Park Minute 68: Entering Glen Alpha, Watkins Glen State Park

“Glen Alpha” is the name given in the 1800s to the first interior section of gorge in what is now Watkins Glen State Park, the section beyond the Main Entrance, or Entrance Amphitheatre as it was once known. Watkins Glen State Park is the most popular state park in the Finger Lakes region of New York State.

Park Minute is produced by Tony Ingraham, Owl Gorge Productions, Ithaca, NY. See my award-winning book, “A Walk Through Watkins Glen-Water’s Sculpture in Stone,” available at the park’s gift shop and online. See my FaceBook page for the book.

See all of my Park Minutes. Also see my weekly Ithaca, NY public access television series, Walk in the Park, watchable on TV and online. Both Park Minute and Walk in the Park are cablecast on Ithaca, NY public access television PEGASYS channel 13.


Park Minute: Catskill Mountain Sunrise

Since the early 1800s, people have risen before dawn on the brink of the northeastern escarpment of New York’s Catskill Mountains to watch the sun rise over the Hudson River Valley. Here the Hudson River School of American art was born in the early 1800s, in the area near the former famous Catskill Mountain House.

See our full Walk in the Park episode, Catskill Sunrise.

See all of our Park Minutes.  And visit our Walk in the Park YouTube channel! (And subscribe!)

No, I’m from New York

I ran across this photo on a tourism FaceBook page and decided to make one for the Finger Lakes region itself, below.

A photo circulating on the internet

Here’s my remake, for our region!


Midtown Manhattan compared with Taughannock Falls in Taughannock Falls State Park near Trumansburg and Ithaca, NY.

Check out our ebook about Ithaca!

Ithaca, the City, Gorges, and Colleges

Check out our beautiful book about Ithaca!


Walk in the Park TV show, July 18, 2012, episode 12

Drought in Buttermilk Glen, waterfall swimming at Robert H. Treman State Park, forest fire in Shenandoah National Park, music at Taughannock Falls State Park, and an eloquent video essay about the looming prospect of dangerous LPG gas storage in old salt mines by Seneca Lake near Watkins Glen. These are topics, images, and video that host Tony Ingraham presents on this episode of his public access cable TV series on cable channel 13 in Ithaca, NY. You can watch it here online, or you can catch its remaining scheduled TV showings on Sunday, July 22 at 10:30 p.m. and Tuesday, July 24 at 8:00 p.m.

The next episode of Walk in the Park will be recorded on January 25 for showings on Thursday at 9:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday both at 10:30 a.m., and the following Tuesday at 8:00 p.m.


Autumn Falls along the Lake

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.
For more information about Tiohero Tours (and special “Eco-Cruises”) see