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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Local Waterfalls and Hidden Gems

In my ongoing quest for new adventures, my explorations will often lead to a local waterfall.  Not the crazy, huge, popular falls known world wide, such as Niagara Falls.  No, just your average, run of the mill, local gem that often times goes unnoticed.  For example, one day earlier this summer while wandering the trails at Five Rivers Educational Center in Delmar I stumbled upon some beautiful small cascades on the Vlockie Kill.
Still other times, I will be driving a random back road and come across a gorgeous site such as this waterfall in Schgaticoke called Buttermilk Falls.

As lucky as I was to find these falls, other times I have a particular waterfall that I'm looking for and will go out in search of it.

One such place was Dionondahowa Falls in Easton, NY.  A small pull off on a side road leads down to a short trail that brings you to a spot where the Battenkill is dammed.  There are a couple of different viewpoints to see the falls, but it depends on how high the water levels are for the more up close spots.
I was surprised to find a nice waterfall by a dam in East Greenbush Town Park as well.  It is actually part of the north branch of the Moordenor Kill.
Speaking of the Moodenor Kill, this stream has a waterfall in Schodack which I had read about but was concerned about public access to it. Sure enough, when I found it, there were posted signs all around the trails.  Fortunately the pull off by the road was pretty close to the falls, so I parked and decided to scramble down the trail to get a couple of pictures.  Turns out it is a beautiful spot and I got some nice shots.
I'm not always so lucky though.  Sometimes you find a nice trail that leads to a place that is reputed to have great falls, but a sheer lack of running water leads to a dry waterfall.  Seen here is my girlfriend standing in the very spot a flow of water normally produces a waterfall at Christman Sanctuary in Duanseburg.
Earlier in the spring my girlfriend Heather and I found some other local falls that luckily did have water, even though they were in much more urban settings.  Mill Creek in Rensselaer was the setting for this beautiful waterfall.
And this popular waterfall is part of the Mohawk River in Cohoes. Well known as Cohoes Falls, it has a long history in this area.  It was one of the main reasons that cargo could not get through from the Mohawk to the Hudson back in the 1800's, and played a leading role in the creation of the series of locks in nearby Waterford.

In Schenectady County you can hike the Indian Kill Preserve and see its series of small falls along the trail.

A short walk in RPI's Tech Park near my apartment in North Greenbush brings you to another beautiful waterfall in the ravine.
One of the most spectacular falls for views is Barberville Falls in Poestenkill.

The sheer amount of waterfalls in this area is confounding.  I have found many others that are just as beautiful as the ones listed here.  Hopefully I can get to those in a future post.  Happy exploring!

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