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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Canajoharie Gorge/ Yatesville Falls/ Christman Sanctuary(Mohawk Valley)

Following two days of steady and much needed rains, I was anxious to get out and do some exploring today.  The last of the rains moved out in the morning leaving mostly cloudy skies and below average temps around 60 degrees.  I figured this would be a good day to get out to see some waterfalls, and my first stop would be the geological wonder known as Canajoharie Gorge in Montgomery County.  Taking exit 29 off of I-90 and located about a mile south of the village of Canajoharie is 72 acre Wintergreen Park.  The parking lot is located on the right off of Old Sharon Road.  There are wide views across open fields from the trail head.
 The Nature Trail follows the east rim of the gorge and heads north for a little over a half mile.
 There are two small stream crossings along the trail.  The second crossing is a bit bigger and has a foot bridge to help you across.
 The sheer drop offs into the canyon like gorge are over 100 feet deep.
 After a bit over a half mile, you arrive at a large wooden viewing platform, which ends the trail, and offers views down to Canajoharie Falls.
 45 foot Canajoharie Falls is quite impressive from high above.  Unfortunately trees block the view to a certain degree.
 A closer look at the falls.
 On the return trip there are dramatic views down over the gorge.
 Enjoying the nature around me.
Recent rain water pooling on a leaf.
 After completing the Nature Trail, I headed down to the lower section of Wintergreen Park, where there are camping and recreational areas along the creek.  This afforded a different look at the fast flowing waters.
 The steep walls above Canajoharie Creek.
 After leaving Wintergreen Park, I headed a bit further downstream, north into the village, where there is additional access to the creek at the end of Floral Ave.  A short walk on an informal but easy to follow path leads to the fascinating Canajoharie Pothole.  The Pothole is 24 feet in diameter, nearly 8 feet deep and amazingly round.  It is a notable attraction of the gorge.
 A little further upstream are a series of falls directly below the remains of the Arkell and Smith Dam.
 The view upstream just above the dam.
 In a small pool along the creek I saw hundreds of tadpoles swimming around.
 Just below the Pothole is a wide cascade.

Wildflowers.
 Really had a good time exploring the fascinating Canajoharie Gorge.
My next stop would be Yatesville Falls, an impressive 35 foot waterfall in the middle of nowhere, just a little further south and east in Montgomery County.  The access road is marked by a State Forest sign on rural Anderson Road near the tiny hamlet of Rural Grove.

 Let me lead by saying that this waterfall is not easy to find, unless you are looking for it.  The road to the falls leads through deep woods and is one lane and gravel with many puddles. 
 After 1.1 miles on the State Forest Road, you will arrive at the falls.  It gets even more difficult from here, as there is no easy way to the base of the falls.  I had to very carefully climb down the very steep banks to get this view.
 The falls are very impressive, dropping 35 feet straight down.
 The falls as viewed from the road.
 Looking down from the top of the falls.

 I headed further east for my last stop of the day at 120 acre Christman Sanctuary in the town of Duanesburg, along the banks of the Bozen Kill.
A field of wildflowers along the trail.

There are many small cascades throughout the preserve, especially after the recent rains.
 There are many small but pretty, ledge shaped falls downstream of the main falls.

The main falls is a 30 foot drop on the Bozen Kill which drops into a very large pool.  A lean to is also found next to the pool.
 The upper section on the main falls.
 The trail by the lean to, with ropes to help near the steep, muddy banks.
 Walking back to the car on wooden planks through the damp woods.
Really enjoyed getting out exploring several different spots in the Mohawk Valley west of Albany.  The recent rainy weather really helped provide picturesque falls and cascades at my three stops.  Walked about three miles total for the day.

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