Tuesday Evening Hike: Taughannock Falls

Tuesday, June 6, 2017  •  5:00 pm
  • Hike rating: Distance - 5 miles; Terrain - Difficult; Pace - Moderate; Overall rating - Strenuous
  • Event/Trailhead location: The lower parking lot for Taughannock Falls State Park (click for map).
  • Contact: Gundy Lee   gundylee@yahoo.com   607-279-3719

This hike will go because Gundy Lee stepped up to lead it. Thank you, Gundy!

This week's hike destination is the signature waterfalls that most tourists associate with Ithaca and Tompkins County: Taughannock Falls.

At 210 feet, Taughannock is purportedly the highest waterfalls east of the Mississippi, higher than Niagara. In any case, the falls and the gorge are a dramatic natural feature worth the hike in any season, but particularly during high water.

What most visitors to our region miss is the upper falls, off Jacksonville Road, which is shrouded in shade and less well known, but some say is even more impressive than the lower falls. We'll see both on tonight's hike.

We begin at the lower parking lot for Taughannock Falls State Park and hike in on the flat to see the falls close up. We then hike up the gorge trail to the upper falls. We'll cross the gorge on an abandoned railroad bridge, come back down the gorge on the north rim, and head to the shore of Cayuga Lake. We'll walk along the lake for a bit and return to the cars.

This is a strenuous hike with a change in elevation of several hundred feet; not recommended for novice hikers. If you struggle on steep uphill pitches, you might want to join us another time.

Bring waterproof hiking boots or shoes, water, and bring insecticide if you use it to ward off black flies and ticks.

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