Bears on the Move!

Bear Trail in Ithaca, NY

Don’t worry! The Bear Trail in the upper section of Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca, NY is not noted for common sightings of bears. Instead, over the years, an occasional bear has been seen to wander through this section of the park and the surrounding neighborhoods. You are not likely to encounter a bear in the park! (Note that bears on bicycles are not permitted!)

Young bears are being forced from their mothers’ territories to find their own way; and young adult males, in particular, may find your bird feeder, garbage cans, or compost pile this season. In this episode of Walk in the Park (#78), we look at our American black bear, its bear cousins around the world, and the expansion of bear territories into central New York. See photos and videos of bears in Ithaca and other places including Shenandoah National Park. And if you’re worried about grizzlies in the Canadian Rockies, learn about bear spray!

In 2014, the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation issued a new bear management plan.

Here’s the show, viewable on Ithaca’s public access cable channels 13 and 97.3, and right here!

Walk in the Park is produced by Owl Gorge Productions, publisher of ITHACA: the CITY, GORGES; and COLLEGES, A WALK THROUGH WATKINS GLEN: WATER’S SCULPTURE IN STONE; and TUX THE CAT and his EXOTIC EXPLOITS, all available online.

Park Trails on Thanksgiving

It looks like most of our gorge trails in state parks near Ithaca will be open for the Thanksgiving holiday. Buttermilk Glen was rushing with water today after Tuesday night’s rain.

Buttermilk Creek, Buttermilk Falls State Park, Ithaca, NY Finger Lakes

After the previous night's rain, Buttermilk Creek was gushing through the gorge.

east side Buttermilk Glen, Buttermilk Falls State Park, Ithaca, NY, Finger Lakes

The east side of Buttermilk Glen rises above the creek.

Waterfall, Buttermilk Falls State Park, Ithaca, NY, Finger Lakes

Buttermilk Creek jumps down numerous ledges.

On Monday, I walked into the upper gorge of Enfield Glen in Robert H. Treman State Park. Since September’s flood waters, there are numerous logs left hung up among the rock walls in our area gorges. This is one of the more unusual relics.

Following flooding in Enfield Glen in September, this log was left suspended over the stream, with a loose branch hanging into the water, jiggling around with the current.

I could not go beyond the top of Lucifer Falls, as floodwaters had damaged the trail ahead.

Lucifer Falls, Robert H. Treman State Park, Ithaca, NY, Finger Lakes

Though the trails are still open at Robert H. Treman State Park, from the upper park you can only go as far at the top of 115-feet-high Lucifer Falls.

It will take until next spring to complete repairs of the washed out section. Gorge masons must need to practice non-attachment to their hard work. The back-straining labor of months can be wiped out in a single day.

Gorge Trail in upper Robert H. Treman State Park is partially closed for the season.

You can walk to the top of Lucifer Falls along the Gorge Trail in upper Robert H. Treman State Park to this barricade. The trail beyond was damaged in a September flood and is being repaired, but it will remain closed for the season.

But it is only this section of the Gorge Trail that is closed. The rest of the trails in the park are still open, at least as of today, the day before Thanksgiving.

Stone masonry steps along the Gorge Trail, Lucifer Falls, Robert H. Treman State Park, Ithaca, NY

Masons work hard every year keeping the stone steps in our gorges in good shape.

All trails at Buttermilk Falls and Taughannock Falls State Parks are still open, but the Gorge Trail at Watkins Glen State Park has been closed for the season.

It should be a great week to go for a walk in a park (where the shotguns will not be blazing at deer!). Have a happy Thanksgiving!