Although Niagara Falls makes more noise, Taughannock Falls in the Finger Lakes area near Ithaca, New York, is the tallest of the two. The major feature in Taughannock Falls State Park is the tallest single-drop waterfall in the northeastern United States, standing 33 feet higher than the more renowned falls to the north. Trails at Taughannock provide views from both the foot of the falls and the gorge rim above them. On this Taughannock falls winter guide, we will help you to figure out what you can expect when you are exploring it during the winter season. Based on that, you can end up with getting the best results coming on your way.
But hold on, there’s more. Taughannock Creek’s water feeds into Cayuga Lake, a forest-rimmed lake where you may swim, fish, and boat.
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According to legend, the falls were named after the Delaware tribe’s leader. According to legend, Taughannock was slain by the local Cayuga Indians and his corpse was thrown over the falls. The state park was established in 1925, and most of the infrastructure was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
Things to do at Taughannock falls
The foot of Taughannock Falls — and the chilly mist that fills the canyon — is a short three-quarter-mile stroll down a broad, level route. The North Rim Trail and the South Rim Trail combine for a 2.5-mile circular. Pick up a leaflet explaining the geology and ecology of the falls, the canyon, and Cayuga Lake before embarking on either walk.
Swimming at the Cayuga Lake beach, fishing from the park’s pier, or renting a boat to explore the longest of central New York’s Finger Lakes are all possibilities throughout the summer. Winter activities include ice skating on one of two ponds, cross-country skiing on a 2-mile circular track, and sledding down the hill. Oh, and several of the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail’s 16 wineries just north of Taughannock Falls State Park.
The 400-foot-deep gorge may seem different than it did on your previous visit due to the changing nature of geology. Rock falls, caused by erosion, freezing, and thawing, are widespread, throwing shards of limestone to the gorge’s bottom. In November 2010, a tourist captured a rock fall.
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Fauna and flora
Because of its position on Cayuga Lake, Taughannock Falls State Park is home to a variety of geese, ducks, and even gulls. Turkey vultures, however? Most mornings, you’ll see a bunch of them drying their wings along the coast. Deer, rabbits, squirrels, red fox, and the rare black bear are also common sights in the forests of oak, ash, maple, dogwoods, and red buds.
Exploring Taughannock falls in winter
There’s something intriguing about visiting famous sites off-season and discovering them while others are hesitant to go. During the summer, when multiple waterfalls rush through gorges towering above, Taughannock Falls and Watkins Glen State Park are among the most stunning New York State parks. You’ll have the parks to yourself in the winter, providing a peaceful backdrop for seeing the iced 215-foot Taughannock Falls and frozen gorges. Allow yourself a half-day to a full day, depending on how many trails you want to visit. The texture of the rocks and the twisting walkways that climb up into the canyon at Watkins Glen will enchant you. Keep in mind that Taughannock Falls is much simpler to reach than the bulk of Watkins Glen paths while planning your journey. A bonus? Because the park offices are closed from winter until mid-May, you won’t have to pay any admission fees.
How to plan your tour to Taughannock falls
A visit to the Finger Lakes area isn’t complete without spending a day at Taughannock Falls State Park, which has the largest drop of water east of the Rocky Mountains. Consider a waterfall that towers above Niagara Falls. Taughannock Falls is one of the Northeast’s most spectacular natural attractions. On your next Finger Lakes vacation, pay a visit to the 215-foot waterfall in Trumansburg, NY. There are so many wild experiences to be had at the state park that you will fall in love with the Finger Lakes region’s waterfalls.
However, before you go exploring this natural treasure, get our free Vacation Guide. We’ve built the ideal tool to assist you in planning your Finger Lakes trip, which includes wonderful restaurants, breathtaking scenery, and exciting entertainment.
Taughannock Falls State Park hiking in winter
Put on your hiking boots and go for the trails for a relaxing day in nature. Taughannock Falls State Park is open from sunrise to dark every year. Remember to bring your four-legged buddy, since the park is pet-friendly. Just stay away from any locations where pets are prohibited. Hiking with your dog is a fantastic way to spend the day!
Taughannock Falls State Park has a route for everyone, whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner. If you are going to hike Taughannock falls in winter, not all trials would be ideal for you. Therefore, it is important to go through the list of hiking trails and pick one that you are comfortable with. Then you can go ahead, so that you will be able to get the best possible experience coming on your way. You will also be able to pick a trail that can help you with getting the best views of the surroundings during winter.
Hiker Gorge Trail for Level-Headed Hikers
The Gorge Track is a very flat trail with few barriers. Most of the year, this flat-level route is available, only shutting when the ice becomes dangerous. View the gorge walls on both sides of the route, as well as a torrent that is both calming and furious. In any case, the route is always stunning!
For the Hiker Who Enjoys a Strenuous Hike – The Rim Trail
If you hike the Rim Trail, you may choose to travel up the North Segment or down the South Segment. Make your way to the bottoms of these routes by navigating past stones and roots. This region is really steep, so take caution. The park features stone stairs to assist you, however due to ice, certain areas are blocked throughout the winter. The vistas from this trek are well worth the challenges!
One Multi-Use Trail for the Indecisive
The Multi-Use Path may be explored in a variety of ways, so whether you prefer hiking, jogging, or cross-country skiing, this is the trail for you. Trek across 150 feet of elevation variation to discover the park’s highs and lows. This path does not have any waterfalls, but it does provide a spectacular view of Cayuga Lake.
The Hiker Who Appreciates the Finer Things – Trail of Black Diamonds
The Black Diamond Trail was recently rebuilt and has smooth gravel that is comfortable to stroll on. On this path, there are so many beautiful places to view and so many ways to travel about! You may go for a stroll, run, ski, or bike ride. Look for beautiful ravines, vibrant autumn foliage, and gorgeous bison!
Now you know how to explore Taughannock falls in winter. Go ahead and grab this experience, and you will surely fall in love with the returns coming on your way.