Pronounced Tuh-GA-nick, Taughannock falls carves a 400 foot deep gorge through layers of sandstone, shale and limestone that were once the bed of an ancient sea. With a 215 foot plunge, this waterfall stands three stories taller than Niagara Falls.
By happenstance, Doug and I came across Taughannock falls yesterday while on a road trip. I was looking for a restroom and we followed the signs to the State Park since it was only 1 mile off the main road we were traveling, Route 89.
The bathroom was acceptable. Relief. I could think better now. We noticed other cars in the parking lot and many intrigued people, bent on seeing something. We decided we’d check it out on the return trip home. We did.
We had no idea Taughannock water falls existed. Not a clue about its prestige. We were completely oblivious of the State Park and the work done so people could enjoy it.
A short path led to a viewpoint where the 215’ waterfall could be seen in the distance. It was quite lovely. The abyss was impressive and we could see tiny people walking around down at the falls. But we couldn’t figure out how they got there.
A fence separated us from the cliff edge and we decided to follow the fence. After about 10 minutes of walking it was apparent we weren’t close to an outlet down into the gorge, unless they had an elevator somewhere. All we could see were steep cliffs.
I asked an approaching woman about the trail. She explained we had to drive to Lake Cayuga where there was an entrance into the gorge. We had no idea a lake was nearby.
She said, “If we walked another 6 minutes, we’d come upon a nice modest water fall.” So we did. It was nice and modest.
The fence however continued so we decided to continue following it.
Finally, after about 40 minutes, we could see across the abyss and spot the viewpoint where we stood earlier. We also saw in the far distance a lake. We met with a quandary. We didn’t really know if the fence would continue all the way around the gorge. We didn’t know if we could make it back to the car by dark. We didn’t bring water. So we asked another gentleman who was walking his dog.
“Oh yes, the hike/fence goes around but the part you haven’t walked yet has steep parts. You have to walk down steps to the entrance near the lake and then walk back up steps, which can be difficult.”
Doug encouraged me, “We can do it.”
Sure enough the first woman we spoke to soon approached us again. She had circumvented the entire gorge. “Ah, it was possible,” I greeted her. I told her we just realized the hiking path was a complete circle. She said, “I told you that the first time I saw you.”
She probably did, but we didn’t understand. When we first saw her, we only could see what they call the North Rim. We only understood a fraction of the big picture. She was familiar with the whole hike because she lived nearby and hiked it regularly.
I told the woman to look for us in the morning in case we were still wandering around. She laughed and agreed.
Doug and I continued. We found the steps, made the descent and ascent just fine. We were amazed at the size of the oak tree leaves that had fallen to the ground.
After googling the falls this morning, I discovered the hike was less than 3 miles. Nothing to be afraid of at all. I recommend visiting Taughannock State Park if you are near Ithaca, New York.
From 21st Century Science and Health, “God, good, is self-existent and self-expressed, though indefinable as a whole. Every step toward spirituality is a step away from materiality and is a tendency toward God, Spirit. Material theories partially paralyze this attraction toward infinite and eternal good by a distraction to the measurable, flamboyant, and chaotic.
“Denying the claims of matter/energy is taking an important step toward the joys of Spirit, toward human freedom and the final triumph over the body.”