Saturday, March 19, 2005

Treman State Park to Buttermilk Falls

On Saturday, March 19, I parked at Treman State Park and hiked about 8 miles round trip on the Finger Lakes Trail toward Buttermilk Falls State Park. There are two paths up the steep climb up to South Hill -- a short, steep blue-blazed trail and a longer, gradually inclined white-blazed trail. Near peak elevation an orange-blazed trail heads towards Buttermilk Falls State Park. Since they were likely to have the park closed this time of year due to hazardous icy conditions, I decided to continue along the Finger Lakes Trail to the south, where there were some overlooks of the valley.

Several acres of grasses act as a buffer between Route 13 and the private wilderness preserve. Posted by Hello

The bark on this tree is white and smooth; possibly a "Beautiful Hawthorn". Posted by Hello

From Treman State Park, it was neccesary to cross Route 13. On the other side, large tracts of tall wild grasses separated route 13 from the wilderness preserve which lies further to the east and provides most of the interesting views along this part of the trail. After crossing through the grasses, it was neccesary to use an abandoned railway bridge to cross over a creek.

An abandoned railroad bridge proved to be quite useful in crossing Lick Brook. Posted by Hello

About a mile away from here, before the elevation climb, was a beautiful frozen waterfall. Although most of the snow has melted by now, the waterfall was frozen solid. In fact, it was possible to talk on the frozen stream and climb right up to the face of the fall. I took many photographs, although only a few came out well due to the lack of sunlight in the gorge where the waterfall is located.

Most of the waterfalls were still completely frozen. Posted by Hello

Part of the sedimentary rock foundation around the falls. Posted by Hello

Shortly past the first frozen waterfall, the steep climb began. I decided to take the more gradual climb up the white-blazed trail. It was very pleasant. Toward the top of the climb, there were a few nice overlooks.

A narrow trail, gently rising to the top of South Hill. Posted by Hello

Parts of the trail offered nice views of the valley below. Posted by Hello

Here's a real tree hugger. Posted by Hello

Although it was sad to put my new snowshoes into the closet until next winter, it was nice hiking without snow for a change. For now, most of the greenery consisted of mosses growing around the base of deciduous trees.

Until the leaves start sprouting again, moss provided much of the greenery. Posted by Hello

In all, this was one of my favorite hikes in the area so far.

Below is a satellite image of the area. In blue is the white-blazed trail -- a gradual climb. In red is a blue-blazed trail that I took on the way back which was far steeper.

Treman State Park (left) to Buttermilk Falls State Park (right) via the Finger Lakes Trail. Posted by Hello


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