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

June 11, 2019

June 7 - Ricketts Glen State Park

Benton, PA

“Everything we do is infused with the energy in which we do it. If we're frantic, life will be frantic. If we are peaceful, life will be peaceful.” - Marianne Williamson
We've wanted to hike Ricketts Glen for the past three years, but the weather or time always seemed to get in our way...until Friday. What a wonderful day to spend hiking this amazing park, the sun was out and the temperature was in the lower 70s. Ricketts Glen State Park is one of the most scenic areas in Pennsylvania and is comprised of 13,050 acres, which crosses into three counties. We hiked a little over four miles on the Ganoga Glen, Glen Leigh and Highland Trails. The loop took us by 18 of the 21 named waterfalls in the park, although we saw many other falls that weren't considered special enough to be named. Each waterfall cascades through rock strewn clefts of this ancient hillside and the hike was incredible. The waterfalls ranged in height from Cayuage Falls at 11' to Ganoga Falls which is 94'...they were all spectacular.

In 1868, Colonel R. Bruce Ricketts bought land in northeast Pennsylvania to timber it. Fishermen exploring the lower reaches of Kitchen Creek discovered waterfalls. Explorations revealed that two branches of Kitchen Creek cut through deep gorges in a series of waterfalls then united at Waters Meet and flowed through a glen (Ricketts Glen) among giant pines, hemlocks and oaks. Colonel Ricketts built trails to the area of the waterfalls, which came to be known as the Glens Natural Area. 

Colonel Ricketts was a member of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society and he named many of the waterfalls after American Indian tribes. The others he named for his friends and family. The Glens became a registered National Natural Landmark in 1969, and in 1993 became a State Park Natural Area and is protected and maintained in a natural state.

Here are pictures of the falls...we started in the Ganoga Glen and finished the hike on the Highland Trail.

Mohawk Falls 37'
Oneida Falls 13'
Cayuga Falls 11'
Ganoga Falls 94'
Seneca Falls 12'
Delaware Falls 37'
Mohican Falls 39'
Conestoga Falls 17'
Tuscarora Falls 47'
Erie Falls 47'
Wyandot Falls 15'
B. Reynolds Falls 40'
R.B. Ricketts Falls 36'
Ozone Falls 60'
Huron Falls 41'
Shawnee Falls 30'
F.L. Ricketts Falls 38'
Onondaga Falls 15'
The trail....
The Midway Crevasse on the Highland Trail
 The statics on our hike today
Here's a map of the trails we took today. The Falls Trail system is just a small portion of the park, which offers 26 miles of hiking trails.

June 10, 2019

Finger Lake Wineries (Part V)

"The best wines are the ones we drink with friends."

Frontenac Point Vineyard began producing wines in 1982, it became the 44th New York farm-winery., there are now over 400 wineries in the state of New York. The property is on the west side of Cayuga Lake  and has a panoramic view of the lake. They work hard to maintain the winery’s small size and hands-on approach, currently producing just 2000 to 3000 cases a year. All the grapes used to make their wines are grown in the winery’s own 18-acre vineyard. Their focus is on dry wines. We tried their 2015 Riesling one of the best we've had on the lake.
The 10-foot-tall Stay Sail, is a kinetic sound sculpture that was installed on the bow of the winery deck, beckons people to bring food, relax under the canopy, and enjoy the lake and vineyard view.
Sheldrake Point Winery is named for the prominent point of land on which it sits, located on the western shore of Cayuga Lake. The property  operated as an orchard and dairy farm from 1850 to the mid-1980s, in 1997 a small group of wine enthusiasts organized the purchase of the land and founded the winery. Today, Sheldrake Point Winery plants 55 acres with 10 vitis vinifera varieties, which are used to make approximately 8,500 cases of estate grown, produced, and bottled table and ice wines.
We enjoy buying a bottle of wine and sitting on the deck taking in the few. We tried the 2017 Dry Riesling - It has an invitingly vivid nose of peaches, fresh oranges, and honeysuckle transitions to lemon peel, sweet pineapple and hops on the palate. Tea and peach skin support the mineral driven finish.
Toro Run Winery offers all the beauty of the Finger Lakes with a Spanish flair. They sit on 64 acres 530 feet atop a glacier-carved hillside overlooking beautiful Cayuga Lake with one of the best views in the Finger Lakes. The winery officially opened in 2013 and serves true world class wines including their signature estate grown, Gruner Veltliner and Pinot Meunier. They produce 10,000 cases of wine a year in their vine-to-wine facility with a wine menu that has a little something to offer for everyone – from white to red, dry to semi to sweet. 

They also serve authentic Spanish tapas that include conch chowder, plates of Manchego cheese or Spanish jamón, stuffed peppers, sliced chorizo, blue cheese stuffed olives and Chardonnay kielbasa. We enjoyed a bottle of wine and a few snacks on their deck while visiting with cruising friends and taking in the breathtaking view of the lake. 
We enjoyed a bottle of 2017 Grüner Veltliner - (it has a fruity, crisp beginning of grapefruit with a dry sharp ending giving it the perfect balance) and a few tapas on the deck.
You can read about other wineries we've visited in the Finger Lake area at the following links.