State Park Day

Taughannock Falls State Park

Last week I finally went up to Delta Lake with the intent of purchasing my NY State Empire Passport. This passport allows day entry into most of New York’s state parks. Even if I was only going to the park near me it is a great deal but I was determined to visit many more parks throughout the state this year so getting the pass was a push in the right direction. The motto this summer is ‘No Excuses!’.

With all that being said Saturday was lining up to be my state park day. I didn’t have to work, I didn’t need to get either of the kids anywhere, and the weather was going to be just what I wanted… not too hot, overcast in the morning, and not raining. I loaded up the car and headed out about 5:30am to make my way down to Ithaca, NY. I have probably mentioned in the past, Ithaca is a city of waterfalls. There is also quite a few state parks around the city and some I have not visited since 2013.

I was going to start my day at Taughannock Falls. This park has a 3/4 mile trail along the gorge ending at the iconic 215 foot high waterfall. On my previous visit I ignored the overlook area and went straight for the trail. This time I started at the overlook which provides a great view of the gorge and waterfall.

From Above Nikon D7100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1s, 70mm, f/16, ISO 100

From Above
Nikon D7100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 1s, 70mm, f/16, ISO 100

The hiking trail along the gorge is my favorite part of this park. I do love the waterfall reward at the end of the trail but all the small waterfalls and interesting areas on the way are what I come to photography. All those images will have to wait for another post. Here is another of the waterfall from the end of the hiking trail. The overcast day and the previous nights rain help bring out the color of the foliage and moss on the gorge walls.

End of the Line Nikon D7100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 0.6s, 24mm, f/20, ISO 100

End of the Line
Nikon D7100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, 0.6s, 24mm, f/20, ISO 100

After I was done burning off my breakfast at Taughannock Falls I headed over to Buttermilk Falls State Park. The gorge trail at this park is fantastic! It is a challenging hike but also so full of image opportunities it takes me forever to walk it! And to end my day I stopped at Chittenango Falls State Park as I worked my way home. Almost a full 12 hours of exploring (and driving). I can tell already that I am going to feel it in my legs today, but that is a good thing. I’ll get more pictures of my adventure posted soon…

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10 responses to “State Park Day

    • It sure does Carol! More than I knew until I started photographing it. Sad to say I lived here all my life and I am seeing it for the first time.

    • Thanks Scott! The portrait pic was with a circular polarizer but by the time I hiked to the falls I needed a 3-stop ND. I have a 2-8 stop variable ND but still have my eye on one of those 10-stop filters like you mentioned in a post. I always end up playing with everything to get the “look” I want in the water.

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