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Frozen at the Fingerlakes

Updated: Jan 9, 2021

Everything on the east coast right now is frozen over with record low temperatures, making it easy to pick my theme for this month, ICE. I just visited the Fingerlakes region of upstate NY where I was born and raised. The area is packed with gorgeous state parks filled with waterfalls, gorges, and the beautiful Finger Lakes themselves. Here are three spots I was able to visit to capture this winter wonderland!

Taughannock Falls State Park, Trumansburg NY

Directions and full park info here

For the past decade or so, state parks across the country have organized first day hikes on January 1. Despite the bitter cold, this group had a record turnout this year of over 800 participants here at Taughannock Falls, in Trumansburg NY (just outside of Ithaca). This was my first experience doing a hike like this in 8 degrees. Though freezing temperatures, it was a great way to start the new year and get such amazing shots of the frozen falls!

Havana Glen Falls, Montour Falls NY

Directions and full park info here

After seeing Taughannock, I had to make my way to the next town over and visit Havana! The park is usually closed this time of year, and technically no one is allowed up this short trail due to deaths of people slipping and falling on the ice. But I got lucky and was able to get in! I do not recommend this if you aren't an experienced hiker with the proper foot gear as you do climb up some steep and slippery stairs. As expected, another frozen spectacle!

Seneca Lake, Watkins Glen NY

Directions and tourist info here

Seneca Lake is the biggest of the Fingerlakes and worth a stop especially if you want to hit up a winery or two. Most are open year round and there are so many good ones to choose from! Lamoreaux Landing happens to be my favorite, but I'm not biased or anything ;) I stopped there for a tasting, and these gorgeous shots of the partially frozen lake.

Montour Falls NY

Directions and tourist info here

Just a few miles outside of Seneca Lake is the historic quaint town of Montour Falls, home of the famous Shequaga Falls pictured below (lower right). This marked my final stop while visiting here. These falls are just south of the famous Watkins Glen State Park which happened to be closed--too hard and dangerous to sneak into that one! Though I wasn't able to view those gorge falls, I found these right on the side of the road on which more than made up for it! The sunset shot of Sheqauga made for a perfect ending to the trip.

Hope everyone is surviving the cold and trying to at least enjoy the beauty of it! Check back for my next post on ICE, this time featuring Yosemite National Park. Happy New Year!

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