithaca a few times, to see places such as Sapsucker Woods, but had no idea that the city included a bunch of waterfalls.  I recently returned to the area to check a few of them out.

Buttermilk Falls, in the state park of the same name, is located just off New York state highways 13, 34 and 96, which combine into a single road south of downtown Ithaca.  The falls is really a series of cascades separated by relatively level sections of Buttermilk Creek.  This is the lower end of the falls, with a pool just in front of it.  (No swimming was allowed that day.)  To the right is part of the Gorge Trail.

On the downstream side of the pool are these structures, which look like they might have supported a bridge at one time.

To reach the Gorge Trail, I walked across a bridge that took me in front of the falls, the pool, and the old bridge supports.

Here's another section of the falls, seen from an overlook along the Gorge Trail.

Looking back down from the overlook, I could see the bridge that I had crossed, the pool, and two girls trying to catch some sun.

Further up the Gorge Trail, and I do mean "up", is another section of the falls.  The trail, still on the right, includes numerous flights of stone stairs.

I eventually reached this bridge, here viewed looking downstream, which took me across the creek to the Rim Trail.  This allowed me to return to the park's lower parking lot by a different route.  I had gone maybe another hundred yards up the Gorge Trail beyond this bridge.

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