Making our Gorges Safer

Each spring, the Finger Lakes State Parks Scaling Teams rappel down cliffs over Gorge Trails, manually removing shards of shale that winter freezing has left perched on ledges. If they didn’t do this hard, dangerous work, called “scaling,” it would not be safe enough for us to walk in the gorges, for fear of falling rock. Scaling must be conducted annually in six state parks in the Finger Lakes region. In this week’s episode (167) of Walk in the Park, we take a close look at the scalers at work on the high cliffs in the upper gorge of Enfield Glen in Robert H. Treman State Park near Ithaca, NY. The scalers tell us and show us what’s involved.

You can watch this episode of Walk in the Park above online, or on TV in the Ithaca area, on Ithaca cable channel 13 at the following times. Additional cablecasts will be added shortly.

Thursday, May 17, 9:00 PM

Friday, 11:30 AM, 9:30 PM

Saturday, 10;00 AM and 9:00 PM

Sunday, 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM

Monday, 8:30 PM

Tuesday, 8:00 PM

Wedgesday, May 23, 1:00 PM

Walk in the Park is a weekly public access cable TV series produced at PEGASYS Studio, Spectrum TV, Ithaca, NY, by Tony Ingraham, Owl Gorge Productions.

Ice and High Water! Finger Lakes Park Minute 55

As winter winds down and we have occasional spring-like days, the temptation to venture onto closed gorge trails in the Finger Lakes is great. But it can be very dangerous, as this short Finger Lakes Park Minute shows. This video is published in memory of Bill Chapin, an Ithaca College safety officer and seasonal NY State Park Police patrolman who died thirty years ago when he slid into raging gorge water while he was trying to rescue a young man trapped on the ice above the torrent, at Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca, NY.

See this Finger Lakes Park Minute #55 and the rest of this series right here!

Produced by Owl Gorge Productions.

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.