Gorge at Buttermilk Falls State Park is Gorgeous

When in the planning stages of an upstate New York visit, our friends encouraged us to include the Finger Lake area in our travel plans. This was good advise. Of all the places to visit and discover in the area, the Buttermilk Falls State Park Gorge was one of our favorite destinations.

Buttermilk Falls State Park is located near Ithaca, New York and is a 1 mile trail (one way) that leads past Buttermilk Falls. The length of the path meandors along a scenic creek with multi-tiered cascading waterfalls along the way and is simply beautiful.

Arriving at the Buttermilk Falls State Park Gorge Trailhead

We arrived at the trailhead parking lot mid-week around 8:30 am. We were pleased the gravel lot of the gorge trail only had a few cars in it. Judging from the license plates and people getting out of cars, it appeared to us this was a popular place for locals. They were in the park for exercise and to walk their dogs. We were the only tourists in the park.

We took our time putting on our boots and hiking gear. I recall feeling lucky to be there and I liked our casual approach to the day.

It was a crisp, cool morning as we started down the trail towards the falls. Luckily, the other people on the trail were spread out about perfectly. Each group seemed to have enough time to stop at the most interesting places along the way without feeling rushed.

This senario was good for me. As a photographer, I enjoy opportunities to photograph nature. On this day, the lighting was not ideal. I was fighting glare in the moving waters and dark shadows throughout the gorge at the same time. For these reasons, I was trying to be thoughtful with my camera settings. Each click of the shutter was slow and deliberate.

My Wife the Comedian

The challenge for any spouse of a photographer is they must be patient while their partner shoots photos. This fact started to be a source of conversation and humorous joke telling for Gail and I. With a smile on her face, Gail asked, “What should I do while you are busy taking pictures? I don’t want to just sit on a rock and watch you.”

Knowing Gail is not a person who likes to be idle for long periods, I began to think of suggestions but nothing came to mind immediately.

Suddenly, she laughed and announced that she had a great idea for a future blog post on her website Fitness Life By Design! It would be titled something like, “10 Things to do While Your Husband Takes Pictures”. With that, she started an exercise routine and asked, “Do you mind taking a picture of me doing a push up?”

Before long, I was taking as many pictures of her working out as I was shooting waterfalls. Her exercise routine consisted of a fun mixture of serious and ridiculous poses which provided entertainment for us both.

In the end, she discovered her best way to spend time while I attempted to capture the perfect image.

Wrapping up the Hike

Overall, we enjoyed our time at Buttermilk Falls State Park Gorge and recommend it to our readers. The natural beauty of the park, its waterfalls and clear water steam made our day a joy.

The Finger Lakes area in upstate New York is full of wineries, breweries, orchards, trails and shopping. You don’t have to own a boat to enjoy the lakes! Be sure to check out my story on Watkins Glen State Park too. It is another gorge hike that is stunning!

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