Tag: waterfall (Page 1 of 2)
Watkins Glen State Park has been on my bucket list since I first saw a picture of it when I first got on Flickr, about ten years ago. A picture very similar to the one on the left inspired my wanderlust. Looking at this picture, I would assume this was Costa Rica, or Hawaii, but no, this amazing glen of water and rock is actually in western New York. When I discovered this beautiful place is less than 8 hours away, I began planning a long weekend to explore it. Finally, the time came when it made sense to visit.
After visiting several Maine lighthouses, we made our way to Keane, New Hampshire for the night. I didn’t have much planned on the way from New Hampshire to Watkins Glen, but we did stop at the Albany Museum of Art and History to get out of the car and stretch our legs. Before long, we arrived at Watkins Glen and set up camp.
In the summer, the park offers shuttles from the Main Entrance to the upper entrance of the park. This allows you to hike down the 1 1/2 mile Gorge trail instead of having to go up 800 steps. This made of a pretty leisurely, hike. It is definitely one of the most scenic of my life. If we had more time to explore, it would have been nice to hike some of the other trails in the park and get a different view of the gorge. As it was, I’m sure we got to see the best part.
From the moment we left the parking lot, I knew this was going to be like no other place I had ever seen. It seemed like every few feet there were beautiful stone bridges high above cascading falls. It reminded me a lot of Hocking Hills, but much more compact. The whole time I was amazed at the beauty, only to go down a few more steps, make a turn and get an even more breathtaking view.
While the top photo is the most iconic one of the park, the whole Gorge Trail blew my mind. I have never seen such a beautiful place. I have a really hard time reconciling it with New York state. This is not what I think when I think of New York. I’ve been told that some of the other parks in the Finger Lakes are just as beautiful. I will have to go back sometime to see for myself.
To plan your visit to Watkins Glen, visit parks.ny.gov. Be sure to come back next week when we visit the Corning Museum of Glass. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
Old Man’s Cave is the most popular area of Hocking Hills State Park. It is the center of the park. The campground is here and of all the trails in the park, Old Man’s Cave had the most to see. Anticipating the crowds, I decided to visit Old Man’s Cave on Monday morning figuring that the weekend visitors would be gone and the crowds would be less. The rain that had been forecasted all weekend, finally came and I think that helped keep the crowds down too. If you were spending the whole week in Hocking Hills, you were not going hiking in the rain.
As you can see in the above photo, there were still people around and I was glad they were there. I used to be afraid of having people in my landscape photos. Now, I feel like the people in that photo add a frame of reference to the landscape. You can’t tell how big the cave is without people in it for perspective. The people also add life to the photos. They show that this is an area that people explore. They give meaning to the bridges and steps in the landscape.
While the rain kept the crowds down, it also really added to the atmosphere. Walking through the rainy, foggy, gorges felt like walking through another planet. It felt unreal. It reminded me of walking through Disney World, but this was not created by people. Really, words cannot describe this area. It has to be seen to be comprehended.
As I mentioned, the Old Man’s Cave Trail had the most to see of all the trails in Hocking Hills. There are five main sections of the Old Man’s Cave area, making up about one mile of trails: Upper Falls, Upper Gorge, Middle Falls, Lower Falls and Lower Gorge. Of course, one of the features of the trail is Old Man’s Cave (top) where a hermit lived in the late 1700s. The Grandma Gatewood Trail also begins here and continues on to Ash Cave and Cedar Falls.
Read more in my Hiking Hocking Hills Series: Camping & Hiking Hocking Hills, Ash Cave, Cedar Falls, Conkle’s Hollow and Rock House. To plan your trip to Hocking Hills, visit HockingHills.com If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
When we arrived at the Cedar Falls parking lot, I heard so much screaming I thought there was a roller coaster at the end of the trail. Instead, at the end of the half mile trail we found the largest waterfall by volume in the park. You can see from the below photo, this is another popular spot in the park. The screams that could be heard from the parking lot were from visitors stepping into the chilly water and under the falls. Luckily, the water flowing from the falls wasn’t at full force when I visited, because stepping under the falling water can be dangerous.
Unlike Ash Cave, the Cedar Falls trail is not ADA accessible. It starts with a set of stairs known as Democracy Steps. These steps were designed by artist, architect and mathematician, Akio Hizume, to be “pleasant and relaxing”. I have to say, of all the steps in the park, these were some of the easiest. Before looking at a map, I had forgotten stairs were involved in this hike. According to HockingHills.com “The lengths of individual steps are varied, so that walkers alternate the leading foot, establishing a comfortable pace and rhythm… It reflects mathematical principles of the Fibonacci sequence and the one-dimensional Penrose lattice.” Who knew math could make stairs more enjoyable?
Thank you for stopping by! Read more in my Hiking Hocking Hills Series: Camping & Hiking Hocking Hills, Ash Cave, Conkle’s Hollow, Rock House and Old Man’s Cave (coming soon). To plan your trip to Hocking Hills, visit HockingHills.com. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
The Ash Cave Gorge Trail is probably the easiest hike at Hocking Hills State Park. The quarter mile, ADA accessible trail takes you almost all the way to the falls. The accessibility of this trail makes it a popular site as can be seen from the above photo. Of course, this spot wouldn’t be so popular if it wasn’t stunning. At 700 feet from end to end and the rim rising 90 feet from the ground, Ash Cave is the largest recessed cave in the state of Ohio. Of course, there are more challenging ways to explore Ash Cave as well. Climb 64 steps on the Rim Trail for get a view of the cave from above. (HockingHills.com)
It was forecast to rain the whole time we were in Hocking Hills. When we woke up on our first full day in the park and the rain hadn’t started, we quickly got ready and headed to the trails. Our plan was to see as much as we could before the rain
started and then head back to camp. I had learned since our time at Port Crescent last summer and I brought things to do in the tent to occupy us during the rain. Miraculously, it didn’t rain at all that day and we were able to explore everything we had hoped. What is my point? Don’t look at the weather forecast and cancel your plans! According to the meteorologists there was a 100% chance of rain that day and it didn’t actually start until after the sun went down. We could have cancelled the trip and stayed home but we would have missed these cool sites and some beautiful weather. Of course, that’s not always the case so you need to have a plan for rain. That can be tough tent camping, but some books, a pack of cards, and a rain coat should keep you occupied for a bit.
To plan your trip to Hocking Hills, visit HockingHills.com. Read more in my Hiking Hocking Hills Series: Camping & Hiking Hocking Hills, Cedar Falls, Conkle’s Hollow, Rock House and Old Man’s Cave (coming soon). If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
Hocking Hills State Park is a geological gem in southeast Ohio. As someone who has spent a fair amount of time in Ohio over the years, this area does not feel like Ohio. It felt like a cross between the Pictured Rocks area in the Upper Peninsula and Natural Bridge in Kentucky. Paths and hiking trails weave through sandstone rock formations and around waterfalls to stunning, sometimes otherworldly, vistas. The park is full of towering sandstone cliffs, caves, and amazing waterfalls.
There is an experience at Hocking Hills for all abilities and interests from a leisurely stroll to a more rigorous hike. The trails to Ash Cave, Cedar Falls, and Conkle’s Hollow are easy, paved, and have rewarding views at the end. Old Man’s Cave (featured above) is a little more difficult with some beautiful bridges to cross and carved sandstone steps. We hiked Old Man’s Cave during a drizzle and it felt all encompassing and surreal. Rock House was the most challenging hike we did. It involved climbing narrow, boulder-like steps to an amazing cave-like rock formation that once was a hideaway for bandits. If you are even more adventurous, Cantwell Cliffs and The Hemlock Bridge Trail are more longer, more challenging trails with many steps leading to unique locations in the park. If you are looking to make a full day out of hiking, the Grandma Gatewood Trail connects a lot of the sites so you don’t even need a car to see them all.
During our time in Hocking Hills, we stayed in the Old Man’s Cave Family Campground Hike-in Sites. The hike-in sites are outside of the main campground at the mountain bike trailhead. The sites are fairly well spread out and most of them have a good deal of privacy. The four sites closest to the parking lot are first come first serve and the farthest site back is a good .8 mile walk from the parking lot with many sites in between. The path to the hike-in sites is gravel and a wagon is an easy way to transport your gear to your site. Even though the hike-in sites are separate from the main campground, hke-in campers are given main campground privileges such as use of the shower house and pool. I would definitely recommend the hike-in sites to tent campers that don’t require an electrical hookup because the sites at the main campground are very close together and lack privacy.
Read more in my Hiking Hocking Hills Series: Ash Cave, Cedar Falls, Conkle’s Hollow, Rock House and Old Man’s Cave (coming soon). For more information about the Hocking Hills Area visit HockingHills,com. Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
After two days of photographing sports for the State Games of Michigan, we stopped to take in the scenery at Meijer Gardens. I had never experienced it in winter and as long as you are dressed appropriately and temper your expectations (sorry, but the gardens are not in bloom this time of year, but you can still enjoy the flowers in the greenhouses) it really is a good experience. The blanket of white totally changes the feel of the sculpture park.
The waterfall, pictured above, was probably one of my favorite parts. I have photographed the waterfall numerous times before, but the lighting in the middle of a summer day is not ideal. Afternoon in the winter, though, makes for much better photo. The snow adds more contrast to the rocks and trees and I really liked the footprints going towards the flowing water.
Continuing this year’s winter theme: Don’t let the cold keep you from photography and experiencing familiar places in a new way! I would never have thought about exploring the gardens in the winter (nothing is in bloom, right?) but I am very glad we stopped and got to see another side of one of our favorite Michigan spots!
There is still time to vote for my photo in the State Games of Michigan photo contest! Like, comment, and/or share to vote! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.