Watkins Glen, NY Day 3 Waterfalls

July 22, 2023 We slept in and Bob made his usual Sunday breakfast this Saturday morning. We will be on the road tomorrow as we have been on many Sundays, so we enjoyed it today. We did our usual morning routine and got ready to make a road trip looking for waterfalls today. It was a gorgeous day with sunshine and temps in the low 80’s. We left the campground at 10:30 and took the back roads into town to get to the post office to mail some letters. As we drove back to Highway 414 to get out of town, we stopped at a stop sign and waited while a couple hundred motorcycles drive by.

At first, we just thought a group of bikers were taking a drive together, but the motorcycles kept coming . . . and coming . . and coming.

We must have waited 10 minutes for all the bikers to go by with a police escort. It was part of the 16th Annual 100-mile motorcycle ride through the Finger Lake Region to benefit servicemen and women deployed overseas.

All proceeds go to the USO at Fort Drum to continue to support the troops. We finally we able to go on our way up the east side of Seneca Lake on Scenic Byway 414. It was a pretty drive above the lake. Seneca Lake is the largest of the 11 Finger Lakes.

We were looking for the roadside waterfall located near the town of Hector. Hector Falls is a 250 ft. combined cascading waterfall.

From Hector Falls, we hopped on Highway 79 to 227 to Taughannock Falls. Taughannock Falls lies within Taughannock Falls State Park.

We started out at the Upper Falls Overlook where we didn’t need a park pass to stop.

The Upper Falls Overlook is two-tiered. From the top level you get a fantastic view of the falls that plunge 215 ft. past rocky cliffs that tower 400 ft. above the gorge. This is one of 8 gorges in the Finger Lake area. Watkins Glen is the other one we’ve visited on this trip.

We walked a few steps down the the lower tier and we could see below in the gorge itself. There were many people down near the base of the waterfall on the Gorge Trail.

We sat there for awhile in awe of what we were looking at and decided we needed to get down to the base ourselves. We discovered we could drive to the Lower Falls parking lot and take the short 1 mile hike to the base of the falls.

We drove to the lower entrance and paid our $9 fee to enter the park.

We found a parking place in the lot across the road from the park entrance. Before crossing the road, we looked at the stream of water from the falls that joins the Cayuga Lake. We could see a definite line of color where the river enters the lake. What a color difference!

We began to walk the Gorge Trail from the parking lot and followed the creek on a wide, fairly level path. The easy trail is 1.8 miles out and back.

This trail passes a 20-foot cascade know as the Little or Lower Falls before you reach the main falls.

Many people use this area for swimming or jumping in the pool, but it is prohibited. We did see people walking on the dry bedrock. The river bed is full of water pockets.

Most of the path was shady as it followed the course of the river into the gorge.

We arrived at the bridge to cross the river and get to the observation deck at the base of the falls.

From the bridge, we got a great view of the falls from the bottom of the gorge. We did not walk to the end of the path as we have been here before.

From there, we could look back at the Upper Falls Overlook where we first stood and looked at the waterfall.

Many people walked back through the river to cool off. We took the trail back.

We passed people on the trail walking their greyhounds. First one, then two, then more. It must have Greyhound Day. They walked the dogs in the water to let them cool off and get a drink.

We made it back to the Jeep and were tired, but we must have gotten in our 10,000 steps today and yesterday with all the walking we did. We returned to town via Highway 279 and had a good view of Seneca Lake from above. Once we returned to the campground area, we stopped at the pier and beach access area to watch everyone enjoying the day on the water—boaters, swimmers, kayakers, and paddleboarders.

We got back to the campground around 1:30. We had a few things that we wanted to get done this afternoon. I gave Bob a haircut. Bob and I gave Auggie a trim. I did three loads of wash. Bob washed the Jeep. We got things put away for our departure tomorrow. Auggie and I took a walk in the park by the lake after dinner, while Bob prepped the motorhome for tomorrow’s drive. There were 5 boats spending the night at anchor on the lake and it was a beautiful night for that.

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