May 23, 2013

Taughannock Falls State Park | New York Finger Lakes Region

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!!


  1. WOW! Now that is my kinda hiking. To end at a gorgeous waterfall like that. Thanks for sharing you photos with us. They are gorgeous. Enjoy you next stop..


  2. Incredibly beautiful gorge area. LOVE that waterfall. We definitely need to make it up there sometime. Thanks so much, Amanda, for sharing.

    We visited a gorge in Georgia on May 4 (Tallulah Gorge) and saw about 4-5 waterfalls.. I already published one post about the hike --but haven't showed the waterfalls yet...


  3. the falls and the magnificent rocks remind me of a grand cathedral. love the tadpoles!

  4. Wow, that waterfall is spectacular! The tadpoles are really cute! And I agree about nature being the playground. Don't know why they felt the need to put in a big man made playground area!

    Watkins Glen! That's one of shelter locations of Farm Sanctuary! I've always wanted to go there.

  5. That is absolutely STUNNING. I still have vacation pictures from a state park that I still need to edit and post.

  6. You take the best water pictures! I love these, especially the last one. No, I take that back: I love them all! :-)

  7. I never got to that part of the country so I am glad you shared with us! Such lovely scenery, waterfalls are always magical.

  8. This is a another waterfall we're going to have to see. Your photos are wonderful. I like the view from the rim, but the view from the gorge is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing this beautiful waterfall with us.

  9. What a beautiful park! We have an RV and I'm going to use your posts to plan a road trip! My husband and I would love these areas you've been blogging about.

  10. This is so beautiful! I would love to hike there!

  11. Wonderful looking place, I try to pay attention to the flowers, but am often distracted by the birds!


    Stewart M - Melbourne

    PS: glad you like my words please (please!) pass it the link on to anybody who you think may like it!! SM

  12. Beautiful, I love the waterfall! Thank you for visiting my blog :)

  13. I'm so glad to discover this park. Thanks! :)