Wednesday, August 10, 2005


We day-tripped around Central New York on Tuesday.  Starting south on I-81, wound onto state highways through Ithaca and Watkins Glen, then north on Hwy. 14 before coming back to Syracuse on I-90.

  I'd considered heading over to Watkins Glen for biking when D. and Ph. were in Kenya, but lo and behold, I was rained out.  It was a whim to check out Watkins Glen, but it's honestly it's home to of the most amazing state parks I've ever seen. The park features a 1.5 mile trail graded over 600 vertical feet of shale (thin and flaky, right?) cliffs, pools and waterfalls. We hiked down the gorge and back in about three hours:  longer on the way down for ogling and photos and about 30 minutes on the return trip. 

Ithaca Falls

Montour Falls

Watkins Glen

At Watkins Glen, we took 409 off of Hwy. 14 and started the walk from the north entrance (this was suggested by the helpful attendant at the south entrance).  By entering this way, our down-and-back was against the intermittant walking traffic of those who parked in town and started up the gorge.  There are a couple of ways to come in, but I think we did it well (although ending with the upward climb might not suit some). Incidents on the day-long tour included a non-turn in Dryden (and an accidental but not alarming alt. route to Ithaca as a result), photos at Ithaca Falls, Montour Falls and Watkins Glen, and ice cream in Dresden.  We also passed by the thousand tiny wineries along Hwy. 14.  Might be nice to return to the area with a better plan to stop in for the wine tastings or something on or next to one of the Finger Lakes.

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