Oxbow Falls, Canastota, NY. A short walk to a good view, not really worth going past it to the waterfalls.
Chittenango Falls State Park, Cazenovia, NY $5/car. (0.5, 147’ elevation). A picturesque 167-foot waterfall is the main attraction of Chittenango Falls State Park. We took the trail down to the footbridge where you’ll find the best view of the waterfall. A unique habitat is at the base of these deep, shaded, north-facing cliffs. Hidden within this gorge are some of New York’s rarest species including the hittenango ovate amber snail, discovered here in 1905. is found nowhere else on earth. S nails were once abundant but numbers were severely reduced by foot traffic. Access into the snail’s habitat is now restricted, but it is uncertain whether this species will survive or fade into extinction.
Green Lakes State Park, Fayetteville, NY $10/car. We’ve come to see the unusual green lakes. Round Lake, which covers 34 acres and is 170 feet deep is of national ecological and geological significance due to its glacial origin, meromictic (non-mixing) character, and its adjacent old-growth forest containing some of the oldest trees in the county. Green Lake is the most famous of the six meromictic lakes in New York State. Most lakes have a seasonal turnover, where the top and lower layers mix, while the rare meromictic lakes have stable layers that don’t mix. The lakes in this park have 3 layers. The top layer contains oxygen so fish and other organisms can live. Rare freshwater reefs also grow here, composed mostly of marl, which is mainly calcium carbonate bound to small cyanobacteria. The lower layer of water is oxygen poor. It mimics Earth’s ancient atmosphere, and the unexplored depths of modern oceans. Only bacteria live here. At the very bottom is a layer of sediment that has a high potential for evidence of ancient plant and animal life. The lake water is so clear and green due to the calcium carbonate it contains.
This was not at all what we were expecting! The man-made beach area is PACKED with people swimming and picnicking. We took the 3.2 mile, 164’ elevation loop around Green and Circle Lake, a National Natural Landmark, and at the farthest point found 3 young barred owls hanging out in the trees above the trail. What a cool experience!
Chimney Bluffs State Park, Wolcott, NY. $5/car. (3 mile loop). We got our first view of the beautiful Lake Ontario here. The water is clear and there are lots of people out on the water enjoying it. The loop takes you through the woods to the cliff edge to view the Chimney Bluffs, sculpted by the interaction between earth and water, ice and wind. The park website describes the earthen spires as the most dramatic landscape on the Lake Ontario.
Hampton Inn, Pennfield, NY. We were wondering why this place was so expensive… I guess we figured it out! This room is an executive suite with a balcony, office and walk in closet. The only thing that would make it better is a great view.