Park Minute: Buttermilk Creek Becomes Lake Treman

In the upper section of Buttermilk Falls State Park, in Ithaca, NY, far from the gorge and waterfalls, Buttermilk Creek enters shallow Lake Treman. Created by a dam built at least 70 years ago, the lake is mostly silted in and is becoming a marsh with cattail grasses. It’s a good place to watch for wildlife. Park Minute episode 23. See more Park Minutes.

Finger Lakes Land Trust Preserve and Trail Dedication

Episode 49 of Walk in the Park TV features the Finger Lakes Land Trust’s dedication of new lands, and a trail and boardwalk (“Howard’s Walk”) at the Roy H. Park Preserve in the Town of Dryden east of Ithaca, NY. Cablecasts continue on Ithaca, NY’s public access cable channel 13 this Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m., and next Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. And, of course, you can watch it online below.

Finger Lakes Land Trust preserve, Tompkins County, Finger Lakes, NY

Roy H. Park Preserve of the Finger Lakes Land Trust in the Town of Dryden, NY. Photo courtesy of Finger Lakes Land Trust

“This diverse, scenic, and inviting 217-acre preserve is a short drive from Ithaca, on the back roads of Dryden, and encompasses portions of an extensive forest, rolling meadows, wetlands, a rugged stretch of Six-Mile Creek along its headwaters. The preserve borders Yellow Barn State Forest, Hammond Hill State Forest, and the Cornell Old 600 Natural Area, making it an important connector in a larger array of some 8,000 acres of protected lands. The preserve adds another gem to the “Emerald Necklace,” the Land Trust’s initiative to create a continuous crescent of 50,000 acres of protected lands around Ithaca, and is the first major protected land linkage achieved under that initiative.” (See web page)

Roy H. Park Preserve of the Finger Lakes Land Trust east of Ithaca, NY and next to Hammond Hill State Forest of New York DEC, in the Town of Dryden.

New boardwalk dedicated on May 31, 2013, part of "Howard's Walk" at the Roy H. Park Preserve of the Finger Lakes Land Trust and Hammond Hill State Forest.

Our show features remarks by Andy Zepp, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Land Trust, Martha Robertson, Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature, Ken Lynch, Director of Region 7 of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), and Mary Ann Sumner, Town of Dryden Supervisor.

Waterfall at Buttermilk Falls State Park, Ithaca, NY

Buttermilk Falls State Park

The show continues with photos and video of the beauty of water in a gorge (Buttermilk Falls State Park), and the Cayuga Nation Picnic, part of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign this year.

Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign Cayuga Lake canoe paddlers at the Cayuga Nation Picnic

Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign Cayuga Lake canoe paddlers at the Cayuga Nation Picnic

And now, the show!

See all my episodes of Walk in the Park TV.

The Treman Show

old postcard Enfield Falls State Park, Robert H. Treman State Park, Ithaca, NY, Finger Lakes

An old postcard shows the beginning of the upper gorge in the upper section of Robert H. Treman State Park.

“The Treman Show.” Produced by the Friends of Robert H. Treman State Park, this award-winning* half-hour episode of Walk in the Park TV (#44) explores the trails, history, archeology, geology, and plants and wildlife of this scenic and historic park near Ithaca in New York’s Finger Lakes region. It will show on Ithaca, NY’s public access channel 13 this Thursday at 9 PM,  Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 a.m., and again on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. Or, you can watch it right here anytime!

*This video, originally entitled, “Exploring Robert H. Treman State Park,” and part of the Nature Nearby series produced by Tony Ingraham for PEGASYS public access in Ithaca, NY, won first place as the best public access show in Ithaca in 2008.

Walk Across Grand Canyon

“If I can do it, anybody can do it,” remarks Tammy Lovell in my newest episode of my Walk in the Park TV series on Ithaca, NY public access channel 13. She’s speaking of hiking across the Grand Canyon, a 25 mile trek from the North Rim to the South Rim in this famous national park in northern Arizona. “But you do have to know what you are doing; you have to be careful,” she cautions.

Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Jim & Tammy emerge from the inner gorge of the Grand Canyon on the Bright Angel Trail on their way to Indian Gardens and the South Rim. Photo provided by Jim Rundle

Tammy and her husband Jim Rundle joined up with two others to spend five days on their “trip of a lifetime” last November. In their story here, they tell us about their trek, how they prepared, the equipment they chose, and they share dozens of gorgeous photographs from the trail.

You can see their story online here, or watch it on Ithaca’s public access channel 13 over the next few days, including 10:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday both, and finally next Tuesday, at 8:00 p.m. (and at other times they station manager may select).

But if you can’t get it on TV, see it right here! Jim and Tammy share valuable tips for planning your own trip of lifetime.

Watch all of my Walk in the Park episodes and short videos.

Some Winter Walks Near Ithaca

This episode (#35, recorded January 23, 2013) of Walk in the Park TV features a hike in the red pine forest on the Finger Lakes Trail in Danby State Forest south of Ithaca, NY; a stroll on the paths through the sculpture gardens in the F. R. Newman Arboretum of Cornell Plantations; walking the East Ithaca Recreation Way and the East Ithaca Nature Preserve; and finally a wintry look at Lucifer Falls from the Rim Trail in Robert H. Treman State Park. We also look at some photographs of Buttermilk Falls in the 1800s when a saw mill stood beside the waterfall. See it here below or watch it on Ithaca’s public access TV channel 13; next cablecasts: Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday at 8:00 p.m.

Copyright 2013 Owl Gorge Productions

Paper birch at Cornell Plantations, Ithaca, NY

Paper birch (Betula papyrifera) in the F.R. Newman Arboretum at Cornell Plantations

Watch the whole show here!

You can see all Walk in the Park TV episodes and short videos here.


Forest, Garden, Trail, Gorge

Highlights from this week’s upcoming Walk in the Park TV public access TV show on Ithaca, NY cable channel 13. See brief video below for times. First showing Thursday, 1/24 at 9:00 p.m. I will also post it online on this blog as soon as possible!

Hiking on the Finger Lakes Trail in Danby State Forest near Ithaca, NY, Finger Lakes.

Hikers walk through a red pine plantation on the Finger Lakes Trail in Danby State Forest. Photo by S. Hesse.

Ponds at Newman Arboretum, Cornell Plantations, Ithaca, NY.

Late afternoon sun reflects off ponds in Newman Arboretum in the Cornell Plantations, Ithaca, NY.

Deer buck rub in East Ithaca Nature Preserve, Ithaca, NY near Cornell University.

A "buck rub" in the East Ithaca Nature Preserve

Lucifer Falls at Robert H. Treman State Park, Ithaca, NY, in winter

Lucifer Falls in Robert H. Treman State Park as viewed from the Rim Trail

See the schedule for Ithaca public access TV channel 13 showings:

This episode will appear on this blog online soon!

Jobs in Parks

For the second year, I was asked to come to DeWitt Middle School in Ithaca to be a speaker during their “Looking to the Future Day,” their annual career day for 8th grade students. So, on November 30, I used my Powerpoint to explain the broad range of parks, preserves, and similar sites and organizations where one might pursue a career in “Parks and Recreation.” After fumbling for several minutes with wires, I hooked up a lapel mike to myself and started my video camera and recorded my talk for Walk in the Park TV (episode 31). Later, I exported all the Powerpoint slides as jpegs and then imported them into my video editor to illustrate my talk. 95% of the show is the slides with my voice beneath, while I navigate across each image on the screen as I discuss the topic. This is essentially a version of a talk I gave at Wells College last winter. You may find it interesting. It also is being shown on Ithaca’s public access cable TV channel 13, with airings scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday, each day at 10:30 a.m., and finally on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m., though the station manager does show it at other times as well.

Below is my description of my talk for the students when they signed up for it:

Mary is a bookkeeper, Doug is a carpenter, Jane is a Jack-of-all-trades, Mike likes working with people, Brittany loves hiking, Sam loves landscaping, Jody loves kids, and Jorge is interested in law enforcement. Which among them could find a satisfying career in parks and recreation?

All of them.

It takes a broad team of professions to run a park, or a park system. Parks are natural places, but parks serve people. Every park has to strike a balance between preserving nature and making it accessible, safe, and enjoyable for the public. There is a career for you in parks and recreation, whether you are purchasing land, making a landscape plan, mowing lawns, or training staff; or constructing and maintaining park trails, roads, campgrounds, buildings, swimming areas, boat launches and marinas, golf courses, and playgrounds; or conducting nature education activities, running a concert series, staffing a recreation center, designing publications and exhibits; or managing a payroll, personnel records, grant writing, or secretarial and administrative work. If you want to be a biologist, geologist, historian, or biological technician, there are jobs in parks and recreation.

Seeing Lucifer Falls in Winter

Most big waterfalls in the Ithaca area are easy to see. You can marvel at Ithaca Falls from Lake Street or walk the short path into the gorge. You can drive to Taughannock Falls Overlook, and drive into the entrance of Buttermilk Falls State Park with the falls on your right. But 115-feet-high Lucifer Falls in Robert H. Treman State Park requires a walk along a trail, and in winter the Gorge Trail is closed due to ice and rockfall hazards. And in the past, the Rim Trail was closed in winter as well, so it was impossible to go see the big waterfall for several months of the year without trespassing on a closed trail.

Lucifer Falls in Robert H. Treman State Park near Ithaca, NY, in the Finger Lakes region during winter.

By walking a few hundred yards along the Rim Trail in upper Robert H. Treman State Park, you can see Lucifer Falls in the winter.

In recent years, however, the park has kept open the Rim Trail from its start in the upper park to the view of Lucifer. (From there on, from the top of Cliff Staircase the trail is closed.) And park staff recently constructed a new wooden footbridge over a spot that has iced up along the trail in the past.

Trail map for upper Robert H. Treman State Park

The Gorge Trail and the Red Pine Trail are closed, but the Rim Trail (yellow) is open from its beginning at the east end of the parking lot to the top of Cliff Staircase. (Map courtesy of Finger Lakes State Parks)

Check out my latest short episode ( 3 1/2 minutes) of Gorges TV to see and learn more about Lucifer Falls and the trails this time of year.

Great Days for Hiking!

Lately, the cool, sunny fall weather in the Finger Lakes has been perfect for hiking. There are still plenty of trees with residual fall colors glowing in the bright sun against the blue sky. I took this picture on the Finger Lakes Trail in Danby State Forest on Friday.


Fall colors along the Finger Lakes Trail in Danby State Forest

Fall colors along the Finger Lakes Trail in Danby State Forest

 Can you find the white paint trail marker on one of the trees here? Trail markers are more important for following the trail when the footpath is covered with leaves or snow. And it’s best to have a map. You can get trail maps from the Finger Lakes Trail Conference. Here’s a selection from their interactive trail map on their website.

Trail map for the Finger Lakes Trail south of Ithaca, New York
A selection from the interactive map of the Finger Lakes Trail showing its general route through the Danby State Forest south of Ithaca, NY. Click on this map to go the actual interactive map on the FLTC website.
If you’d like to put yourself into the moving sights and sounds of the trail for half a minute, start this little video from yesterday’s hike.