One of the most famous saying around here is:
ITHACA IS GORGES
It’s a pun on how many gorges are around Ithaca and just how gorgeous they/the city are.
Before we moved here, everyone told me Ithaca was really hilly. I will admit, I was a bit naive. In my mind, hills are tiny little gradual bumps in the horizon. The hills here are more mountain-like. I’m pretty sure my commute is more daring than my sisters, who lives in Vail, CO. I’ll gladly take these steep hills, because Ithaca really is beautiful. It’s especially stunning now that the leaves changed colors throughout the hills. Due to these hills and past glaciers, waterfalls and gorges result.
Rob and I have visited only a few of the 100+ waterfall/gorges located within 10 miles from downtown, with many on our “to visit” list.
Taughannock Falls (Tuh-GAN-ick)
Around Cornell’s Campus–sadly, too many (drunk) students jumped into the gorges so now Cornell has fences, making for not as pretty photos.
We have a lot more exploring of gorges to do, Buttermilk Falls and Treman Falls are next up on our list!
Once Rob defended and celebrated his thesis, he packed up the remainder possessions he still had in Madison and drove to my parents house. From there he and my parents came to Ithaca. We spent the very short weekend exploring the greater Ithaca area.
A little preface…my Mom is an amateur ornithologist, though I’m sure she is more than qualified to teach any ornithology class out there. She had been loyally watching The Cornell Lab of Ornithology BirdCams long before Rob and I even knew we were moving here. The birdcams showcased the great blue herons nest and the red-tailed hawks nest. So once she found out we were moving to Ithaca, she knew exactly where she was going first! It was a beautiful fall day to walk around Sapsucker Woods through The Cornell Lab of Ornithology paths.
We were fortunate enough to see some “wildlife” and even one of the blue herons she was following! Good thing Mom brought her own binoculars! Mom, made a few friends along the path that were also loyal birdcam viewers…how cute. They chatted about all the exciting events they witnessed on the birdcams..how cute.
The red-tailed hawks nest is located on Cornell’s campus so we drove around Cornell’s campus to the field hockey/soccer fields. Mom recognized the location immediately once she saw the light post she had seen from the birdcams. See what I mean, such a loyal mommabird.
We traveled to the other side of Cayuga Lake to a few wineries (so delicious!) and Taughannock Falls. It is the tallest waterfall in the northeast falling 215ft. That’s taller than Niagara (!) just not as wide/powerful. It’s about a mile hike in the woods along the gorge to get to the falls. At one point, Dad was daring enough to walk IN the gorge.
At the very end of the hike, we took a right turn and immediately noticed the way the sun hit the top of the falls, it was heavenly.
There is a great little “only known by the locals” gorge only 3 miles away from our house. Rob, Dad, and I explored below the fenced area while Mom was on the lookout in case anything were to go wrong. Dad ventured across the gorge just to prove he could, show off! ;)
It was great having my parents up for the quick weekend. Now they can visualize where we are when we talk to them and tell them of our adventures. :) Ithaca tours are available, just let us know when you’re coming!