"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

June 29 - Six Mile Creek, Ithaca, NY

Allan H. Treman State Marine Park

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ― Oscar Wilde
We finally made it to a winery...Six Mile Creek Vineyards seemed like a good winery to start with since it's only a few miles from Ithaca and shares the name of the creek we live close to in Texas. Six Miles Creek Vineyard began with the first plantings of grapes in 1982.   

The winery opened its doors to the public in 1987 in a rebuilt Dutch Colonial Barn. The first year they produced 250 gallons of wine, today they produce over 10,000 gallons. What started as a hobby quickly grew into a highly respected winery in the Finger Lakes and soon became known as "Ithaca's Own Winery."

Views of the vineyard from their deck
The vineyard is on the south side of Ithaca and doesn't benefit from the warming effects provided by the deep waters of Cayuga Lake. This means they only cultivate white grapes which require a shorter growing season than most red varieties. Chardonnay, Riesling, Cayuga White, Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc, and Vignoles thrive at Six Mile Creek Vineyard. Each year the grapes are harvested by hand from mid-September through early October. Recently the winery has added an exclusive line of wine based distilled specialties including Vodka, Gin, Limoncella, Orangecello, Amore and Grappa.
A few of their wines and distilled spirits
After our tasting we had lunch at Agava and then hiked along Six Mile Creek. Six Mile Creek is one of six streams that converge at the southern shores of Cayuga Lake. The other streams are Fall, Cascadilla, Buttermilk, and Enfield creeks, along with the Cayuga Lake Inlet. In the 19th century, sawmills, gristmills, a cider mill, and various factories churned along the banks of the creek.  

Six Mile Creek watershed supplies Ithaca with drinking water. There are several dams along the creek creating two reservoir lakes. The lower reservoir is a popular swimming hole for young people. We hiked along the creek from Mulholland Wildflower Preserve to the lower dam and then had to climb up to the rim trail to get above the dam where kids were jumping off the cliff...something I might have thought was fun thirty years ago. Now it just looked dangerous and something I hoped my kids wouldn't do.

Six Mile Creek hike
View from below the dam
View from above the dam
Can you spot the kids on the cliff getting ready to jump?
These kids were just relaxing on the edge of the dam
Trail Map

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