As I mentioned here in my last blog, my family took part in the Endeavor program while staying at the Boy Scouts of America's Camp Barton near Ithaca in August. The BSA program guide took us on several interesting field trips throughout the week that focused on natural science. On the first day, we hiked [...]

As I mentioned here in my last blog, my family took part in the Endeavor program while staying at the Boy Scouts of America's Camp Barton near Ithaca in August. The BSA program guide took us on several interesting field trips throughout the week that focused on natural science. On the first day, we hiked through Taughannock Falls State Park in the Tompkins County town of Ulysses, about 10 miles from Ithaca..

The photo above is a close up view of the park's Upper Falls, which tops off at 115 feet. This makes it one of the tallest waterfalls on this side of the Rocky Mountains, beating out even Niagara Falls in height. This closeup view of the falls was our reward after hiking one of the park's several trails. Pictured below is my son Sean, left, and our guide Greg, right, pretending not to notice that I'm taking their photos as they look at the falls at the end of the trail.

Actually, this was the second photo I took of these two, which is why it looks somewhat unnatural. I took my first photo without telling them, but Greg didn't like it because he was looking into his phone at the time so I took this one, too.

This is a more distant shot of the falls taken from an observation deck just off the park's main road. The observation area also has a new visitors' center that was completed less than a year ago. When my family camped at the park over Columbus Day weekend last year, the center still was under construction. The falls weren't nearly as voluminous in August as they were last year due to New York's long, dry summer.

Taughannock also has a lower falls, but unforunately, much of the stream was dried up due to the summer's dry conditions. I took the photo below of an area that actually contained water. The far ledge in the photo usually serves as a waterfall base, but not that day. Let's hope the water is more plentiful there by now.