A few weeks ago, I had a much needed long weekend with my girlfriends from college in Ithaca, New York. Besides drinking at some wineries, exploring downtown, and eating good food, we made sure to visit one of our favorite spots since college – Buttermilk Falls State Park.
By the way, there is a $7 entry fee.
Fortunately, hiking is COVID-19 quarantine friendly. Additionally, as park rangers direct visitors in one direction, you will not experience a lot of opposite foot traffic. First, you walk up a quite steep rim trail. If you’re like me (asthmatic and haven’t been working out since COVID), this will be kind of tough 😅. The rim trail has a short and quick, yet steep incline at the beginning. After that, it is smooth sailing from there. The trail will flatten out and eventually lead you downwards to the gorge a.k.a the best part.
The gorge trail is not only beautiful, but calm and cool during the fall. As you follow the flow of the water, you’ll get to see how the water carves through the earth. When you look up, you’ll see how the trees loom over, creating an arch and providing shade. If you stop and listen, you can hear the water coming from above, below, and next to you between the rocks. Eventually, you’ll come across a bridge where you can stand in the middle and have a better view up and down the gorge. It also serves as the perfect spot for a group picture.
Afterwards, you continue on to the end and start to descend quickly meaning you’re reaching the end very soon. Don’t worry, the trail ends with an amazing view! At the end, you see what you came for – Buttermilk Falls.
During the fall, you won’t see the water roaring down. Instead, you’ll get a more serene flow that you can’t help but sit and watch in silence. It’s just so calming that I totally forgot that I was just dying from that initial incline. If you do want to see more water, pay Buttermilk Falls a visit during the summer as early as May.
Although, if you have the ability to go anytime of the year, definitely come here at least once in the spring/fall and once in the summer to get two different Buttermilk Falls experiences.
So tell me, would you visit Buttermilk Falls?
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