After the beautiful Buttermilk Falls, our second New York State Park stop was Taughannock Falls: a 215 foot vertical waterfall at the end of a wide and wooded gorge that flows into Cayuga Lake.
It is the tallest single-drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains (33 feet taller than Niagara Falls.)
As far as state parks go, this one was very developed along the Cayuga Lake shore, with a marina, boat launch, fishing pier, modernized facilities such as "Comfort Stations," concessions and kayak / canoe rentals, play fields, even a concert area, and a massive playground for kids. (Which goes against my grain.. I think that they are in a park like this to experience nature.. not a mega-man-made jungle gym.)
Oh, well. We steered clear of that area and took to the Gorge Trail.
These are small falls at the start of the Gorge Trail, as the Taughannock creek (pretty wide for a creek) nears Cayuga Lake.
From here, we followed the 3/4 mile gorge, a very level, enjoyable stroll through tall trees.
A good portion of the walk could even be done down on the wide, smooth creek bed.
Tadpoles were gathered in shallow pools.
The gorge itself makes for a beautiful experience. The walls around us were quite high as we walked further in, with cliffs up to 400 ft. high.
At the end of the 3/4 mile walk:
The more dry, flat creek bed & canyon made for a much different experience than the mossy, wet, twisting Buttermilk Falls. But the fall at the end was spectacular. Few things beat the sound of a waterfall and it's spray in the air.
After walking back out and heading on our way again, we found a roadside view of the same falls from up on the rim. There were way too many people congregated in this small viewing spot, but I managed a quick photo.
Next stop - our favorite of the trip - Watkins Glen!!