On August 30, 2015, two parades of musicians marched from Stewart Park on Cayuga Lake and the Ithaca Children’s Garden in Cass Park along Cayuga Inlet in Ithaca, NY and met at the Ithaca Farmers Market. They were celebrating the completion of the final stage of the Cayuga Waterfront Trail which winds six miles and took fourteen years to complete. Watch the fun and celebration of this great community resource!
See Walk in the Park episode 115 on Ithaca Time Warner Cable Channel 13 at 9 PM Thursday, 9/29/16, 10 AM on Saturday and Sunday, and at 8 PM on Tuesday, October 4. Or watch it right here anytime!
There is precious little wild, natural shoreline along most of the Finger Lakes, including the longest Finger Lake, Cayuga Lake. The Finger Lakes Land Trust has made a priority to protect remaining wild shorelines. In this episode (#84), we visit some wild shore on the west side of Cayuga Lake by boat (the MV Haendel of Ithaca Boat Tours) before it was protected, and now, on foot, when it is part of the VanRiper Conservation Area and Whitlock Nature Preserve. This episode finishes off with a Park Minute: Skylight on Buttermilk Creek.
After it rains, small streams begin to flow with runoff. Some of them plunge over the cliffs along Cayuga Lake, including the cliffs on the east shore just north of Ithaca. The largest number of waterfalls I’ve seen pouring at any one time along this cliff is eleven.
An intermittent waterfall splashes down the escarpment along the east shore of Cayuga Lake about two miles north of the city of Ithaca.
Following the heavy rains of Tropical Storm Lee in early September, the gorges were gushing and a number of waterfalls were splashing along the East Shore cliffs. In the following short video (1 minute, 42 seconds), we look at a few of these waterfalls up close from the MV Haendel of Tiohero Tours, the interpretive tour boat that operates from the Ithaca Farmers Market on weekends during the boating season (and from its home dock at the Ithaca Boating Center on other days of the week). The boat tour season is over now, but you can enjoy the view vicariously here.
Tiohero Tours has resumed its one hour narrated boat trips from the Ithaca Farmers Market around the south end of Cayuga Lake, following the temporary closure to treat the hydrilla infestation of Cayuga Inlet. And there is no better time to see the lake and the fall foliage along its shores than right now!
One of the best places to see fall colors in the Finger Lakes region is from a boat!
While the colors are gone on the hilltops in the Finger Lakes, they are still changing along the lake shores, for two reasons. First, the lake is lower, so the climate is a little warmer and the color season starts a little later there. In fact, at about 381 feet above sea level, Cayuga Lake is the lowest of the eleven Finger Lakes. Second, the lake is warmer. The water has been absorbing the sun’s energy all summer and it slowly releases it throughout the fall and even into the winter, moderating the climate.
Two waterfalls just north of Esty Point on the East Shore
Another reason fall colors are great from the water is that you can see great distances, more than most places on the land. An added bonus right now is that, with the recent rains, the waterfalls are full. What are dry or nearly dry ravines during much of the year have ribbon waterfalls splashing down the cliffs to the lake!
The waterfall in Esty Glen along the East Shore was flowing better than usual today.
Tiohero Tours’ one hour narrated trips around the south end of Cayuga Lake from the Ithaca Farmers Market will continue only on Saturdays and Sundays through the end of October. We had two dazzling trips today! Tours are offered at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Walk down to the end of the Farmers Market dock in the half hour before tour departure time and book passage into natural beauty while a guide interprets this marvelous place.