Half a Gorge

Today, a mild day after Thanksgiving, I decided to go for a walk in Cascadilla Glen, our most urban gorge in Ithaca. Thousands treasure the Cascadilla Gorge Trail as the most delightful way to travel, on foot, between downtown and Collegetown. Indeed, it has been a pedestrian commuter route up and down East Hill for generations.
Cascadilla Gorge Trail Cornell Ithaca NY waterfall

Cascadilla Gorge Trail ascends by the second waterfall on the way from downtown to Collegetown.

Cascadilla Gorge Trail, waterfall, Cornell Plantations, Ithaca, NY

Cornell Plantations has installed new chain hand railings.Where the trail encounters waterfalls, it climbs around them on stone steps.


Cascadilla Gorge Trail Cornell Ithaca waterfall

The trail climbs around the second waterfall on its way towards Collegetown.



Cascadilla Gorge Trail Cornell Ithaca, NY

Between waterfalls, the trail levels out.

I knew that the Glen had been closed much in the past few years because of damage by floods and lengthy trail repairs. And I also knew that Cornell Plantations is determined to repair the trail and get it open for us all once more.  

Cascadilla Gorge Trail Cornell Ithaca NY waterfall

For now, the trail ends at this barricade. Someone has doctored the word "impassable" to read "impossible."

 Alas, I could go no farther, reaching the most problematic portion of the route beneath the Stewart Avenue Bridge. Floods and rockslides have done so much damage to the trail here, which used to hug the overhanging cliff by the falls, that now it needs major repairs to be made safe for passage once more. Cornell Plantations hopes the trail will be fully open by next fall. Half a gorge will have to do for now.

Cascadilla Gorge Trail Cornell Ithaca

This beautiful ironwork gate will allow Cornell to close the trail during times the trail floods or in winter when there is treacherous ice on the route.