The Taughannock Falls State Park, located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, gets its name from the 215 ft. tall Taughannock Falls, the main attraction at the park. The falls and the 400 ft. rocky cliffs that surround it can be viewed from an upper and lower observation deck. The park is also a popular spot to hike, camp, boat, cross-country ski, skate, and fish.
I visited the Taughannock Falls State Park and Watkins Glen State Park while on a trip, with my daughter and her friend, to the New York Finger Lakes Region last week. The fall season was definitely upon us, the leaves were in full color and the air was crisp.
The first thing we did when we arrived at the park was check into our cabin. The cabins at Taughannock Falls State Park have electricity, lights, and a refrigerator, but no heat, stove, or water. There is a restroom with a shower nearby. The cabins are pretty large and have four bunks with pads on them. The sliding barn-type doors lock, so you can feel safe leaving your gear inside when you leave. I was especially happy about this since my car door doesn’t lock as a result of it being broken into in Montreal. But that’s another story. Each cabin has a fire pit, a grill, and a picnic table out front of it. Wood is available to purchase for seven dollars per bundle at the park office.
After getting our stuff in the cabin, we took a walk down to Cayuga Lake where the girls played in the kiddie park (they are sixteen, but this still seemed to amuse them) and I enjoyed the views of the lake and the fall colors.
When the girls got bored, we headed for the centerpiece of the park, The Taughannock Falls. The Gorge Trail which leads from the main road to the falls is only 3/4 of a mile. The path is mostly flat and runs beside a creek and through a deep rocky ravine. The steep rock cliffs, fall foliage, and creek make for nice scenery along the way. The trail ends at the bottom of the falls. An observation platform and a foot bridge offer great vantage points.
There is also a lookout with spectacular views of the falls from above. It can be reached by turning left out of the Gorge Trail Parking Area onto Rt. 89 and then left onto Taughannock Park Rd. It’s possible to park right beside the overlook. It can also be accessed by hiking a trail that starts at Rt. 89 on the other side of the Taughannock Creek. We took the easy way and drove to it.
After checking out the falls, we headed to the nearby town of Trumansburg for dinner. Trumansburg is a small town with a few shops, a pizza place, and a few restaurants/bars within a two block stretch of the main road. We had some pizza, my daughter and her friend looked at jewelry and clothes, and we went to the chocolate shop for a little dessert. The chocolate shop makes all hand made sweets. Some I found interesting were chocolates spiced with red pepper flakes and chocolates called Monkey Brains. The Monkey Brains were filled with confections and shaped to make them look like brains. Although the shop was small, it offered tours and was crowded with patrons from a nearby Corvette show.
We passed the rest of the night at the cabin. The girls played guitar and sang around the campfire. At one point someone stumbled over to our cabin from a nearby party and invited us over so that the girls could provide them with music. Although they offered us free beer, I declined the invitation for all of us. I never like turning down free beer while camping.
– Official Taughannock Falls website