Smith Woods: Old Growth Woodland in T-burg

Join two authors of a new book about Trumansburg, NY’s Smith Woods, along with a local historian, on an interpretive tour through this unusual old growth forest and its history and ecology, in this episode 176 of Walk in the Park. Watch it right here anytime!


Trumansburg and Smith Woods are near Taughannock Falls State Park and are about ten miles from Ithaca, NY near the west shore of Cayuga Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region. Old growth forests of this size are very rare outside of the Adirondacks. This woodland has been extensively studied for decades by scientists from Cornell University. Smith Woods is owned and managed by Cayuga Nature Center and the Paleontological Research Institution in Ithaca, and is open to the public. It is used for education and research. Smith Woods is directly across the road from the Trumansburg Fairgrounds. The guided tour through Smith Woods featured in this episode of Walk in the Park was presented by the History Center in Tompkins County. Marvin Pritts and Kurt Jordan of Cornell and S.K. List, historian for the Village of Trumansburg, led the tour. It was videotaped by Tony Ingraham, who is the producer of Walk in the Park, a weekly public access television series in Ithaca, NY, recorded at PEGASYS Studio.

This episide of Walk in the Park ran on Ithaca area cable channel 13 from October 26 through November 1, 2017.

Ithaca Boat Tour on Cayuga Lake

Take a virtual tour of the south end of Cayuga Lake on the MV Haendel with Ithaca Boat Tours, complete with plenty of visualizations, video, historic photos, and more! Watch it here online, or on TV in the Ithaca, NY area.

Explore the geology, history, and ecology of Cayuga Lake, longest of the eleven Finger Lakes in central New York State. Steamboats, railroads, glaciers, waterfalls, cliffs, ancient oceans, mountains, fish, invasive species, state parks, lakeshore hotel, Ezra Cornell, lighthouses, water birds, gorges, rockslides, floods, fires, the Erie Canal, and more!

This is episode 111 of Walk in the Park, our weekly public access TV show on Time Warner Cable channels 13 in Ithgaca, NY. Our 2017 cablecast schedule:

Thursday 8/24 12:30 PM & 9:00 PM

Saturday, 10:00 AM & 8:00 PM

Sunday, 10:00 AM & 4:00 PM

Monday, 8:30 PM

Tuesday, 8/29, 11:30 AM & 8:00 PM
Produced by Owl Gorge Productions, copyright 2015. See our books about Watkins Glen State Park and about Ithaca.

Trees, Falls, and Trails

Episode 71 of Walk in the Park, our Ithaca, NY public access cable TV series 2017 Ithaca public access channel 13 cablecast schedule:

Saturday, March 25, 2017, 10:00 AM and 10:30 PM

Sunday, 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM

Monday, 4:00 PM

Tuesday, 11:30 and 8:00 PM

Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM

Or you can watch it here ONLINE! (see below)


MrHeli4444’s view over the lip of Taughannock Falls from his remote controlled aerial device, featured in this episode of Walk in the Park.

This time, we learn about the coming assault on ash trees in our forests by the invasive beetle, the emerald ash borer, and what we can do to insure the long-term survival of ash tree species. You can watch this short segment separately at “Responding to the Emerald Ash Borer Invasion.”

Then we look at Taughannock Falls State Park in different times in history through photographs. This is followed by a spectacular aerial video around the top of the great falls itself. Thanks to Steve Knapp of Keuka View Photography and Bill Hecht for some of the photos in this segment, and to MrHeli4444 for the video.

Finally, we look at the dangers involved in hiking on closed trails in our state parks this spring before residual winter ice conditions and rockfall hazards have been dealt with and the trails declared open.

Watch the show now here!

Walk in the Park is a public access TV series in Ithaca, NY. Check for times and channels.

Six Mile Creek, Trees and Water

Walk in the Park, episode 62, is now playing on Ithaca’s public access cable TV channel 13 (or 97.3)! Watch it Thursday night, 11/21/13, at 9:00, Saturday or Sunday at 10:30 a.m., or finally Tuesday, 11/26, at 8:00 p.m. Or here online!

Six Mile Creek has been the City of Ithaca’s water supply for more than 100 years. Two reservoir dams were built upstream in the watershed, but only the upper reservoir (“Third Dam” or “60-foot Dam”) now supplies municipal water. Join us as Roxy Johnston, the City’s Watershed Coordinator, takes us on a walk and talk tour in the Six Mile Creek Natural Area, telling us of the history of the watershed and the major rebuilding and renovation that is taking place now.

Construction of reservoir dam in Six Mile Creek watershed, Ithaca, NY Finger Lakes

In 1903, workers build one of the two dams in Six Mile Creek that have supplied the City of Ithaca's water supply. Photo courtesy of Roxy Johnston, City of Ithaca

We also join Mark Whitmore, forest entomologist from Cornell, as he explains the immense threats to our forests and our watershed from two invasive insects that attack major trees in our woodlands and gorges, including the eastern hemlock and all species of ash. Last episode, Whitmore explained the huge challenge forced upon us by the hemlock woolly adelgid, which we found in the Six Mile Creek Natural Area. This time, he addresses the emerald ash borer which is advancing toward us and will wipe out nearly all of our ash trees in our countryside and in town. Find out what we can do to respond to these inevitable assaults on our environment. [PLEASE NOTE: Late in the program, I mention, mistakenly, that there had been a report of the occurrence of emerald ash borer in Watkins Glen State Park. In fact, there is no record of any such report. My bad. Please ignore!]

Watch the show online here!

And, by the way, our popular book, ITHACA–THE CITY, GORGES, AND COLLEGES, is now out as an ebook. Check out the sample pages!

Digging up the Past

(Walk in the Park TV episode #60) Every fall, the Friends of Robert H. Treman State Park in Ithaca, NY hold their Heritage Day in the upper park, with activities centered around the Old Mill and the ongoing archeology exploration of the former hamlet of Enfield Falls. Park visitors can go over to the dig and ask the archeologists what they are doing and what they are discovering. Prof. Sherene Baugher of Cornell University and her students in her archeology class now are unearthing the “Rumsey House,” occupied by the Rumsey family for over 60 years. We interview several of the students as they explain what they are finding, on this year’s Heritage Day on October 19, 2013.

The Old Mill in upper Robert H. Treman State Park near Ithaca, NY in the Finger Lakes region.

The Old Mill in upper Treman is the center of Heritage Day each fall. The mill is now closed for the season.

We also take a short walk on the Gorge Trail at Buttermilk Falls State Park after most leaves have fallen, and we look at apparently deformed trees. I explain the phenomenon in a short video.

Finally, we look at some photos of fall colors in the Sixmile Creek area in Ithaca, by Deanna Stickler Laurentz.

A yellow maple along the Gorge Trail in Buttermilk Falls State Park, autumn, fall colors, Ithaca, NY, Finger Lakes.

A sugar maple hangs on to its yellow autumn leaves along the Gorge Trail in Buttermilk Falls State Park.

Watch the show on Ithaca, NY’s public access cable channel 13 (or 97.3), beginning this evening, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 at 9:00. See the rest of the schedule of showings over the next week.

Or you can watch it online anytime. Go directly to the YouTube post (perhaps for a little better video quality), or watch it right here. The best video quality will be the TV cablecast.

And, by the way, our popular book, ITHACA–THE CITY, GORGES, AND COLLEGES, is now out as an ebook. Check out the sample pages!

Land Trust Preserves and Monarch Butterflies

New England aster wildflower, Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve, Finger Lakes Land Trust, near Ithaca, NY in the Town of Dryden

New England aster at the entrance to the Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve near Ithaca, NY.

In episode 58 of Walk in the Park TV, we visit two Finger Lakes Land Trust Nature Preserves: Ellis Hollow Preserve in the Cascadilla Creek watershed east of Ithaca, NY and the Baldwin Tract of the Roy H. Park Preserve in the upper Sixmile Creek watershed between Dryden, NY and Slaterville Springs and next to Hammond Hill. While there, we take a close look at a monarch butterfly and consider its life cycle and reasons for its serious recent decline.

Watch this episode this week on Ithaca’s public access cable TV channel 13 (or 97.3) at the following schedule, or right here online!

Ithaca Festival Parade, Cayuga Flyover, and Treeless Mountaintops

Ithaca Festival Parade

The Ithaca Festival Parade on May 29

This week’s Walk in the Park TV episode #50 starts off with the Ithaca Festival Parade by DeWitt Park in Ithaca, NY and other highlights of the four day event.

The Father's Day East Hill Flying Club flights pass right over Taughannock Falls.

Then we fly over Cayuga Lake in a small plane to look down on Taughannock Falls State Park and Ithaca.

Mont Albert, Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec

The summit of Mont Albert in Parc National de la Gaspesie on the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec is a remarkably flat and broad "tableland."

We visit a bird’s nest in a cliff, and finish off with visits to mountaintops in the Rockies, the Cascades, Adirondacks, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and the Chic Choc Mountains of Quebec.

 Watch it on Ithaca, NY’s public access cable TV channel 13 on Saturday and Sunday, June 29 & 30, at 10:30 a.m., or finally on Tuesday, July 2 at 8:00 p.m. Or, watch it online right here!

Some Winter Walks Near Ithaca

This episode (#35, recorded January 23, 2013) of Walk in the Park TV features a hike in the red pine forest on the Finger Lakes Trail in Danby State Forest south of Ithaca, NY; a stroll on the paths through the sculpture gardens in the F. R. Newman Arboretum of Cornell Plantations; walking the East Ithaca Recreation Way and the East Ithaca Nature Preserve; and finally a wintry look at Lucifer Falls from the Rim Trail in Robert H. Treman State Park. We also look at some photographs of Buttermilk Falls in the 1800s when a saw mill stood beside the waterfall. See it here below or watch it on Ithaca’s public access TV channel 13; next cablecasts: Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday at 8:00 p.m.

Copyright 2013 Owl Gorge Productions

Paper birch at Cornell Plantations, Ithaca, NY

Paper birch (Betula papyrifera) in the F.R. Newman Arboretum at Cornell Plantations

Watch the whole show here!

You can see all Walk in the Park TV episodes and short videos here.


Buckroe to Dismal Swamp

Gulls at Virginia Beach

Great black-backed gulls work the surf at Virginia Beach.

In this episode of Walk in the Park TV (#30, Nov. 28, 2012), we return to southeast Virginia, site of the earliest English-speaking settlements in America.  I show you Buckroe Beach in the City of Hampton on the Chesapeake Bay, the first beach I knew as a little kid. What was the unusual hazard discovered on this beach after its sand was replenished in the 1990s?

After a visit to Newport News, we go to Virginia Beach, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and False Cape State Park on the Atlantic Ocean, just two miles north of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. And finally, we follow a boardwalk in Dismal Swamp State Park just over the border into North Carolina, on the edge of one of the largest remaining lowland wetlands in the East. See it all online here

Or, if you live in the Ithaca, NY area and have a cable TV connection, you can see Walk in the Park during the next week on public access cable channel 13 according to the following schedule:

Thursday,  9:00 p.m.

Saturday, 10:30 a.m.

Sunday,    10:30 a.m.

Tuesday,    8:00 p.m.

It also is shown at other times as the station manager chooses.

See all my Walk in the Park TV episodes and short videos by clicking here.

Finger Lakes Fall from the Sky

In this episode of Walk in the Park TV, we go up in the air again with Bill Hecht’s dazzling photographs of the Finger Lakes at the peak of fall colors. See it here online!

We see Ithaca, Sixmile Creek valley, Buttermilk Falls State Park (including the effects of Hurricane Sandy), Cayuga Lake, Myers Point in Lansing, Keuka Lake, Bluff Point, Keuka College, Canandaigua Lake, Naples NY, the Hi Tor State Wildlife Management Area, and the Great Hill (or South Hill) at the south end of Canandaigua Lake, considered (and celebrated) by the Seneca Nation of the Iroquois as their birthplace. Great Hill is now a Finger Lakes Land Trust Preserve.

Bluff Point Keuka Lake Finger Lakes fall colors

Bill Hecht’s photo looking south over Bluff Point at the confluence of the East Branch and West Branch of Keuka Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region.

We fly over Cliffside State Forest in Schuyler County and Cornell University’s Arnot Forest in Tompkins County. We also go back to Ithaca Falls for a couple of short videos of the waterfall, fall colors, and fly fishermen in Fall Creek, set to music. And we reconsider a couple of maple tree species in the western United States, the bigtoothed maple in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, and the bigleaf maple on the West Coast, from California through Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and just into southeast Alaska. Join host Tony Ingraham in this scenery-packed episode of Walk in the Park (#26).

Click here to see all Walk in the Park TV episodes, or go to Tony’s YouTube Walk in the Park playlist .

Produced by Owl Gorge Productions at PEGASYS Studios, Ithaca NY’s public access television center, run by Time Warner Cable.

You can watch the show online right here,

Or, you can catch the show on Time Warner Cable public access television channel 13 in the Ithaca area:

Thursday,  9:00 p.m.

Saturday, 10:00 a.m.

Sunday,    10:00 a.m.

Tuesday,    8:00 p.m.

It also is shown at other times as the station manager chooses.