The Finger Lakes region is known for beautiful lakes, numerous waterfalls and rolling hills. For decades, people from around the world have been drawn to this region. It is easy to see why when you take in the vast beauty of Seneca lake, the peaceful retreat of Cayuga Lake and the spectacular sunset from Harris Hill overlook.
There are several very popular, well known areas but what about the ones that are more obscure? Today we decided to go exploring for some of the lesser known waterfalls and hiking areas around the Cayuga Lake area. Here are a couple you might want to try.
If you are driving down Rt. 13 in Ithaca take the exit for E. Shore Dr. This is the exit just past Ithaca High School. At the stop, sign turn right instead of left ( yes I know this is taking you away from the lake but trust me). Go about a mile up the road, just past the high school. You will cross a small bridge. Just past the bridge, pull over and walk across the road. This will take you to Ithaca Falls. The hike is short but very rocky. There are loose stones everywhere so wear good shoes. Once you go about a quarter mile in you will come to a very tall and beautiful waterfall. The glimpse you get the road does not do it justice. You need to take the walk in to truly see the beauty of this one.
From here, we went to Cornell Botanical Gardens. This is a free botanical garden located within Cornell University. To be honest, late summer is not the best time to visit if you want to see the flowers. We plan to go again in late Spring or early Summer to see the flowers in full bloom. For today, we took the hiking trail around Beebe Lake which is still within the botanical garden grounds. This hike is a challenging one due to all the hills. There are two waterfalls to see on this hike. They are at opposite ends of the lake. The waterfalls were nice but the beauty of the lake and the various wildlife in the lake is what I found most interesting. The walk around the lake is shaded and peaceful. Just be prepared for all the hills.
Cornell Botanical Gardens is spread out over 4,000 acres of land, so there is a lot to explore. This is one you will definitely want to put on your list to do more than once so you can truly experience it all.
Thanks for exploring with me – Shelly