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.

How Much Did Cayuga Lake Freeze?

February 2015 was the coldest month on record in the Ithaca area, in New York’s beautiful Finger Lakes region. And this winter was the first time Cayuga Lake came close to freezing over end-to-end since 1979. And from many perspectives on this lake that stretches beyond anyone’s horizon, at least while they are standing on the ground, Cayuga Lake did appear to be totally covered by a layer of ice, however thick or thin. In this 100th episode of Walk in the Park, let’s take a look at the evidence of Cayuga Lake’s freeze, from land and sky, and even from space!

This episode of Walk in the Park will continue showing this Saturday and Sunday morning at 10 AM on Ithaca’s public access cable TV channels 13 and 97,3, and finally on Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day, at 8 PM. And you can watch it right here online at any time!

Have you seen our new e-book edition of our popular book, ITHACA–the CITY, GORGES, and COLLEGES? And our national-award-winning book, A WALK THROUGH WATKINS GLEN–WATER’S SCULPTURE IN STONE?

Winter Water

Ice builds up at the base of the waterfall at Taughannock Falls State Park, near Ithaca, NY in the Finger Lakes region.

Taughannock Falls and its ice dome

In spite of the weird late October noreaster blizzard that swamped New England in the cold and dark for a week or more, this has been a warm year, according to the National Climate Data Center, with the seventh warmest land temperatures worldwide. Fortunately. here in the Finger Lakes, we were spared the blizzard (and Hurricane Irene, but not T.S. Lee). But winter is now officially starting. Most public gorge paths are closed now as long, thick icicles grow like stalactites on dripping cliffs and ice forms glassy flows over trail surfaces.

In the video below, that I made two winters ago, I take you into the gorges and to Cayuga Lake as winter progresses. See Buttermilk Falls covered with ice, ducks huddling among ice floes on Cayuga Lake, the huge ice dome at the base of Taughannock Falls, and the roar of a flood during a thaw in the gorge at Watkins Glen.