Park Minute: Jumping in over your head

A young woman jumps from the trail into a deep pool in the gorge at Buttermilk Falls State Park. This is dangerous and illegal.

A young woman jumps from the trail into a deep pool in the gorge at Buttermilk Falls State Park. This is dangerous and illegal.

Every summer, college students and other people are drawn to Ithaca, NY’s beautiful gorges. And many of them like to jump from cliffs into pools at the bases of waterfalls. The young women in this Park Minute are risking their lives with unseen hazards below the surface in this pool at Buttermilk Falls State Park.

People die every year in our gorges, many of them from drowning. Years ago, an 18-year-old drowned in this very pool. Park rangers and police patrol the trails and the colleges try to educate arriving students about the hazards. Be safe and swim where there are lifeguards.

For more information, see our blog post about gorge safety and the hazards of swimming in our gorges, including a video made by Cornell Plantations on this important subject. You may learn about hazards you did not realize.

This is episode 25 of Park Minute.

Park Minute is produced by Owl Gorge Productions.

Gorge Beauty, Gorge Safety

Joints, pothole by Pinnacle Rock in the gorge at Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca, NY

A unique rock and water formation in the gorge below Pinnacle Rock in Buttermilk Falls State Park.

Episode 16 of my Walk in the Park TV show on Ithaca’s public access cable channel 13 begins showing tonight, Thursday August 16, at 9:00 p.m. It will air again at 10:30 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, and finally on Tuesday, August 21 at 8:00 p.m. And you can see it ONLINE here!

This episode includes beautiful pictures of forest reflections in gorge pools in Buttermilk Falls State Park, views of low water at Taughannock Falls, a family cliff jumping into a gorge pothole, and a powerful Cornell video explaining the dangers of swimming in our gorges, including a lab demo of dangerous stream hydraulics, and a first hand account from a student who could not save his friend from drowning while they swam in a gorge. You can watch the Cornell video separately here, if you wish. Everyone who lives in Ithaca, goes to college here, or visits during the summer should see this short video. Please share it widely.

Another segment covers the Lansing Harbor Festival, which also was posted as a separate video in a previous post on this blog.