Dan and Hannah Hike the Taughannock Falls Trails near Ithaca, New York

For the first time since June 2020, Hannah and I have come to central New York to see our eleven-month identical twin granddaughters, Reese and Charlotte, and their nearly three year-old big brother Brooks.  Due to Covid, we have not been able to support in person our son Will and his wife Laurel in caring for their brood.

Reese, Brooks, and Charlotte

But this last weekend in April 2021 we have come to Ithaca to be of some modest support.  Bringing Hannah’s homemade chili and cornbread and treating them to Mexican take-out with, listen to this, take-out pitchers of margaritas, as well as treating us all to Wegman’s monster subs for lunches, we hope to feed their bodies and souls. 

Brooks flying on the Omi Airlines

Raising our game, each afternoon we watch the kids while Will and Laurel go for a drive, take a long walk, or shop for garden supplies.  Taking Brooks for the morning to the South Hill Elementary School playground and wheeling Reese and Charlotte in their stroller around the neighborhood, we are giving it our best to support them in dealing with the exhaustion of parenting young’uns.

Charlotte and Reese

Like father like son

Heading out of town after four nights in Ithaca early Sunday on Will and Laurel’s sixth anniversary, we drive north on route 89 on the westside of Cayuga Lake (pronounced Cue-ga) for the roaring falls trails of Taughannock (pronounced Ta-gon-ick) Falls State Park eight miles from town.

Let the hiking begin

Parking for free before the season starts, we hike the South Rim Trail with few others.  Master craftsmen from the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) of the 1930s built the stairs that we take to the upper reaches of the gorge.

(The white spots are from the rain the previous night.)

With 400’ feet of elevation gain, the South Rim Trail and its sibling the North Rim Trail are high above the flowing gorge river that is wide enough for two to walk the walk and talk the talk.

It’s Gorge-ous

The Upper Falls

Crossing over the river above the Upper Falls, we follow the well-marked North Rim trail back to the trailhead.  Again, the trail is wide and easy on the feet.  The North Rim has the one view of the falls from high above.

The Taughannock Falls from the North Rim

Roughly two and half miles later, Hannah and I complete the Rim loop trails in 70 minutes.  Fact is, we are just not stop-and-smell-the-rose hikers, we move and we groove. 

Upon completion of the Rim trails, we take the level Gorge Trail to the falls that is filled today with hikers ready to break out after their Covid winter of isolation.  With a trail wide enough for fifteen people, we easily skirt the masked and unmasked as well as the washed and unwashed.

The Taughannock Creek through the gorge

With more people vaccinated, we abide by the park rule and easily maintain six feet of separation with other hikers. See above. 

The thundering Taughannock Falls

The falls are roaring like we’ve never experienced before due to the winter run-off and recent heavy rains of spring. 

Known for being unable to take a successful selfie, I give it my all at Taughannock Falls.  It’s a start.  Let’s try to find something positive to say or say nothing at all.

In less than two hours, we crush our 10,000 Fitbit step goal. Do I hear 20K?

10 thoughts on “Dan and Hannah Hike the Taughannock Falls Trails near Ithaca, New York

  1. In that photo of Charlotte and Reese sitting in (what seems to be) a cooler, I see your features on their tiny faces, Dan. The wonders of genetics. My own baby photo matches almost exactly our 2nd grandson’s photo at the same age. Gorgeous park, beautiful friends, adorable grandkids.

  2. I’m sure you saved Will and Laurel as many steps as you took on that hike, by visiting and bringing good food and good cheer! (margaritas brighten any occasion!) Omi is amazingly flexible, and I see synchronized swimmers, as well as good genes, in Reese and Charlotte! (take a look at the photo of them in the cooler!) And Brooks “helping” Will mow the lawn melted my heart! What a great trip!

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