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

June 8 - Buttermilk Falls State Park

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” —Joshua J. Marine

Ithaca's slogan is ‘Ithaca is Gorges’. The town of Ithaca has four gorges that were carved out by glaciers millions of years ago and there are more waterfalls through these beautiful gorges than a hiker can count. Reports say there are over 150 waterfalls within 10 miles. We've seen many and have literally stopped counting. Welcome to the land of gorges, waterfalls and outdoor beauty. To a community of academics, artists and adventurists. We have truly fallen in love with this area of New York.

Today we hiked the Gorge Trail in Buttermilk Falls State Park. We haven't hiked this trail since our first year in Ithaca. The Gorge Trail follows Buttermilk Creek as it cascades down through the gorge about 600 feet, passing deep pools, sculpted rocks and countless waterfalls. Buttermilk Falls is a 165 ft high cascade waterfall with multiple tiers, bursting out of a wooded hill like a waterslide made of rock. The trail info says the hike is 1.5 miles out and back, but our hiking app showed we hiked right at 2 miles and climbed 444 feet.

A view of Buttermilk Falls from the bottom of the gorge.
The gorge hike starts with lots of steps...lots and lots of steps. But once at the top of Buttermilk Falls the view is incredible. 
The top portion of Buttermilk Falls.
Looking up the gorge.
Looking back towards the bottom of the gorge.
The constant flow of water has eroded the rock into twisting ravines with inviting pools of water.
A rain shelter about halfway up the gorge trail.
This bridge crosses Buttermilk Creek to connect the Gorge Trail to the Rim Trail.
42' Pinnacle Rock
I left one of my rocks for someone to find. Check out other rocks at The Pearl Rocks.

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