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Today was a day full of awe. As I'm waiting for the purchase of my short bus to finalize, I've had some time to spend with family I don't normally get to see in upstate New York. At the ripe age of 10 my little cousin Nicole is full of wonder and has an adventurous soul, so I decided to bring her along on this early morning adventure I had planned (see her pictured fourth photo down). We set out on our adventure just before sunrise, cruising through the back country roads of no man's land New York. Fog and golden air drifted with us as we made our way to Taughannock State Park, about an hour's drive from Grandma's house. We pull into, to my amazement, an empty parking lot. With my canon in one hand and the picnic basket in the other, Nicole and I venture onto the trail, excited for what's ahead. The air is warm, the forest silent, except for the inviting sound of the river running along next to us. Small waterfalls and rocky cliffs quickly begin to appear only a few minutes into our hike. The maple and birch trees create a canopy overhead, letting the sparrows and robins follow us down the path. Yellow and purple wildflowers scatter the ground and the fresh air fills our lungs to our deepest satisfaction. The riverbed becomes more and more impressive, the rushing water having carved massive grooves into the stone beneath it. As we turn our final corner, we come face to face with the most magnificent, serene waterfall I have ever encountered.
The falls are located in their own horseshoe canyon. The rigid cliffs scaling 400 feet high are littered with green. The rush of the water as it plunges to the ground takes your breath away. There is something so enchanting about seeing the innocence and power of nature all at once. Not a soul in sight. We had this paradise to ourselves. As we approached the falls the cool mist rose from the rapid, creating the faintest rainbows with each sun ray. Nicole and I basked in the glory of this waterfall for three entire hours. We studied the wildflowers, got drenched by the mist, explored the rocks, and had the perfect brunch to satisfy our adventurous appetites.
I highly recommend Taughannock falls. The trail to the falls is easily accessible, and there are more challenging trails throughout the rest of the park. Going on a week day early morning made the experience five times as magical. Having that place to yourself does absolute wonders for the soul. Also, free parking before 9am. The early bird definitely gets the worm here.
If you want to visit or camp or find out more info, click HERE for the state park website.