A Sure Sign of Winter: Trail Closures

It’s icy and cold in the Finger Lakes again (starting to look like the prior season’s picture above), which means it’s time for the park to close sections of the North and South Rim Trail. Specifically, the south segment from the base parking lot to the junction with Gorge Road, and the north segment’s bottom staircase. The stairs to the lower part of the overlook are closed, too.

If you’re a rim trail hiker, use the road on the bottom half of the south side, and the alternate route signs on the north side will take you on the campground access road to circumvent the stairs.

Happy winter hiking!

Cooler Temperatures at Taughannock

Yesterday’s cold front took summertime temperatures away from the Finger Lakes region, at least for the foreseeable future! The cooler temperatures this morning provided the perfect crisp backdrop for a leisurely walk around the rim trail.

Looking toward the lake from the north rim, you can almost imaging the vibrant colors that’ll soon be out in full force. The yellows and oranges are starting to pop through the canopies, overlooking a fully and happy Taughannock Creek.

I enjoyed seeing people fishing just beyond the Route 89 bridge, too. It must be a fantastic time of year for fish to explore upstream from the junction with Cayuga Lake.

Taughannock, Post-Florence

Hurricane Florence wreaked havoc as it came ashore over the weekend, dropping tons of water as it arced slowly toward New York State. When the National Weather Service warned of potential flooding overnight as remnants of the storm passed over the area, I made plans. My morning run would definitely be at Taughannock, camera in hand.

The overnight rains were not as heavy as forecasted, and by the time 7:30 rolled around, no more rain was falling. As I pulled into the parking lot under gray skies, I noticed I was all alone. No other hikers were there yet, at least at the top trailhead.

From the upper falls bridge

As I began my run I heard the thunder of water over the upper falls. Definitely not as much flow as I’ve seen in the past, but beautiful and powerful nonetheless.

Vibrant color, trailside

I enjoyed a somewhat leisurely run around the rim and base trails, focusing more on looking around me than looking at the pace on my watch. When I’d reached the base of the falls I sat on the bridge and took the opening video of this compilation.

After I’d completed the base trail round-trip and started back up the South Rim, the sun peeked through the clouds to the east, lighting up the gorge walls to my right. It was the perfect way to start off the day!