Butt Busting Trail Ice

Our newest Finger Lakes Park Minute (#38) warns us about the dangers of venturing out on icy trails this time of year.

Walking on trails in parks in the Finger Lakes region in early spring can be a tricky matter. With thawing and re-freezing, our footprints in lingering snow can become dangerous, slick ice. Many gorge trails are closed because of very thick, persistent, and extremely slippery ice formations covering the paths and steps. At Buttermilk Falls State Park, Ithaca, NY.

Walk in the Park TV Show!

Ithaca NY public access TV about parks, nature, history, concerts, news, environment

I have begun a new series on Ithaca public access television (PEGASYS) cable channel 13, called “Walk in the Park”! It is in a “magazine” format, with segments about various parks including events, park news, interpretation of cultural and natural history, park-related issues, and lots of photographs and video clips.

Each week, I will feature items posted on this blog and much more. The program runs half an hour. Soon after the show is recorded, I will post it online with a notice on this blog. I plan to create a page here with all of the shows and their summaries. If you don’t subscribe to Time Warner Cable TV in the Ithaca area, you will only be able to see the show online.

Each episode will run four times over the ensuing week. The first showing each week will be on Thursday and the final showing will be the following Tuesday.

Weekly Schedule through August:

Thursdays,                9:00 p.m.

Saturdays,             10:30 a.m.

Sundays,             10:30 a.m.

Tuesdays,              8:00 p.m.

In this week’s episode, airing first on July 12, I feature images and video from the shadows and reflections of Buttermilk Glen, a video of Ithaca’s Independence Day fireworks at Stewart Park, Newtown Battlefield State Park (with more information than last week’s blog post including bird photographs), Watkins Glen historical photos, and news from Robert H. Treman State Park about new trail features and a new exhibit in the Old Mill about the CCC camp in the park in the 1930s. Watch it here!

In future episodes, there may be guest appearances by park squatter and backwoods philosopher Ichabod. Click on his picture below to see his short commentaries and rants. But beware, they don’t call him “Icky” for nothing!

Ichabod park woods opinion nature humor

Ichabod emphasizes a point.


Park of the Week: Newtown Battlefield

View of the Chemung Valley from Newtown Battlefield State Park near Elmira, NY

View of the Chemung Valley from Newtown Battlefield State Park

One of the largest military campaigns of the Revolution is often ignored by history–the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign in the Finger Lakes region of what is now NY State. In the late summer of 1779, several thousand Continental Army troops marched through the lake country burning 40 or more villages and destroying crops of the Iroquois or Haudenosaunee people, most of whom were aiding the British. This campaign led to the US’s claim on the area at the end of the war. The Finger Lakes and what is now central and western NY had been Iroquois territory and never was part of colonial America. See our more detailed post about this from February, 2012.

re-enactment of the Battle of Newtown, Newtown Battlefield State Park, Elmira, NY

Scene from a re-enactment of the Battle of Newtown. Source: I Love NY

The only full battle in the march occurred near what was then called Newtown, southeast of present-day Elmira. The clash is commemorated at Newtown Battlefield State Park on top of a big hill with beautiful views of the valley, a picnic area, and a small camping/cabin area. Find out more at the state park website.