|Autumn in Finger Lakes Region in Upstate New York -
Part 1: Taughannock Falls and Watkins Glen State
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氣勢非凡的瀑布，飛流直下 215 尺，瀑佈如一匹白練懸掛在峭壁上，一片深秋景色， 視
Picturesque colors of autumn foliage at Taughannock Falls as viewed from Falls Overlook on
Taughannock Park Rd in Taughannock Falls State Park. It is a spectacular natural beauty in the village
of Ulysses near west shore of Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes Region in upstate New York, USA. It
drops 215 feet into the plunge pool in a rock amphitheater, is 33 feet taller than Niagara Falls and is
the highest vertical single drop waterfall in the Northeastern U.S. It is along Route 89 and about 8
miles North from Ithaca.
Map: Click here for interactive Google Map showing location of Taughannock Falls State Park
A detailed park map of Taughannock Falls State Park including Falls Overlook and hiking trails is
available at the following website:
We toured the Taughannock Falls in Taughannock Falls State Park in the morning of October 12.
Zoom in for a closer view of the sheer
beauty of Taughannock Falls, an incredibly
splendid waterfall dropping from sheer
towering cliffs into a natural basin. This can
be a deeply spiritual place for some visitors
to feel a deep personal connection to the
beauty of the nature.
It was a very windy morning such that the
water did not drop down straight vertically.
It seemed that a cold front was passing
through the Finger Lakes Region with very
Zoom in for closer view of colorful autumn foliage in the areas above the Taughannock Falls.
Zoom in on autumn foliage show near Taughannock Falls.
From the base of Taughannock Falls, the water flows through Taughannock Creek into Cayuga Lake.
About 40 years ago when I visited Taughannock Falls for the first time, a friend of mine, as a graduate student
in Cornell University, told me that in every spring season when the water temperature is right, huge number of
smelt fish from Finger Lakes move and concentrated into these tributaries, such as Taughannock Creek, at
night to spawn. On such special nights of massive smelt spawning run, many smelt fisher-folks in waders with
nets and flashlights are busy below the Taughannock Falls and near where Rt. 89 runs over the Taughannock
Creek at night to catch bucket full of sweet, silver-sided smelt.
They fish at night because that's when the smelt move upstream in great numbers to mate and to lay their
eggs. The everyday life of smelt is out in the open Finger Lakes, but they move into these streams for
spawning. The smelt run often coincides with the flowering of the beautiful yellow forsythia in early spring.
This is the parking lot and the entrance tunnel at the Lower Entrance (Main Entrance, East Entrance)) of
Watkins Glen State Park. It is located on Rt-14/414/ Franklin Street between 10th Street and 11th Street in
down town Watkins Glen, New York 14891.
Closer view of the Entrance Tunnel with stone stair steps at the Lower Entrance to go in and up. (Some
visitors start their tour from the Upper Entrance and is coming down and out of this tunnel to finish their tour of
Watkins Glen State Park).
峽谷石橋， 幽谷內大小瀑布十九處， 處處皆景， 妙趣天成。
The entrance tunnel opens to a grand stone archway, the Sentry Bridge, with views of wondrous
keyhole falls which is the first of the 19 cascading waterfalls in Watkins Glen.
谷中山泉瀑布， 水簾洞景，溪谷中清澈見底的溪水，層層迭迭幾個大小的瀑布下來， 隨
更增添了許多靈氣， 引人無限的遐思，婉如步入人間仙境， 感覺像是住了隱世仙人。
A jaw-dropping view of Rainbow Falls falling over the gorge's southern lip and permitting passage behind the
water, plus the view of pristine pools and Bridge in Watkins Glen. Sunlight falling into the gorge from this point
brilliantly explains the fall's name. Spiral Gorge is beyond the bridge and above Rainbow Falls. An awesome
hike with amazing views of the cascading waterfalls, pools, bridge and gorge.
A more artistic photo of this view can be seen at:
Vivid displays of autumn colors in the gorge and stands of pine provide green for contrast. Visitors
are rewarded with fantastic autumn colored views to remember.
峽谷 800 石階， 拾階而上， 繼續登上新高度！氣喘如牛， 對老林是個嚴酷挑戰， 不過
Zoom in on one of several sets of stone stair steps. In total, there are more than 800 stone steps to climb in
the 1.5 mile Gorge Trail in Watkins Glen. The elevation gain from the Lower Entrance to the Upper Entrance is
600 feet, equivalent to climb up to the top of a 60-story building.
We toured Watkins Glen State Park on October 12 which is not in the summer high season such that there
was no shuttle bus running between the Lower Entrance and Upper Entrance. Therefore, after hiking 1.5 miles
from Lower Entrance to Upper Entrance, the visitors have to hike 1.5 miles back to Lower Entrance, equivalent
to climb up to the top of a 60-story building and then climb back down.
In the busy summer season, visitors have the options of (1) going your way up the gorge and come back down
(for all the adventurous folks) or (2) going up by a shuttle ($3 per person) and then hike your way down. It may
take about 2 hours coming down (one-way) at a leisurely pace if the visitor stops all along the way to admire
all the beautiful scenery.
Similar to my recent experience of climbing up to the top of Diamond Head Volcanic Crater in Honolulu, Hawaii,
if you want to get cardiac hike for exercise, these are the right place to come.
Another bridge, waterfalls and more stone stair steps. The cool air and the 800 stone steps on the
Gorge Trail will paint your cheeks with some autumn colors of your own !
More views of colorful foliage in the gorge. You see the cliff hanging rocks on the side and sunlight
coming through the colorful leaves. And you get to see it again and again. It is breathtaking and
peaceful. Nature has so much to offer.
Twisted Spiral Tunnel and stone steps along the Gorge Trail
兩側峭壁，峽谷中清泉石上流， 瀑布， 數潭清水，組成了一個完美的畫卷， 而且還有中
Long stretch of level Gorge Trail along the cascading waterfalls tumbling into pristine pools in the gorge.
The Gorge Trail takes visitors for the thrilling experience to go behind the Cavern Cascade Waterfalls.
After the Cavern Cascade Waterfalls, the Gorge Trail takes visitors into this tunnel with more stone stairway
steps to climb.
Another tunnel along the Gorge Trail. The gorge was darkened by steep sides, and the moss and
lichen gave a magical quality to the light. A deep, cool, moist environment lush with healthy plant life.
You walk under some of the falls, as well as through tunnels.
數條清瀑玉帶，薄如輕紗， 懸崖絕壁上傾瀉而下， 流水拍擊著岩石，形成水霧，陽光在
The Gorge Trail takes visitors behind another waterfalls. The views at every turn were amazing,
whether it was a deep ravine with glistening pool of water, a 200-foot cliff, a spiral tunnel or walking
behind a rushing waterfall. Watkins Glen's beauty really blew us away.
Note the area is very humid, and most of the walkway was wet from dripping water so wear appropriate
footwear, be prepared for water puddles and overhead waterfalls.
深谷， 石階， 瀑布，清潭。
More cascade waterfalls and stone steps
More colorful foliage and stone steps in the gorge. It is a gorgeous hike.
層層疊疊的瀑布， 清泉細流， 意境非凡。
More cascade waterfalls and pools. Although 800 steps sound intimidating, once visitors get there and
invigorated by the fantastic views in every turn, they forget all about the steps and just keep going to enjoy
them all !
秋高氣爽，閒雲輕飄，紐約州手指湖區， 秋景如畫的自然風光， 沿路一幅幅絕色美景，
After finishing touring New England on the afternoon of October 11, 2012, we drove west from western
Massachusetts to enjoy a wealth of natural beauty in the Finger Lakes Region in upstate New York. The lavish
autumn foliage along the highway becomes overwhelmingly vivid while we were driving west. We arrived at
Ithaca at about the sunset time and stayed in a hotel in Ithaca for the night of October 11. We enjioyed
interesting buffet dinner in Wegmans Supermarket in Ithaca.
More beautiful multicolored autumn foliage along the way when we were driving from western Massachusetts
to Ithaca in Finger Lakes Regions.
After finishing touring Taughannock Falls State Park near Cayuga Lake, we drove southwest in the Finger
Lakes Region to Watkins Glen State Park at the southern end of Seneca Lake. The autumn foliage is very
colorful and beautiful along the scenic highway in the Finger Lakes Region driving from Taughannock Falls
State Park to Watkins Glen State Park. The leaves burst into flames of reds, oranges, and yellows.
Upper portion of Jacob's Ladder to reach the Upper Entrance of Watkins Glen State Park. Jacob's Ladder has
180 steep and spiral stone steps, as part of the over 800 total steps on the Gorge Trail.
The direction to drive from the Lower Entrance to the Upper Entrance is:
1. Exit Lower Entrance (Main Entrance), turn left into Franklin Street to go north for 7 street blocks
2. At 4th Street, turn left into Route 409 and go northwest for 1.6 miles. The Upper Entrance is on the left side
of Route 409.
Two more bridges and cascading waterfalls in the gorge.
After finishing touring Watkins Glen State Park, we drove west to Mt. Morris on late afternoon of October 12
to prepare to tour the Grand Canyon of the East in Letchworth State Park in western part of Finger Lakes
Region on the next morning. The spectacular autumn foliage show with the incredible reflections of this mirror-
like lake was fantastic while we were driving in the Finger Lakes Region from Watkins Glen State Park to Mt.
Mountains bursting into autumn colors along the highway while we were driving in the Finger Lakes Region
from Watkins Glen State Park to Mt. Morris in the late afternoon of October 12.
In this one-week autumn foliage trip in New England and Finger Lake Region in New York State, we did not
have to make hotel reservations at all. The use of Information Age Technologies, including GPS navigator,
smartphone, tablet, smarter car, cloud storage with auto sync, enables us to enjoy the one-week driving tour
with very flexible trip itinerary and lots of freedom without the rigid constraints of hotel reservations. We just
drive following GPS navigator according to our relaxed and leisure pace to enjoy the fantastic autumn foliage.
Details on how we use the Information Age Technologies in enjoying the flexibility and freedom in such one-
week driving tour are described on my web page at:
The photos and the stories from our tour of the Grand Canyon of the East in Letchworth State Park on
October 13 are at the following web page:
The photos and the stories from our tour of New England are on my web page at:
Romantic stone steps and bridge over the Central Cascade Waterfalls.
清凉的幽谷， 鮮明耀眼的深秋金黃色， 浪漫與寧静，景色絕美， 嫵媚動人， 這裡遊走
Breathtaking view of colorful autumn foliage, 200-foot cliffs, lush and scenic gprge and steep stone stair steps.
Seneca Lake is the largest of the 11 finger lakes that were created by the retreating glaciers. Over 10,000
years, the Glen Creek has sculpted this beautiful gorge. In 1.5 miles, the glen's stream descends 500 feet
past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 cascading waterfalls along its course.
Magnificent scenery! The park is absolutely beautiful. The centerpiece of the park is a 400-foot-deep (120
m) narrow gorge cut through rock by a stream – Glen Creek – that was left hanging when glaciers of the Ice
age deepened the Seneca valley, increasing the tributary stream gradient to create rapids and waterfalls
wherever there were layers of hard rock.
Map: Click here for interactive Google Map showing location of Watkins Glen State Park
We thoroughly enjoyed our hike through Watkins Glen. The gorge is fantastic.
The park features three trails – open mid-May to early November – by which one can climb or descend the
gorge. The Southern Rim and Indian Trails run along the wooded rim of the gorge, while the Gorge Trail is
closest to the stream and runs over, under and along the park's 19 waterfalls by way of stone bridges and
more than 800 stone steps.
Detailed park map is available at:
之美，密林深處聽那清泉小瀑布， 悅耳的詩篇，川流不息， 潺潺清泉濯我心， 別有一番
This is a must see natural gem.
It is fantastic! Bring your camera !
The 60-foot Central Cascade Waterfalls which is the highest among the 19 waterfalls in Watkins Glen.
Spectacular gorge, an ideal place for nature-lover and for the cool autumn air.
After we arrived at Ithaca at about the sunset time on October 11, 2012, We enjoyed watching the Cornell and
Ithaca College rowing crew teams in training on the sparkling waters of Cayuga Lake Inlet as viewed from the
lakeside in Allan H. Treman State Marine Park. We also saw many seagulls, Canada geese and other birds in
秋色高峰， 田野風光，漫山遍野， 一片金黃， 沿途盡賞滿山滿谷的風光。
Full immersion in autumn colors while we were driving in Finger Lakes Region.
A furious display of autumn colors from the abundant trees in the foothills.
深谷與溪流， 大自然的力量斧鑿出這樣的傑作， 構成一幅特有的景象。
Jaw-dropping views in the gorge.
Lower portion of Jacob's Ladder to reach the Upper Entrance of Watkins Glen State Park.