Cascadilla Gorge Trail

One of the most vibrant and beautiful waterfall spots that you can hike in Ithaca is the Cascadilla Gorge Trail. On our travels there, we parked on Linn Street, and this was very close to the lower entrance of the waterfall. As you walk up to the main lower fall, you will cross a little walking bridge which will lead you to a stair case that enables you to continue your journey up the trail if you are interested.

Walking Path And Bridge To The Cascadilla Gorge Trail
Waterfall By The Entrance Of The Cascadilla Gorge Trail
Close Viewpoint Of The Waterfall By The Entrance Of The Cascadilla Gorge Trail

This particular trail has a little bit of everything for everyone I believe. If you are not interested in doing the complete hike, you do get a nice vantage point of a gorgeous waterfall at the bottom of the trail. If you are a family traveling, and you do not know if you could do a whole hike, I do think that this stop is still worthwhile to see the waterfall by the entrance. If you are feeling more adventurous, I do highly recommend that you hike the 1/3 mile (.5 km) (each way) trail. The waterfalls and nature views are quite spectacular if you hike it in entirety. My husband and his mom did the whole trail, and they absolutely loved it!

Cascadilla Gorge Trail
Cascadilla Gorge Trail

The trail itself is a combination of a staircase/stone path, and is pretty easy to hike up. You will want to take note that the trail does get a bit steeper as you progress up the hike. This is also due to the fact that you are walking past waterfalls, and it can get slippery at times due to the mist of the water. When we traveled to Ithaca, it was in early October. At this time of the year, the weather can slightly fluctuate, but is generally just a little cooler then room temperature, and can get a little rainy at times. We packed both longer and shorter style pants/shirts, light jackets, rain coats, hiking boots, walking shoes, hats, sunglasses, and an umbrella. In the usual Northeast fashion, on our travels, we encountered a variety of weather conditions from slightly rainy days, to very sunny ones. On the day we visited this particular trail, it was warm and sunny outside, but it is always a good idea to pack for different conditions outside.

Cascadilla Gorge Trail
Cascadilla Gorge Trail
Cascadilla Gorge Trail

To provide you with a little history on the Cascadilla Gorge Trail, it was actually constructed in the 1920s, and the trail itself cuts through ancient bedrock and has six different waterfalls. Also, the 3,600 acre region is one of the protected natural areas of the Cornell Campus, and is managed by the Cornell Botanic Gardens. The ancient bedrock itself is made out of sandstone and shale, and the Cascadilla Creek has been slowly carving this gorge since the end of the last Glacial Ice Age over 10,000 years ago!

College Ave Stone Arch Bridge Cornell Campus In The Cascadilla Gorge Trail
Cascadilla Gorge Trail
Cascadilla Gorge Trail

Even though the trail itself is surrounded by the bustling city of Ithaca, you are truly immersed into another world filled with the relaxing sounds of the water rushing through the gorges. You may also find a variety of local plant life such as ferns, liverworts, and mosses that enjoy the damp low lit areas by the waterfalls. In the more sun lit areas you can find perennials such as zigzag goldenrod.

Cascadilla Gorge Trail
Cascadilla Gorge Trail
Cascadilla Gorge Trail

I highly recommend visiting the Cascadilla Gorge Trail, and if you enjoy waterfalls, you will really appreciate the fantastic views that are really local to this specific area and its history. Let me know in the comments if you have visited this region, and what you thought about it as well. I hope that you are having a wonderful day, and remember to click the like and subscribe button!

If you are traveling to the New York area, and are interested in hiking or viewing spectacular waterfalls, a book that I would highly recommend and also own myself is “Hiking Waterfalls New York.” This literature reviews a variety of hikes, from the famous Niagara Falls, to even more less known hikes, but spots that you will not want to miss! At the beginning of the book, I really like that the author categorized the trails from her favorites, best waterfalls for fall foliage, best gorge hikes, roadside waterfalls, best historical falls, and even waterfalls that may draw in more crowds versus less crowded waterfalls. There is also a very nice map that lays out where the locations of them are, and that can be an amazing tool when you are planning your trip. This is great so that you know how far of a distance you can expect to travel from where you are lodging, and you can really make the most out of your time and itinerary. With each hike and waterfall listed there is a full color photo, trail distance, difficulty, and even information about the actual surface that the trail is made out of in addition to so much more!

My personal copy of “Hiking Waterfalls New York”

For more information regarding this book, click on the Amazon Affiliate link below to learn more.

https://amzn.to/3OWsVkZ

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https://www.visitithaca.com/attractions/cascadilla-creek-gorge

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Ithaca Farmers Market

When we were visiting Ithaca New York, we knew that we had to find a spot that provided healthy fresh foods to keep our energy up so we could fully enjoy our travels in between all of our hiking adventures. Luckily, we did find that at the Ithaca Farmers Market. The address of this location is Steamboat Landing, 545 3rd St, Ithaca, NY 14850, and they do have a parking lot situated right next to the market which is awesome! I was also pretty amazed to find that it is by the Cayuga Lake, and we could see little boats in the water right behind the area.

Each time that we went to the farmers market, it was pretty bustling, and honestly I can see why. They had so many vendors with fresh produce, take out dishes, eat on site meals, specialty foods, and talented artisans as well. I really liked that all of the food was local to Ithaca, and they do require that the members are within a 30 mile range, so you absolutely know that everything is fresh. We were in Ithaca in early October, so we enjoyed fresh apple cider, donuts, and even burritos. Honestly it was all so good!

Ithaca Farmers Market
Ithaca Farmers Market

To provide you with a little history of the market, it first opened in 1973 as a spot for local craft people, food vendors, and growers to sell their items. The market had moved five times before it settled in its current location by the Cayuga Lake. It is at a location where steamboats used to dock, and was built entirely by volunteer labor to clean up any debris in the area. Today, it is a thriving community gathering place and has such a positive impact on the local economy in the region.

Ithaca Farmers Market
Ithaca Farmers Market

Around the market itself, you can find little benches to relax on, and we were grateful for the spot to eat our delicious burritos! We could see Lake Cayuga from our bench, and hear the soft music from local musicians in the background. This market had a magical feel to it with their delicious foods and gorgeous location!

Ithaca Farmers Market
Ithaca Farmers Market

Let me know in the comments if you have visited the Ithaca Farmers Market, and what you thought of it as well! If you like fresh healthy energizing food on your travels you will want to stop at this place. The local artisans were also very talented, and you will want to check them out for your home décor, or even just picking up a gift for someone special! Remember to click the like and subscribe button, and have a wonderful day!

If you are traveling to the New York area, and are interested in hiking or viewing spectacular waterfalls, a book that I would highly recommend and also own myself is “Hiking Waterfalls New York.” This literature reviews a variety of hikes, from the famous Niagara Falls, to even more less known hikes, but spots that you will not want to miss! At the beginning of the book, I really like that the author categorized the trails from her favorites, best waterfalls for fall foliage, best gorge hikes, roadside waterfalls, best historical falls, and even waterfalls that may draw in more crowds versus less crowded waterfalls. There is also a very nice map that lays out where the locations of them are, and that can be an amazing tool when you are planning your trip. This is great so that you know how far of a distance you can expect to travel from where you are lodging, and you can really make the most out of your time and itinerary. With each hike and waterfall listed there is a full color photo, trail distance, difficulty, and even information about the actual surface that the trail is made out of in addition to so much more!

My personal copy of “Hiking Waterfalls New York”

For more information regarding this book, click on the Amazon Affiliate link below to learn more.

https://amzn.to/3BzLmJh

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https://ithacamarket.com/

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Cabin View Alpacas Trumansburg New York

 

Cabin View Alpacas Trumansburg New York

In our travels around the Ithaca New York region, we knew that we had to stop at the adorable Cabin View Alpaca Farm! This farm is located about 24 minutes from Ithaca at 9435 Congress Street Ext in Trumansburg NY, on the west side of the Cayuga Lake.

Cabin View Alpaca Farm
Cabin View Alpaca Farm

I have always been obsessed with alpacas, and they actually originate from South America. They are smaller then llamas, and typically their fiber (similar to sheep wool) can be utilized in making woven and knitted items such as sweaters, scarves, hats, mittens, or even blankets!

Cabin View Alpaca Farm
Cabin View Alpaca Farm

The day we visited the alpaca farm, we scheduled a walking tour to see the sweet alpacas and even feed several of them! To start off the tour we went out to the fields to hang out with them in their own environment, and one thing that really stood out to me was that they really seemed to enjoy the area that they lived in. There were ample fields for them to enjoy, and they took turns in jumping up little hills and surveying the region. It was so cute, and my husband and I said that they each wanted to be “King On A Hill” overlooking their alpaca friends.

An Alpaca Enjoys Being “The King On A Hill”

After getting a very nice tour of the fields, we went over to another area with alpacas that were a little more senior and used to visitors and we actually got to feed them by hand. (When we purchased the tour on the day that we went, they did provide the food to give the alpacas. I think this may vary day to day on the farm with the feedings, so make sure that you check with them first before the tour if they are doing feedings that day, and which tours are available. I know they might rotate different tours, and they can be weather dependent as well. They did require you to book your tour ahead of time when we went, and I will link their direct site at the bottom of the post if you are interested in learning more.)

The Author Meeting A Friendly Goat
Cabin View Alpaca Farm

Our tour guide Robin was very kind and knowledgeable about everything related to alpacas, and the history of the various alpacas that they had on their farm. I really liked that it was a family farm, and she is continuing their legacy as well. Their farm has history dating back to the Revolutionary War when the federal government awarded land to soldiers as a payment for serving their country. Currently, the land that Cabin View Alpacas stands on is literally on the land that was awarded to the King family, who is their ancestors. They were also the very first to grow grapes on what is currently the “Cayuga Wine Trail” and the family had many livestock as well.

Cabin View Alpaca Farm

The Houseworths truly have a magnificent farm with so many alpacas that have won numerous awards as well. On their website they state “Cabin View Alpacas is a full service alpaca farm specializing in superior bloodlines for the continual improvement of the North American Alpaca Industry. We have an exceptional herd and continue to “up bred” for quality alpacas and fiber. We actively support the Cottage Industry Fiber Mills and will do our part to help the US Alpaca Fiber Industry develop to a sustainable market.” It is so amazing that they continue to build their family legacy with so many historical roots in our beautiful country.

Cabin View Alpaca Farm

We also enjoyed meeting their very friendly goats, chickens, and two cats “Thelma and Louise.” I absolutely love cats, so this was a bonus! On the day we went, they also took us through the barns, which were very clean and spacious for the animals. Since the tours may go inside and outside on the land, they did recommend wearing close toed shoes, which is understandable when you are walking around a farm.

Friendly Cat At Cabin View Alpaca Farm
This Sweet Cat Lead The Way To The Alpacas!

I highly recommend a visiting the Cabin View Alpacas, they truly have a beautiful home for their animals, are so knowledgeable and friendly, and you really get to see these adorable animals up close which is amazing. You will want to check out their gift shop before you leave as well because they have some really gorgeous alpaca fiber items for sale, and this material is so soft! Let me know in the comments if you have visited this farm before, and what you thought as well. I hope that you are having a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

If you are traveling to the New York area, and are interested in hiking or viewing spectacular waterfalls, a book that I would highly recommend and also own myself is “Hiking Waterfalls New York.” This literature reviews a variety of hikes, from the famous Niagara Falls, to even more less known hikes, but spots that you will not want to miss! At the beginning of the book, I really like that the author categorized the trails from her favorites, best waterfalls for fall foliage, best gorge hikes, roadside waterfalls, best historical falls, and even waterfalls that may draw in more crowds versus less crowded waterfalls. There is also a very nice map that lays out where the locations of them are, and that can be an amazing tool when you are planning your trip. This is great so that you know how far of a distance you can expect to travel from where you are lodging, and you can really make the most out of your time and itinerary. With each hike and waterfall listed there is a full color photo, trail distance, difficulty, and even information about the actual surface that the trail is made out of in addition to so much more!

My personal copy of “Hiking Waterfalls New York”

For more information regarding this book, click on the Amazon Affiliate link below to learn more.

https://amzn.to/3BzLmJh

Cabin View Alpaca Farm
Cabin View Alpaca Farm 

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Taughannock Falls State Park

One of the most interesting and truly magnificent waterfalls that we had the opportunity to see while visiting New York was the Taughannock Falls. We stayed in Ithaca, and it took us a little less then 20 minutes to get there (about a 10 mile drive) and the location is slightly northwest of the city. The falls are on the west side of the Cayuga Lake, and the address is 1740 Taughannock Blvd. Trumansburg NY 14886. (We went to the overlook and this is located at 2381 Taughannock Park Road, Trumansburg NY 14886. There is also a visitor center at the overlook.)

Taughannock Falls

We traveled in early October, and honestly that was a really great time to go. We did encounter a little rain on part of the trip, but overall the weather was pretty temperate. It was fairly warm mid-day, but in the evenings it tended to get slightly chilly, so we were glad that we packed light jackets and long pants.

When you are traveling to the Northeast in spring, summer, or fall it is typically a good idea to pack for both warmer and cooler days because we can get fluctuations in temperatures. Also, I recommend bringing a raincoat or umbrella because there are usually a mixture of sunny and rainy days. Since we traveled to Ithaca in early October, the leaves were starting to turn into bright colors with the green leaves and everything just looked very magical!

Taughannock Falls State Park

One really neat thing about going directly to the overlook and visitor center is that you will not have to travel very far to actually see the waterfall. You will see the visitor center to the left, and then there is a path to the right of that with a staircase that allows you to have an awesome vantage point without traveling too far. It is literally about a 2 minute walk to get to the overlook from the visitor center. When we were in New York, I had a pretty bad sprained ankle, and while I did walk down a couple flights of stairs on the overlook, it was awesome that it was not too big of a hike to see the actual waterfall. Also, I think this would make the area a great spot to visit for families or if you do not want to walk too far. (In addition to seeing fabulous views of course!)

Taughannock Falls

There are walking trails in this area as well if you are an avid hiker and are interested in checking that out. If you are hosting a get together or special event, there are pavilion rentals in the park. In addition to this, there are campsites and cabins in this area that overlook Cayuga Lake with a boat launch and beach for warm sunny days. If you are interested in checking that out, I will link the Taughannock Falls State Park website at the bottom of this page so you can learn more.

Taughannock Falls

When we walked up to the overlook area, we were absolutely completely mesmerized. The Taughannock Falls are the highest single drop waterfall in the Northeastern region of the United States, and is 215 feet (65 meters) tall! To provide you with more perspective, it is 33 feet (about 10 meters) higher then the famous Niagara Falls. The gorge walls that surround it are more than 400 feet (123 meters) on both sides. The rocks that have formed the falls are estimated to be created over 380 million years ago! These historic rocks that make this impressive gorge are sandstone, shale, and limestone. Over the last 10,000 years the glaciers retreating and process of erosion has actually created the Taughannock Falls. It is truly amazing to think about how these unique formations and gorges were formed.

Taughannock Falls

If you are traveling to the Finger Lake region I highly recommend a stop at this spectacular waterfall. It is truly a marvel of nature and it really just makes you appreciate our Earth in all her magnificence. Let me know in the comments if you have traveled to this location, and what you thought of it as well. I hope that you are having a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

The Author And Her Husband At Taughannock Falls

If you are traveling to the New York area, and are interested in hiking or viewing spectacular waterfalls, a book that I would highly recommend and also own myself is “Hiking Waterfalls New York.” This literature reviews a variety of hikes, from the famous Niagara Falls, to even more less known hikes, but spots that you will not want to miss! At the beginning of the book, I really like that the author categorized the trails from her favorites, best waterfalls for fall foliage, best gorge hikes, roadside waterfalls, best historical falls, and even waterfalls that may draw in more crowds versus less crowded waterfalls. There is also a very nice map that lays out where the locations of them are, and that can be an amazing tool when you are planning your trip. This is great so that you know how far of a distance you can expect to travel from where you are lodging, and you can really make the most out of your time and itinerary. With each hike and waterfall listed there is a full color photo, trail distance, difficulty, and even information about the actual surface that the trail is made out of in addition to so much more!

My personal copy of “Hiking Waterfalls New York”

For more information regarding this book, click on the Amazon Affiliate link below to learn more.

https://amzn.to/3BzLmJh

-Additional Related Articles

https://parks.ny.gov/parks/taughannockfalls

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Why You Should Visit The Cayuga Nature Center In Ithaca New York

The Cayuga Nature Center, which is located in Ithaca New York, is truly such an amazing spot to visit. It leads you into an immersive nature hiking experience with so much to discover on every turn. My husband and I were amazed that at this location they have a six-story treehouse, a waterfall, a historic main lodge that holds the largest public aquarium of the Finger Lakes, and a home for wild animals that have physical or behavioral problems that would make it difficult for them to survive in the wild on their own. I really respect what they are doing at this nature center, and that is why we knew we had to check it out!

The area was founded back in 1981 with the goal of providing nature education opportunities to the students in the area, and especially through their summer camps. In 2013 the center combined with the Paleontological Research Institution to continue expansion on the sites exhibits and programs.

Cayuga Nature Center

The address for this center is 1420 Taughannock Blvd, Ithaca New York 14850, and it is located by Lake Cayuga on the southwestern side of it. If you are staying the city region of Ithaca, you can expect about a 15 minute drive depending on traffic, so this is a really great day trip option from there. There is a parking lot as well right next to the main building (the lodge) as you drive up. There are also outhouses on location if you should need one.

Similar to most of the hiking adventures that we go on, there are several things that we did to prepare for a fun and safe experience. When we visited, it was in early October, so we wore long light pants, comfortable shirts, light coats, sturdy shoes, and sunglasses as well. In our bags we brought several water bottles, a couple granola bars, and some hand wipes. Please remember to be respectful of the land and make sure that you do not leave any waste behind, it is honestly up to all of us to make sure that we are taking care of our beautiful Earth.

Cayuga Nature Center
Cayuga Nature Center

After we parked, we walked past the main lodge building, and the path we were on continued to go up a hill, but you can also go off into other trails from here as well from the lodge. I was very excited to see some of the gorgeous animals that they were taking care of, and at the time we visited we saw a beautiful owl, two red foxes, and a vulture too! Each animal also had information listed on how they were found, and the ways they are taking care of them which was really sweet. I am glad that they were given this second chance at life since they probably would not make it in the wild. I was honestly surprised to see how many of these wild animals were once kept as pets, I think it is crucial that we respect these creatures and for the safety of them and for us humans not to keep them in our homes.

Cayuga Nature Center

For our hike, we went up the Gravel Trail. As you continue walking up this trail, you will see a magnificent six-story treehouse on the property called TreeTops. I highly recommend that you go all the way up this building, because it will provide you a spectacular view of Denison Falls a 21 foot (6.4 meters) cascading waterfall in the wooded gorge area. In addition to the waterfall, we were completely mesmerized at the beauty of the treehouse itself!

Cayuga Nature Center
Inside TreeTops At The Cayuga Nature Center
Denison Falls At The Cayuga Nature Center
Denison Falls At The Cayuga Nature Center
Cayuga Nature Center

This center has amazing educational programs and camps for children with a ton of resources. If you are a teacher, they also have virtual programs available for you with topics ranging from learning about the environment, to even discovering more about animals and their habitats as well.

I highly recommend a visit to the Cayuga Nature Center, and it is a fabulous place to explore nature, go hiking, and learn about various animals as well. Let me know in the comments if you have visited the center, and what you thought about it. I hope that you have a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

If you are traveling to the New York area, and are interested in hiking or viewing spectacular waterfalls, a book that I would highly recommend and also own myself is “Hiking Waterfalls New York.” This literature reviews a variety of hikes, from the famous Niagara Falls, to even more less known hikes, but spots that you will not want to miss! At the beginning of the book, I really like that the author categorized the trails from her favorites, best waterfalls for fall foliage, best gorge hikes, roadside waterfalls, best historical falls, and even waterfalls that may draw in more crowds versus less crowded waterfalls. There is also a very nice map that lays out where the locations of them are, and that can be an amazing tool when you are planning your trip. This is great so that you know how far of a distance you can expect to travel from where you are lodging, and you can really make the most out of your time and itinerary. With each hike and waterfall listed there is a full color photo, trail distance, difficulty, and even information about the actual surface that the trail is made out of in addition to so much more!

My personal copy of “Hiking Waterfalls New York”

For more information regarding this book, click on the Amazon Affiliate link below to learn more.

https://amzn.to/3cYVBfL

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https://www.cayuganaturecenter.org/

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Cayuga Nature Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why You Should Visit The Lively Run Goat Dairy In Interlaken New York

 

The Finger Lake region of New York is not only known for their delightful nature areas but for their gorgeous farms as well, and in particular the dairy farms. With this in mind, we decided on our trip in Ithaca to make a stop at the Lively Run Goat Dairy Farm and Creamery. If you are staying in Ithaca, it is about a 30 minute drive north of the city, and it is located on the western side of the Cayuga Lake.

 

To give you a little history of this farm, Lively Run Dairy is actually one of the longest running commercial goat dairies in the country, and they began their production in 1982 in New York pioneering goat cheese in the American marketplace. One thing that was pretty neat to learn about this particular establishment is that it is family run by the Messmer family, and they have really dedicated their lives to this farm creating quality products and an amazing atmosphere as well. It did not surprise me at all to learn that they have won multiple awards in the industry, including a first place win at the American Cheese Society Cheese Contest in 2017 for their Cayuga Blue cheese. Also, their Finger Lakes Gold Reserve had another first place win at the same contest in 2019!

Lively Run Goat Dairy
Lively Run Goat Dairy

On the day we went to this dairy, the weather decided to drizzle a little with rain, however, luckily the facility did have seating in covered areas and we ended up taking our cheese tasting to their covered porch. We tried a selection of their artisanal goat and cow cheeses, and we liked how knowledgeable their staff was, and they really walked us through the selections. In addition to talking about the cheese varieties, they gave us a really nice descriptive paper that went over more information about the cheeses as well and what foods may be complimentary with them. My husband’s favorite was the Lake Effect Cheddar which is a cow cheese that is aged at least 6 months and has a nice bold flavor with notes of nutty sweetness. Also, I really liked their traditional Greek-style Feta which they age for a minimum of 2 weeks in a salty brine, and it has a great crumbling texture to it.

Delicious Cheese Tasting

Cute Store Area At Lively Run Goat Dairy
Lively Run Goat Dairy

One other thing that we really loved about this farm is how we had the opportunity to feed the goats directly! As we were enjoying the cheese tasting, we noticed that their barn was indeed open, and there seemed to be people visiting the sweet animals as well. After inquiring more information about this, we did find out that they allow patrons to feed the goats, so we purchased some feed to go visit them and give them a treat!

Sweet Goats
Lively Run Goat Dairy
Feeding Goats At Lively Run Goat Dairy

As we walked into the barn, we noticed that the goats seemed very sociable, and were excited to see us! On one side, they had the adult goats, and then on the other, there were the younger ones as that were still growing. Their herd consists of a combination of Swiss Saanens, and also French Alpines. This farm gives them with a wholesome diet of local feed and forage, which really helps provide them with quality milk, and also character from the Finger Lake region. On the day that we went, in addition to the lovely goats, towards the back of the barn, we noticed two beautiful and elegant horses as well. One even came up to say hello to me!

Lively Run Goat Dairy
Sociable Goat At Lively Run Dairy
Lively Run Goat Dairy

If you are a cheese lover, or even just like visiting a beautiful farm, the Lively Run Goat Dairy is the perfect stop for you on your Finger Lakes visit. I can see this being a great location for a family outing and a wonderful spot for a day trip as well. I will link their website, and they typically have some neat events such as concerts and goat yoga that would also be additional fabulous activities to partake in. Let me know in the comments if you have visited this farm, and what you thought about it as well. I highly recommend it, and at the risk of sounding “cheesy” this is really quite a wholesome and perfect spot to check out on your vacation, or even if you are residing in the area. I hope that you are having a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

If you are traveling to the New York area, and are interested in hiking or viewing spectacular waterfalls, a book that I would highly recommend and also own myself is “Hiking Waterfalls New York.” This literature reviews a variety of hikes, from the famous Niagara Falls, to even more less known hikes, but spots that you will not want to miss! At the beginning of the book, I really like that the author categorized the trails from her favorites, best waterfalls for fall foliage, best gorge hikes, roadside waterfalls, best historical falls, and even waterfalls that may draw in more crowds versus less crowded waterfalls. There is also a very nice map that lays out where the locations of them are, and that can be an amazing tool when you are planning your trip. This is great so that you know how far of a distance you can expect to travel from where you are lodging, and you can really make the most out of your time and itinerary. With each hike and waterfall listed there is a full color photo, trail distance, difficulty, and even information about the actual surface that the trail is made out of in addition to so much more!

My personal copy of “Hiking Waterfalls New York”

For more information regarding this book, click on the Amazon Affiliate link below to learn more.

https://amzn.to/3cYVBfL

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https://livelyrun.com/

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A Day Trip To The Elmwood Park Zoo

 

One of our favorite local zoos in the Philadelphia area is the Elmwood Park Zoo. It is a very walkable and approachable spot, and many of the paths are wheelchair and stroller accessible. As a side note that there are slopes and hills in the park and paths, so just be aware of that as well. Personally, I really liked the layout of the area because it was very easy to navigate, and I could walk it pretty well, even with my current ankle sprain injury. Another factor that makes this location a perfect spot for a day trip is the ample free parking in a lot right beside the zoo itself, and they also do have restrooms on location.

Elmwood Park Zoo

The Elmwood Park Zoo is also the first zoo in the world to earn certification as a Certified Autism Center, and they accomplished this in May of 2018. This spectacular award is given by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), and is provided to unique organizations that completed a training and review process with the goal of better serving individuals with sensory needs and autism. This zoo does have a dedicated quiet space, and even planters with fidget spinners to keep guests occupied. They even provide quiet mornings that are available for guests to enjoy the zoo in a more relaxed setting before it opens to the general public. I love how inclusive this zoo is, and you can tell that they really try to make it a great experience for everyone.

Elmwood Park Zoo

To give you a little history of this place, Elmwood Zoo was founded in 1924 after a private landowner donated a small piece of property and a handful of white-tailed deer to the Borough of Norristown. After this exchange, it was run in the 1920s by the Borough as a division of Elmwood Park and some of its animals included raccoons, rabbits, monkeys, bears, deer, and even peacocks! Over time, the zoo expanded and also provided more natural exhibits for the comfort of the animals living there. The Norristown Zoological Society became an official non-profit organization in 1977, and then assumed control of the Elmwood Park Zoo from the Borough of Norristown. Currently, it is estimated that about half a million people visit annually, and even though they are always improving and expanding, it works to maintain much of its history as well.

Elmwood Park Zoo

On the day that we went, we were very excited, because not only were we going to see the magnificent animals at this zoo, we were going to feed giraffes as well! (You will want to check the website ahead of time for these feedings because they are only during dedicated times. We arrived about 20 minutes early to get in line for this, and we were glad that we did because it is a very popular event at the zoo. They have so many other neat events as well where you can feed different animals, and I will link their website at the bottom of the page, so that you can get the most up to date information for them. The events do change with the seasons and time of year.)

Elmwood Park Zoo
Elmwood Park Zoo

After we got in a line for the giraffe feeding, we started to go up to a platform where they were awaiting their snacks! We each were given some lettuce to feed them, and there were 3 giraffes waiting for us. They seemed to know the drill quite well, and they swooped in for their food. I was lucky enough to get a photo of them at the platform, and this was an experience that I highly recommend. They were so sweet, tall, and elegant, and I loved their big eyes and lashes!

Elmwood Park Zoo

After feeding the giraffes, we meandered around the zoo, and encountered a variety of animals. Some of the enclosures are outside, and you will find several inside as well as you make your way around the park. I thought that it was pretty neat that some are a combination with the visitors being inside, but the actual area that the animal is in is more opened up to the outside with shaded areas for them to enjoy as well. One region that was like this was the big cat area where you could see cougars.

Elmwood Park Zoo
Elmwood Park Zoo

Some of our favorite outside exhibits were of the prairie dogs (their area was called “William’s Prairie Dog Town” which was really cute), and also the porcupine areas. We were lucky to see one really up close! This zoo in particular has a focus on North-American and also South-American animals which is really neat.

Elmwood Park Zoo
Elmwood Park Zoo
Elmwood Park Zoo

If you are feeling really adventurous when you visit the zoo, they also have a “Treetop Adventures” area for families. While we did not do this activity, we did see a lot of people there, and it features over 50 challenge games and also ziplining that goes up to 50 feet above the ground in the trees of the zoo. Currently, it is Pennsylvania’s only ropes course with zip lines over animal exhibits. Reservations for this activity are required, and they highly recommend purchasing this online before you arrive. It looked like a really fun activity if you really want to get into the environment and see the zoo from different vantage points.

Elmwood Park Zoo

The Elmwood Park Zoo has so many amazing educational and volunteer programs as well. They have various field trip opportunities for schools, teacher resources, homeschool workshops, scout programs, distance learning programs, zoo camps, and so much more. If you are interested in learning about wildlife, I highly suggest that you check these out. They are also amazing for children and provide them with opportunities to really learn about the environment, conservation, and how we can help the animals that live in these environments. Honestly, I think at any age its a great idea to keep educating ourselves on how to impact our Earth in a positive manner, and each of us truly do make a difference!

Elmwood Park Zoo

I highly recommend this zoo if you are visiting the Philadelphia area. It really is a great day trip spot, and I would estimate that is takes about 45 minutes to several hours to go through it, depending if you stop at each of the exhibits. The area is really clean and well taken care of, and everyone there is very friendly and knowledgeable too! Let me know in the comments if you have visited this location, and what you thought of it. I hope that you are having a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

(This post contains affiliate links.)

I highly recommend the book “Hiking Waterfalls In Pennsylvania.” It specifically maps out where you can find waterfalls in each area and region of the state. If you are an outdoor adventurer, you will want to check this out!

My personal copy of “Hiking Waterfalls In Pennsylvania”

For more information regarding this book, just click on the link below!

https://amzn.to/3cVgadb

Elmwood Park Zoo

Additional Related Articles-

https://www.elmwoodparkzoo.org/

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Sheep Shearing Day At Fox Chase Farm

 

For the last several years, I have had a slight obsession with sheep. After seeing them meander around the roads in Iceland, and watching their athletic ability when climbing mountains, I have been in awe at their strength and sweetness. After a winter stuck inside (not just with the weather but with a severe ankle injury as well, for more on that I will link my post at the bottom of the page) I was excited to see that a local farm event was happening. Prior to visiting the Fox Chase Farm in Philadelphia, I did not know that there were any farms in our historic city. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were hosting a sheep shearing day in late April, and was excited to check it out!

Fox Chase Farm

Fox chase Farm is located in Northeast Philadelphia, and it is a 112 acre working educational livestock farm. It is open to the general public on specific days for different events and festivities. They actually coordinate with the Pennypack Environmental Center for these occasions, and currently they offer Wednesday night open houses, a 4-H club, gardening, and opportunities for visitors to both enjoy the events and even volunteer if they are interested in that. Some activities are free of charge, or sometimes are a ticketed event that usually runs from three to five dollars a person.

Fox Chase Farm

If we look into the history of this farm, it is a one of the survivors of farms that existed in Eastern Montgomery County and Philadelphia in the 18th and 19th centuries. The farm credits its ability to stand the test of time in its ways to adapt with the prevailing culture at various times. Another interesting fact about it is that in 2005 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Fox Chase Farm

In its beginnings, the original farm had the name “Stanley” and dates back to when William Penn granted the land to William Stanley himself. After that time, it was passed to the McVeigh family who had the property for over 100 years and established a homestead. To this date, it has been farmed continuously since at least 1762. In the early days, this place was a working farm under a Quaker family, an institutional dairy farm when it was purchased by the Friends Asylum For The Insane, a gentleman’s farm to grow fodder for livestock and later beef stock, and finally the educational farm that we see today.

Fox Chase Farm

It became an educational farm after the City of Philadelphia, with help of grants from the Federal and local governments purchased the property for public lands. As of right now, the farm is operated by the Philadelphia School District on a long lease from the Fairmount Park Conservancy. I think that neat thing is that the school district actually employs a resident farmer and an on-site administer to schedule school visits.

Fox Chase Farm
Fox Chase Farm

Luckily, on the day that we went to visit, the weather was pretty mild. (In Pennsylvania and many areas in the Northeast, in the spring it tends to fluctuate a little with somedays getting to the freezing mark, while others may feel like the middle of summer. For this reason, when you visit the area, I suggest bringing a variety of clothing items that way you will be prepared for this. After April, we rarely get snow storms, but it has happened on occasion.)

Sheep At Fox Chase Farm

As we walked on the path leading into the farm, we were immediately enchanted with the beauty of the area. It very much feels like an expansive farm on a country side, and you can tell that it is very well maintained and cared for. We noticed that there was a variety of livestock on the farm in addition to the sheep, such as cows, chickens, and goats. They had the indoor farm area open that day as well, so we did happen to encounter baby goats which were very sweet. In addition to the main event of sheep shearing, there were a lot of family and farm related activities available as well. They had potato sack races, crafts, hayrides, live music, a food truck, a bake sale, candle dipping, spinners and weavers wool carding, and even a Stone-Age tool making demonstration. This place really went all out, and it was a very lively festival.

While exploring the lands, we noticed a crowd gathered with excitement as the sheep shearing demonstration began. We actually were lucky and found a spot directly next to the sheep and goats by the event. The gentleman went over the process of sheep shearing with ease, and I was amazed how quickly he managed the whole process. I believe once he started to shear, he had taken off all the wool in less then five minutes. I did manage to get a photo of the wool after, and I must say, it looked beautiful. I think that the sheep also must have felt a sense of relief and lighter after as well. While the spring days are mild, the Pennsylvania summers can get quite hot, and I do not think that the sheep would enjoy keeping that thick coat on.

Sheep At Fox Chase Farm
Beautiful Wool Sheared From A Sheep

If you are traveling to the Philadelphia area, and want to learn more about farming, or even just having a fun day trip, I highly suggest checking out the Fox Chase Farms and one of their festivals. This may require a little planning before you go, because they tend to have their events on certain dates, so I will leave a link for their direct website so you can see what they are doing in the future. I think that this is a great place for families to visit, although I think anyone would enjoy seeing the gorgeous farm land and sweet animals.

Cows Take A Nap At Fox Chase Farm
A Goat Takes A Stroll At Fox Chase Farm
Baby Goats At Fox Chase Farm
The Author And Her Husband Enjoying The Fox Chase Farm!

Let me know in the comments if you have visited the Fox Chase Farm, and what you thought of it as well. I hope that you are having a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

(This post contains affiliate links.)

I highly recommend the book “Hiking Waterfalls In Pennsylvania.” It specifically maps out where you can find waterfalls in each area and region of the state. If you are an outdoor adventurer, you will want to check this out!

My personal copy of “Hiking Waterfalls In Pennsylvania”

For more information regarding this book, just click on the link below!

https://amzn.to/3cVgadb

Additional Related Articles-

https://www.foxchasefarm.org/

Overcoming An Ankle Injury

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Shofuso Japanese House And Garden

Wissahickon Valley Park

 

 

 

Shofuso Japanese House And Garden

Spring is a magical time in Pennsylvania. It feels like nature is starting to wake up, warmer weather bring us into her embrace, and the branches of the trees dance with blossoms and sparks of green. In the Northeast, we typically have pretty long winters (even in the spring, we can fluctuate with colder days.) This winter was pretty tough on me personally (for more on that check out the article about my ankle injury, I will link it at the bottom of the post.) I felt like it was important to start to get out again in an outdoor setting, even in smaller steps.

My husband and I watch the news daily on PHL 17 (our local news channel, and one that I recommend if you are in or visiting the area) as part of our early wake up routine. One morning, we noticed that they did a really interesting segment on Shofuso, which is a Japanese House in the Philadelphia. We were immediately captivated, and made reservations to go soon after. As a side note, they are currently doing admission by timed tickets only, and depending on availability, they sell them in person as well at Shofuso. I would imagine that this may change in different times of the year, so make sure that you check out their website for the most up to date information regarding this (I will link this as well at the bottom of the post.)

Shofuso

To give you a little background on the history of this unique area, the meaning of Shofuso is “Pine Breeze Villa.” The Japanese architect Junzo Yoshimura designed it in 1953 as part of an exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art. The house was actually built in Nagoya Japan utilizing traditional materials and techniques. It was part of “The House in the Museum Garden” series that displayed three different types of structures that influenced mid-century modern American architecture. Shofuso was moved to Philadelphia Pennsylvania at the conclusion of this exhibit. Shofuso has also garnered accolades, and was named the third ranked Japanese garden in North America by the Journal of Japanese Gardening in 2016, it is a contributing structure to the Fairmount Park National Historic District since 1972, and was even listed on the respected Philadelphia Register of Historic Places in 2013.

Flowers Blooming At Shofuso
Shofuso

On the day that we went, we were really lucky, because the weather felt mild, and it was the perfect day to explore Shofuso and its amazing garden. One thing that we appreciated as we drove up to the area was how ample the parking was, and it was lined up close the the building as well. As we walked through the gate, we were ushered into a small line to confirm our ticket reservation.

While we were waiting, one of the sweet individuals that were working that day let us know where we could store our shoes before entering the Japanese House. There was a very nice rack that was lined with shelves that provided the space for the shoes. It is a way to keep the visit in Japanese tradition, as well as preserving this historic building. You will need to wear socks for this, so I recommend bringing them with you ahead of time. In the garden region, you will need your shoes again, so it is just in the house that you will take them off.

Shofuso

The building at Shofuso is so delicately beautiful, and each room is decorated quite nicely representing different areas of a home. You do feel like you are in another time and place (it is a 17th century Japanese house in style) and is simply tranquil and elegant. There is a deep respect for culture and you really are transported directly into it.

Shofuso
Shofuso
Shofuso

As you travel through the building, you will notice these gorgeous art designs that light up the middle of the house. These are the art murals that were created from the internationally acclaimed nihon-ga painter Hiroshi Senju who is actually one of Japan’s most revered contemporary artists as well. The mural is composed on decorative paper sliding doors known as fusuma, and Shofuso is the first place in the United States to house such a traditional art installation like this. I know that we felt very moved looking at it, and it fit perfectly in this peaceful place.

Hiroshi Senju Mural Paintings

After we walked through the house, we slipped our shoes back on so that we could explore the outside courtyard garden and pond with koi fish. The garden is so delightful, and the spring time colors were shining through. We noticed that you can sit down on the edge of the house so we did relax and just take in the views for a bit. At the time we went, they did sell food to feed the koi, so we were pretty excited about that!

Shofuso

Shofuso
Shofuso
Koi At Shofuso

The koi were so beautiful in their bright colors, and really seemed to enjoy this feeding time! We were surprised to see catfish joining in, so that was a very neat surprise. Off in the distance, we noticed turtles basking in the sunshine of the day.

Turtles Enjoying A Sunny Day At Shofuso
Koi And Catfish At Shofuso
A Catfish Enjoying A Snack

If you are traveling to Philadelphia, or even just live in the area, I highly recommend that you visit Shofuso. It is an amazing area to appreciate the beautiful Japanese culture, architecture, art, and enjoy a spectacular garden. Let me know in the comments if you have traveled here before and what you thought about it as well. I hope that you are having a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

(This post contains affiliate links.)

I highly recommend the book “Hiking Waterfalls In Pennsylvania.” It specifically maps out where you can find waterfalls in each area and region of the state. If you are an outdoor adventurer, you will want to check this out!

My personal copy of “Hiking Waterfalls In Pennsylvania”

For more information regarding this book, just click on the link below!

https://amzn.to/3cVgadb

Shofuso

Additional Related Articles-

https://japanphilly.org/shofuso/

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Overcoming An Ankle Injury

(In this post, I talk about medical terms, ideas, and treatments. I am not a doctor, and this is not medical advice. If you have medical questions, please contact your own physician. This is just my story and things that have helped me in my journey.)

Last Autumn, I was really excited. I mean really really excited. While the blog was pretty new, I felt like I had finally found a way to make a career out of writing, and also had an opportunity to share travel stories, advice, and pieces of inspiration as well. I started to research fun places to share with you all, spots that I believed you would really like if you were traveling to the Northeast. Then, something unthinkable happened to me, I fell down a hole!

I was not looking to jump straight into a groundhog hole that was so deep, when my left leg went in, I could not touch the bottom. In the moment right before, I was pretty darn happy. With glee in my heart, I ran to a tree, and without even realizing it, my body had hit the ground so fast that I did not know what happened to me. The pain I felt from the fall was very intense, and when I looked down at my hands, I saw that in my nails, there was dirt crusting under each one. Since the whole thing happened so fast, my body had slammed into the ground.

Moments later, I hobbled back to the car, and while the pain kept increasing steadily, my foot began to swell a little. My hopes dwindled even more after we got home from this nature (farmland) setting. (While prior to this trip I was extremely excited to write about this location, I never did for obvious reasons, so you will not find a mention of it on this blog now or ever.)

As a couple more hours passed, my foot became so big, that you could not notice leg from ankle. It looked like a large block was stuck off of me, and the pain kept increasing. Since it was a little later in the evening, we decided to make a trip to a local health facility that was still open. They immediately looked at my ankle, and sent me for x-rays. The x-rays did not come back with any broken bones that they could see, so they sent me home and said to see a doctor if it got worse over the next week.

A couple days later, my ankle was not improving at all. It actually was expanding even more, and now with a purple color on it! I went to my primary doctor in crutches (my husband had an injury several years prior.) Since this was last year (autumn 2021) with the hit of Covid-19, apparently I was incredibly lucky that I even had them, because right away the nurses were impressed and expressed a sense of relief. They said that they were really low on crutches, and the supply chain was slow getting items to the facilities.

While marveling at this crazy year we have all had, the doctor came in, and she told me that it was important that I go to an orthopedic specialist right away. She did not think it was normal that the pain kept going up and up. With a referral in hand, I immediately made my appointment.

About a week later I arrived at my first orthopedic appointment. The doctor took a quick look at my foot, and told me to start physical therapy, and the next time I would see him, I would be as good as new! This brought a sense of hope to my heart, and I became slightly optimistic.

Unfortunately, after a couple months of therapy, even though my swelling became less, the pain had not subsided. My heart felt heavy, and I made my way back to my orthopedic specialist. They ordered an MRI, and said that surgery may be in my future. I scheduled the MRI, which would be another three weeks later. After I received the results that I had a severe sprained ankle, a fracture, and many other smaller things, I decided to look up more orthopedic specialists in my area. I felt that my injury was pretty significant, and this was impacting my life in a major way. I wanted to find someone that would be really good in their field.

A couple weeks after my last visit with the first orthopedic specialist, I met with a new one. She seemed very nice, and she thought that I should try out a boot for my foot (up to this point I was in a brace.) I was excited to try something new as well, and I became hopeful again.

I slowly started to visit with friends again (very short walks, usually out to eat or to visit at a house) and that was very nice. While large and unwieldly, the boot made it was nice to go outside again. Unfortunately, my ankle was still in pain.

On the next trip to the doctor, they recommended a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) treatment for my ankle. It is a newer, more experimental procedure, but they said it had the potential to help with healing growth in the area. They basically took my blood, and made a concentration of platelets to reinject into the ankle to help the cells repair the area. I made an appointment for a month later, and we would see how well it would heal.

Initially, after the treatment, I stayed off my feet as much as possible. I wanted to give the treatment the best chance it had to succeed. The pain did go up even more, and I assumed that it was part of the process. After two weeks, with my left foot and ankle being in severe pain and turning a blue shade, I made an emergency visit to the doctor. In addition the the regular injury site, I now had pain that traveled up to my knee.

The doctor said that there was potential that I had CRPS from my initial injury (complex regional pain syndrome) and sent me for physical therapy again, with a focus on this. We made another follow up appointment a month from that visit, and I really pushed myself through physical therapy. On a positive note, the pain that traveled up my leg was going away a lot with treatment, and I felt stronger, but the pain persisted in my ankle.

At my next appointment, the doctor said she was happy that the CRPS was starting to go down, and said she wanted to me to have a full three months to give the PRP treatment a chance, and sent me back to physical therapy. She said that perhaps the next appointment, I can do another MRI and we will talk about more options.

More Active Days Exploring Acadia National Park In Maine With My Husband

This leads me to today with you all, and writing this post. This injury has really impacted my life in a lot of ways, and I honestly can not deny this fact anymore. I was a competitive athlete in my youth and early twenties, and eventually even trained others as an athletic coach in my late twenties, early thirties (I am now thirty four.)  When Covid-19 hit, my facility shut down for a long time. With these circumstances, I started to pursue my dream of writing with the extra time on this blog. I went from being extremely active to not walking at all for significant amounts of time. I have to say, it is shocking to me that I spent years in a high impact sport without major injuries, and yet it was a hole in the ground that got me.

Right now, I can walk a little more (usually 5-7 minutes) and then I need to rest up a bit. The good thing is that after a minute or two I can usually go another 5-7 minutes, but I would love to be able to get back to normalcy in life and be able to do my day to day activities without significant pain. I honestly felt a little nervous about sharing all of this, but I know that there are other people probably going through the same thing, and maybe this can help in some way.

Some ways that I have remained positive were making progress charts, keeping detailed medical records, doing my best to implement plans from my doctors and physical therapists, writing, journaling, working, listening to optimistic music, reading (I will link one of my favorites at the bottom of this post), talking to family and friends, and knowing that every movement forward is indeed something to be really grateful for.

Our mindset and outlook are very important in the whole realm of health, and just celebrating even the small victories are so important. If you have or are dealing with an injury or anything like that, just know that you are not alone. Personally, I know it can be tough to tell others about things like this, but it is totally okay to have a supportive network and community. Keep talking to your doctors as well, and if you feel like something is up, make sure that you let them know. It is a good thing to advocate for yourself and your health.

So if you take away anything from this, please, please, please do not run into groundhog holes! (Just joking, but seriously look out for stuff like this especially if you are walking in a rural area that is new to you.) In all seriousness though, we are all going through different things, and I hope that this post helps keep your perspective in an encouraging light. Remember, any progress is indeed progress!!!

I hope that you all are having a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

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Why You Should Visit The Fall Creek Suspension Bridge In Ithaca New York

The Fall Creek Suspension Bridge, which is located in Ithaca New York, is a must visit if you are traveling to or live in this beautiful and picturesque area. It is situated right by Fall Creek Drive (the address is 310 Fall Creek Drive, Ithaca NY, 14850), and it is also within the range of the very well known and established school of Cornell University.

The Fall Creek Suspension Bridge In Ithaca New York

On the second day of our travel adventure in Ithaca, we were really excited to check out this unique bridge! To our amusement, it did start raining quite a lot on this day, but we definitely tried to embrace the conditions as much as possible. As we were traveling in mid October, we understood that we could indeed encounter a wide variety of weather conditions (usually not snow at this point) and we did pack our bags in accordance to this.

If you are traveling to the Northeastern parts of the states early autumn is usually mild, and you will experience warmer days, along with more chilly, cloudy or rainy type conditions. As a safe bet I recommend bringing a wide variety of clothing articles, and you will definitely want to take light sweaters, coats, sturdy hiking boots, longer pants/shirts, as well as items for sunny days as well. We also brought umbrellas too just in case. It is always better to bring a couple of extra items with you and be prepared that way you can feel confident on your travels!

With rain gently falling from the sky, we approached this bridge with a bit of caution. If you are afraid of heights, just as a heads up, this structure is about 140 feet off of the ground (almost 43 meters) and length wise it is 270 feet (about 82 meters.) We felt very safe on it, but it is also known to sway and bounce a little as you walk. I will say we did notice this a little, but we felt secure on it, and the views of the Falls Creek Gorge are worth it in my opinion. The waterfall itself is named Rocky Falls. This waterfall is 100 feet in width (about 30 meters) and has a 44 foot drop (about 13 meters.)  Next to the falls, you can see an adjacent hydroelectric plant which is utilized and operated by Cornell University.

View Of Rocky Falls And The Hydroelectric Plant From The Fall Creek Suspension Bridge

I was really grateful that we went in October, because the foliage and leaves were simply magnificent as a backdrop to the natural beauty in Ithaca and all of its gorges. A popular saying in Ithaca is that it is “gorges” which is a cute play on the word gorgeous.

A View From The Fall Creek Suspension Bridge

I highly recommend a stop at The Suspension Bridge, and it truly does give you spectacular vantage points from above a waterfall, and you almost feel like you are floating on air while you are looking at it! Let me know in the comments if you have also traveled to this spot and what you thought as well. I hope that you are having a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

(This post contains affiliate links.)

If you are traveling to the New York area, and are interested in hiking or viewing spectacular waterfalls, a book that I would highly recommend and also own myself is “Hiking Waterfalls New York.” This literature reviews a variety of hikes, from the famous Niagara Falls, to even more less known hikes, but spots that you will not want to miss! At the beginning of the book, I really like that the author categorized the trails from her favorites, best waterfalls for fall foliage, best gorge hikes, roadside waterfalls, best historical falls, and even waterfalls that may draw in more crowds versus less crowded waterfalls. There is also a very nice map that lays out where the locations of them are, and that can be an amazing tool when you are planning your trip. This is great so that you know how far of a distance you can expect to travel from where you are lodging, and you can really make the most out of your time and itinerary. With each hike and waterfall listed there is a full color photo, trail distance, difficulty, and even information about the actual surface that the trail is made out of in addition to so much more!

My personal copy of “Hiking Waterfalls New York”

For more information regarding this book, just click on the link below!

https://amzn.to/3cYVBfL

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Ithaca Falls Natural Area

On our second day in Ithaca New York, as the light of the day awakened us, we noticed that rain was starting to mist from the sky. Luckily, we had all packed extra light jackets and sturdy shoes in case if for some reason we did manage to hit arduous weather conditions. After we had several cups of coffee, bagels, and a pep in our steps, we were off for the day and ready to explore!

Located on Lake Street, it is actually easy to see Ithaca Falls right from the sidewalk by the road. You will find that there are two small parking lots where the Lake Street crosses Fall Creek. On the day we visited the area, we were lucky to find a nice spot on the upper lot. As you may remember from earlier posts, I had a pretty bad ankle injury (done prior to this excursion) so it was a bonus to find out that you can see the waterfall right from the sidewalk area by the road. We just walked from the parking lot to the sidewalk, and it was not too difficult of a journey to make it there.

Ithaca Falls

There is a warning as well if you are visiting the region that you will want to stay off the soil, rocks, and away from the water as the area at one time was used as part of a gun factory in Ithaca. It is currently classified as a Superfund Site and was found to be contaminated with lead. There is a walking trail by the waterfall as well that has been covered with gravel to protect people walking on it. On the day that we went, we did see some individuals fishing directly in the water, and I would highly recommend not doing this. Swimming is also prohibited in this area. I do think that this area is very beautiful to see and visit, you just have to take some precautions and stay on the sidewalk or the gravel walking paths.

Ithaca Falls Natural Area

Ithaca Falls is so magnificent and impressive to see. It stands over 100 feet tall (about 30 meters), and it is 175 feet at its base (about 53 meters.) If you are interested in taking a small hike on the gravel trail, you will walk from the parking area, and follow the path down to the small creek to the little park area. This trail continues through a little wooded area and the creek. During high waterflow or icy winter conditions, this path will not be able to be used, and in all hiking adventures, you must think about your safety at all times!

Ithaca Falls
Ithaca Falls

I highly recommend checking out the Ithaca Falls Natural Area, and the waterfall is a truly spectacular sight. If you are not a super hiker, you would also be able to enjoy this picturesque spot since you can view the area right from the sidewalk by the parking area without exerting yourself too much. Let me know in the comments if you have also traveled to this area before, and what you thought of it. (As a side note, this area is really close to the famous Cornell University, and would not be too far of a journey from there as well!) I hope that you all are having a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

(This post contains affiliate links.)

If you are traveling to the New York area, and are interested in hiking or viewing spectacular waterfalls, a book that I would highly recommend and also own myself is “Hiking Waterfalls New York.” This literature reviews a variety of hikes, from the famous Niagara Falls, to even more less known hikes, but spots that you will not want to miss! At the beginning of the book, I really like that the author categorized the trails from her favorites, best waterfalls for fall foliage, best gorge hikes, roadside waterfalls, best historical falls, and even waterfalls that may draw in more crowds versus less crowded waterfalls. There is also a very nice map that lays out where the locations of them are, and that can be an amazing tool when you are planning your trip. This is great so that you know how far of a distance you can expect to travel from where you are lodging, and you can really make the most out of your time and itinerary. With each hike and waterfall listed there is a full color photo, trail distance, difficulty, and even information about the actual surface that the trail is made out of in addition to so much more!

My personal copy of “Hiking Waterfalls New York”

For more information regarding this book, just click on the link below!

https://amzn.to/3cYVBfL

-Additional Related Articles

https://nyfalls.com/waterfalls/ithaca-falls/

Buttermilk Falls Ithaca New York

The Robert H. Treman State Park

The Sagan Planet Walk Ithaca New York

Northeast Allie Restaurant Review-Ithaca Beer Co.

 

How Writing Can Inspire You

Sometimes I think, maybe I am a bit vintage in my thoughts dreaming in a world of writing, hoping in some way that the words stand the test of time. My earliest memories of reading and writing were quite early, and I often found sanctuary and peace with a journal writing about nature, life, and the world around me. There was a certain joy in my heart holding a pen and large notebook near, while hearing the birds sing, and writing out stories for them and their interesting lives. I would find such light in my life exploring the thick forests, and finding delight in this pureness in the world.

Later, as I grew older, I was inspired by strong women authors such as Louisa May Alcott, and even her famous character Jo in Little Women. Jo had a voice of her own and stood her ground in a time that it was a revolutionary concept for a woman. In my opinion, I do believe that this author combined her past history into her book with reflections of her own journey with writing. This novel is a story of how a young woman finds her unique path in this world.

I think that we can all find wisdom in the writings of the past, but there are also so many current authors and poets that give courage and hope for the future. “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman recently became very popular, and proves that voices charged with a passion for life will always resonate and inspire us all, in any age. I encourage everyone to actually get involved with literature in some form, because you truly learn so much about others, in addition to yourself. That is the true beauty in this world.

I also think that it is good to explore many different style of writing, and if you have a great imagination, perhaps even Science Fiction or Fantasy such as “Lord Of The Rings” (by the famed author J.R.R. Tolkien) could be a fun style to work with. In writing, sometimes it can help to imagine a complete fantastical world where you can add many rich layers into your story.

The beautiful attribute about writing is that it allows one to take a moment and just be. You can find this peace when you take a moment and refresh your mind and soul by translating all of these emotions into words, and this can be rather cathartic and releasing. Whether you blog, write poetry, articles, books, or even journal, it is truly one of the healthiest things that we can do. In this manner, you can truly set your thoughts free into being. It is a dance swept up in the confirmation of beliefs, a hope that we can share our bits of wisdom from our own lives with others, and a willingness to learn about the unknown. The more that you write, the more that you know that you do not need to find your voice, because in honesty, it was there all along.

The Author, Allie

Strings of words that are drawn to our hearts sing as steps unto the soul. You may even find that as you take the time to write you might just become a little more inspired every day. This happens when we slow down, relax, breathe, and just be.

Let me know in the comments how writing has impacted your life, and what it means to you as well. If you are not too familiar with writing outside of a strictly educational setting, a good place to start may be journaling, and just reviewing your thoughts of the day. Poems can also be a great way to start to get more comfortable with this, and truly be unique to your experience. Of course the main part of writing is to stay inspired, grateful, and keep a twinkle in your soul.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this, and this particular topic is one that really means a lot to me. Remember to click that subscribe button, and have a wonderful day!

-Additional Related Articles

Green Spaces For Health

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Why It Is So Important To Spend Time In Nature

Actions To Get Out Of A Slump!

The Sagan Planet Walk Ithaca New York

Our first day in Ithaca New York was very bustling and we were all very excited to take in the views of this amazing place. After visiting several waterfalls and exploring nature for a bit, we decided to pop over to the city. The buildings in the city exuded an elegance and even though night was falling, it seemed the area was glowing. There were also many adorable shops lining the streets with interesting art displays and goods.

Ithaca New York
Ithaca New York
Ithaca New York
Ithaca New York
Ithaca New York

Right away, we noticed these really cool stone signs that depicted planet information, so we knew that we had to check out what exactly this was. After some research, we determined that we happened upon The Sciencenter’s Sagan Planet Walk. This walk was named after Carl Edward Sagan, the famed American planetary scientist, author, astronomer, and astrophysicist. Originally, he was actually an associate professor at Harvard, but later moved to Cornell in Ithaca New York where he spent most of his career as a David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences.

Ithaca New York

One of his most well known works was his contributions in research to extraterrestrial life, which also included experimental demonstrations on the productions of amino acids from basic chemicals by radiation. His is also very famously known for assembling the first physical messages into space via the Voyager Golden Record and the Pioneer Plaque. They were sent out with the hope that perhaps they could be potentially be understood by extraterrestrials that may find them. He authored so many prolific scientific books, and one of his best known is “Pale Blue Dot.” He also wrote a book in 1985 titled “Contact” which later became a movie in 1997. These are honestly just some of his accolades, but you can see why The Sciencenter decided to name this educational planetary walk after him!

Ithaca New York
Ithaca New York

The walk itself spans 3/4 of a mile (1,200 meters) so it is really not difficult to do in one day. (Since it was dusk at the time we discovered it, we did do this over several days, but on a nice day, this would be a fairly easy walk.) It literally models our own Solar System, and it is one five-billionth of the actual size. You should start this tour directly in the Commons in downtown Ithaca, and the first obelisk that you will see is the Sun. The walking tour does end up at the Sciencenter after you go through the downtown area. The Sciencenter is a hands-on science museum and would be a great stop if you are a family vacationing here or even just in the area. I really think its an awesome idea that they promote the sciences for children so that they can learn about engineering, weather, space, and our environment from a young age.

Sagan Planet Walk
Sagan Planet Walk

As we were walking the Sagan Planet Walk we pondered on how cool it was that it had the size of the planets and the distance between them is accurately scaled and displayed. There is also an audio tour that I recommend you do while taking the walk that is narrated by Bill Nye (AKA The Science Guy) and you can listen to it by calling in directly on your phone, or via computer, iPod, or mp3 player. When we did the walk we called in, and it was really easy. At the bottom of the page, I will link the Sciencenter directly, and you will find this audio tour and also maps too. If you are a teacher, there is also a great resource that you can download which is a very educational called “Passport to the Solar System.” It has so many cool facts about the planets themselves, and I can also see this being used for homeschooling studies, family trips, or honestly I just really liked reading it myself to check out some really interesting facts! Whatever age you are, it is always a great idea to keep learning about the world!

Sagan Planet Walk
Sagan Planet Walk

If you enjoy learning and having a bit of educational fun on your excursions, I highly recommend the Sagan Planet Walk. I can see all ages enjoying this, and it really does put into perspective how expansive, immense, spectacular, and truly beautiful our Solar System is. It is truly amazing that we have the opportunity to be part of it, and I think if anything else, that is a great reminder of that.

I hope that you all are having a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

(This post contains affiliate links.)

If you are traveling to the New York area, and are interested in hiking or viewing spectacular waterfalls, a book that I would highly recommend and also own myself is “Hiking Waterfalls New York.” This literature reviews a variety of hikes, from the famous Niagara Falls, to even more less known hikes, but spots that you will not want to miss! At the beginning of the book, I really like that the author categorized the trails from her favorites, best waterfalls for fall foliage, best gorge hikes, roadside waterfalls, best historical falls, and even waterfalls that may draw in more crowds versus less crowded waterfalls. There is also a very nice map that lays out where the locations of them are, and that can be an amazing tool when you are planning your trip. This is great so that you know how far of a distance you can expect to travel from where you are lodging, and you can really make the most out of your time and itinerary. With each hike and waterfall listed there is a full color photo, trail distance, difficulty, and even information about the actual surface that the trail is made out of in addition to so much more!

My personal copy of “Hiking Waterfalls New York”

For more information regarding this book, just click on the link below!

https://amzn.to/3cYVBfL

-Additional Related Articles

http://www.sciencenter.org/sagan-walk.html

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Carl-Sagan

Buttermilk Falls Ithaca New York

The Robert H. Treman State Park

Northeast Allie Restaurant Review-Ithaca Beer Co.

Ithaca Falls Natural Area

 

 

Northeast Allie Restaurant Review-Ithaca Beer Co.

 

Our first day in Ithaca, it was pretty exciting as we actually made it to see two amazing waterfalls and parks. After a long day of hiking and checking out the area, we found a really nice relaxing spot to visit, and that was the Ithaca Beer Co.

Even before we visited this unique brewery, my husband has been a huge fan of their beer for years. It is very well known across the East Coast of the States, and the facility literally produces about 20,000 barrels of beer each year. They have won many awards, and their delicious Flower Power IPA has been recognized as one of the “25 Most Important American Craft Beers Ever Brewed” by Food & Wine Magazine.

The location is seriously gorgeous as well, and Ithaca Beer Co. is located on a farm right outside of the city by several state parks. The brewery was founded in 1998 by Dan Mitchell and is actually a family run operation which is amazing. “Dan’s passion for food and family stems from his Chilean upbringing and was the driving force for the farm to table restaurant. The restaurant was designed to be a place for all to gather and enjoy a pint of beer surrounded by the beautiful agrarian landscape.” I will leave a direct link to their website at the bottom of this page so you can check out more information about this company, and also set up a reservation for when you visit. (If you are in Ithaca this place is a must visit.)

Ithaca Beer Co.

As we walked up to the Ithaca Beer Co. we were amazed at the gorgeous layout of it, and how nature was also a focal point and well incorporated. Right when we stepped in the doors we were greeted right away in a friendly manner, and we sat down at a table to check out the menu. I think all the hiking activities worked up our appetites and we ordered the Pepperoni Pizza and also the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich that had an amazing buttermilk chipotle marinade and chili spiced breading. The pizza also had a garlic woodfired sauce, pepperoni, and mozzarella with grated cheese on top. Beer was on the menu of course, but I was super excited to try their unique “Classic Craft Sodas” and the Root Beer looked pretty good to me! They make it using all natural cane sugar and spices. It was really refreshing!

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich At Ithaca Beer Co.
Pepperoni Pizza At Ithaca Beer Co.
Root Beer Craft Soda At Ithaca Beer Co.

If you are visiting the Ithaca region in New York, this place is definitely worth a visit! As always, I am not affiliated with this establishment in any way, and all opinions in this post are my own. I hope that you are having a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

(This post contains affiliate links.)

If you are traveling to the New York area, and are interested in hiking or viewing spectacular waterfalls, a book that I would highly recommend and also own myself is “Hiking Waterfalls New York.” This literature reviews a variety of hikes, from the famous Niagara Falls, to even more less known hikes, but spots that you will not want to miss! At the beginning of the book, I really like that the author categorized the trails from her favorites, best waterfalls for fall foliage, best gorge hikes, roadside waterfalls, best historical falls, and even waterfalls that may draw in more crowds versus less crowded waterfalls. There is also a very nice map that lays out where the locations of them are, and that can be an amazing tool when you are planning your trip. This is great so that you know how far of a distance you can expect to travel from where you are lodging, and you can really make the most out of your time and itinerary. With each hike and waterfall listed there is a full color photo, trail distance, difficulty, and even information about the actual surface that the trail is made out of in addition to so much more!

My personal copy of “Hiking Waterfalls New York”

For more information regarding this book, just click on the link below!

https://amzn.to/3cYVBfL

-Additional Related Articles

https://www.ithacabeer.com/

Buttermilk Falls Ithaca New York

The Robert H. Treman State Park

The Sagan Planet Walk Ithaca New York

Ithaca Falls Natural Area