Finger Lakes Park Minute: The Flood Zone in Watkins Glen

Glen Alpha is the traditional name for the first full section of the gorge called Watkins Glen, in Watkins Glen State Park in New York’s Finger Lakes region. We continue our exploration of Glen Alpha in episode 32 of Finger Lakes Park Minute, this time looking where Glen Creek continues its downward erosion, deepening this spectacular section of gorge. Cavern Cascade and Minnehaha Falls are in the background.

See all of our Park Minutes.

Finger Lakes Park Minute: The Cliffs of Glen Alpha, Watkins Glen State Park

The first full section of the gorge at Watkins Glen State Park, called Glen Alpha in the old days, is a dramatic chasm with high cliffs, bisected by Glen Creek and its waterfalls. Huge joint fractures crease the cliffs and leave smooth, flat walls towering above you. Watkins Glen State Park is the oldest state park in the Finger Lakes region of New York State.

Produced by Tony Ingraham of Owl Gorge Productions, Ithaca, NY, author and publisher of the national-award-winning book, A Walk Through Watkins Glen-Water’s Sculpture in Stone, available online as an e-book, and the gorgeous print version is available in the park gift shop.
See all of our Park Minutes.

“We Are Seneca Lake!”

This week’s new episode (#94) of Walk in the Park on Ithaca, NY’s public access cable television (channels 13 & 97.3) looks at a protest to protect Seneca Lake and the region near Watkins Glen from a huge project being built by Crestwood Corp. from Texas to store liquified propane gas and methane (probably from hydrofracking) in salt mine caverns under and around the lake. Area residents have been opposing this project for years, but it moves ahead anyway.

In this show, protestors calling themselves, “We Are Seneca Lake,” gathered at the Crestwood plant entrance last October 24 and spoke out about the dangers to Seneca Lake and its value as a drinking water supply, damage to the tourism and wine industries, and grave threats to public health and safety posed by this project. Since the fall, We Are Seneca Lake participants have engaged in a non-violent civil disobedience campaign to block trucks from entering or leaving the plant and to make it very clear that they are determined to stop this project. For much more information about this issue, see Gas Free Seneca.

This episode will be shown on Ithaca cable TV at 9:00 tonight (Thursday, January 8, 2015), on Saturday and Sunday at 10 AM each day, and finally next Tuesday, January 13, at 8 PM.

Or you can watch it right here anytime!

Watch another episode of Walk in the Park about a rally and march addressing this issue in Watkins Glen in 2012.

See the full schedule of public access (“PEGASYS”) shows on Ithaca’s cable channels 13 and 97.3.

Park Minute Medley

Happy New Year to all!  Our new episode (93) of Walk in the Park begins today, at 9:00 p.m. on Ithaca, NY’s public access cable channels 13 and 97.3, and of course, here online, below. I have taken a number of Park Minute episodes and strung them together, beginning in the fall of 2013 and all through 2014. It makes for a beautiful show, with several videos of our very frozen gorges and waterfalls last winter, to a tour of Ithaca’s views, to Yosemite Falls in California, the tallest waterfall in North America. You can watch the whole show or you can see individual Park Minutes on this website or on our Youtube playlist.

This episode will repeat on Ithaca cable TV on Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 a.m., and finally next Tuesday, January 6, at 8:00 p.m. See the full schedule of programs on Ithaca’s public access TV.

 

Hanging Valley Waterfalls

Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls

Many if not most of our waterfalls in the Finger Lakes of New York can be classified as occurring in “hanging valleys.” That is, they have formed where gorges drop into larger valleys that were greatly deepened by the passage of glaciers; hence these side valley gorges were left suspended, or “hanging,” above these main glacial troughs. In this episode of Walk in the Park (#81, recorded on July 16, 2014 at PEGASYS Studios, Ithaca, NY), we look at the hanging valley waterfalls along the southern end of the Cayuga Lake valley near Ithaca, NY. Then we compare them with two of the most famous hanging waterfalls in the United States–Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite National Park. We conclude with a beautiful video about Yosemite Falls produced by the Yosemite Conservancy in their Yosemite Nature Notes series.

You can watch this episode beginning tonight (Thursday, 7/17/14) at 9:00 p.m. on Ithaca, NY’s public access cable channels 13 and 97.3. It will show again on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m., and finally next Tuesday, 7/22, at 8:00 p.m.

Or, you can watch it right here anytime!

Yosemite National Park

If you know Ithaca, NY you know we have amazing waterfalls! Well in our current episode (#79) of Walk in the Park on Ithaca’s public access cable channels 13 and 97.3, we go to the premier place in North America for waterfalls–Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada; which celebrates its 150th anniversary as a park on Monday, June 30, 2014! Ithaca cable TV showings will repeat on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and finally on Tuesday, July 1, at 8:00, on channels 13 and 97.3. Or, you can watch it online anytime right here!

Park Minute: “Galaxy Eddy”

In this week’s Park Minute, we look briefly at how water creates rock pools, or potholes, in the stream beds in our gorges in the Finger Lakes, in this case at Buttermilk Falls State Park, in Ithaca, NY.

And, it’s become a local custom for some people to create art with stones in our area creek beds, this one in Buttermilk Falls State Park*, as well.

Stone spiral sculpture in the bed of Buttermilk Creek in Buttermilk Falls State Park, Ithaca, NY, Finger Lakes region

From the Gorge Trail, yesterday, I noticed this pattern in the creek bed in Buttermilk Falls State Park.

Stone spiral sculpture in the bed of Buttermilk Creek in Buttermilk Falls State Park, Ithaca, NY, Finger Lakes region

Someone had arranged stones in a spiral under water.

Check out our popular book, Ithaca-the City, Gorges, and Colleges, now available online as an ebook.

* Note: Buttermilk Falls State Park insists that park visitors stay on the Gorge Trail for their safety.

Flash Flooding Waterfalls, Silent Movies, and Beautiful Gorges

Polished rock layers revealed by Glen Creek in Watkins Glen State Park

The rocky banks of Glen Creek have been polished by countless flash floods over the millennia in "Glen Alpha," the first section of the gorge in Watkins Glen State Park past the Main Entrance. Photo by Nigel Peterson Benson Kent.

In this episode (#53) of Walk in the Park TV, we see more photos and footage (thanks to “Acorn Place“) of the August 9 flash flood on Ithaca’s waterfalls, including the swimming area at the Lower Falls at Robert H. Treman State Park and Taughannock Falls at Taughannock Falls State Park. We also take a look at the 3rd annual “Movie Under the Stars” at Taughannock Falls State Park; seeing clips from the silent film, “The Lottery Man,” made at the Wharton Studios in what is now Stewart Park in Ithaca nearly a century ago; presented by the Ithaca Motion Picture Project. Finally, we see three short “Park Minute” videos I made about Watkins Glen State Park, accompanied by beautiful photographs by Nigel Peterson Benson Kent.

You can watch this show this week (8/29/13-9/3/13) on Ithaca, NY’s public access TV channel 13 (or 97.3) during the schedule listed on our TV Show page.

Or you see it now right here!

Park Minute: Water Created Watkins Glen

Ice Age glaciers, stream erosion, sea sediments created Watkins Glen in Watkins Glen State Park in New York's Finger Lakes region.

Glen Creek snakes through its polished rock flood zone in the Glen Alpha section of Watkins Glen.

In this episode (#6) of Park Minute, I show the three ways that water has created and shaped the landscape of the gorge in Watkins Glen State Park in New York’s Finger Lakes region.

 

Kaaterskill

Kaaterskill Falls in New York's Catskill Mountains

Kaaterskill Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in New York State, in the northeast Catskill Mountains

In this week’s episode (#48) of Walk in the Park TV, we visit the northeastern Catskill Mountains overlooking the Hudson River. It is the site of Washington Irving’s story of Rip Van Winkle, the former site of several 19th century luxury mountain resorts, and the birthplace of the Hudson River School of painting. We travel across the Hudson to Olana, the home of Frederic Church, one of the Hudson River School’s most famous and most successful artists. From Olana, we have a sweeping view of the “Catskill Mural Front.”

We finish the show with a look at a few of the wildflowers blooming now around our gorges.

Watch the show online below or see it this weekend on Ithaca, NY’s public access cable channel 13 on both Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m., and then finally next Tuesday, June 4, at 8:00 p.m. (In general, video quality on the TV is better than online.)