Chittenango Falls State Park
Madison County in New York is home to Chittenango Falls State Park, one of the most attractive parks in the State. The Park, which lies to the East of Cazenovia Lake is 193 acres of sheer beauty. Highlights include the 167-foot cascade waterfall that tumbles over 400-million-year-old bedrock into Chittenango Creek where visitors can admire the natural splendor from the wooden bridge which spans the Creek.
Those who want to experience the full majesty of the Falls are advised to visit in the Spring when it flows strongly. However, avid photographers might want to consider a Fall visit as the Autumn colors of the foliage that surrounds the Falls are at their most breathtaking.
The Falls are easily accessible. A short walk from the car park taking only around ten minutes will bring one to the bridge. However, those who want to view the Falls from below will need to spend about half an hour to get down to the best viewing point which is 170 ft below in the gorge. Those who wish to explore further into the gorge will enjoy a humid, almost tropical experience with incredible prolific plant life as they meander the circuit of the Gorge Trail. Be aware that the going can get slippery so care should be taken and this is definitely not the time to forget that camera at home.
Those interested in the distant past will be delighted to find that the limestone rock at the Falls features some wonderful coral fossils. There are also some awe-inspiring examples further downstream from the bridge.
Nature-lovers should keep an eye out for the critically endangered Ovate Amber Snail. It’s only found in the vicinity of the Falls, but you will need to keep a sharp eye out for the snails – they are only 20mm in length. Be aware that you should not intrude on the snail’s habit, the major threat to their continued existence is human beings trampling them underfoot. keep to the path and you might be lucky to see one of these fascinating and unique creatures.
The Park was an extremely popular camping spot in the past, but unfortunately, due to budget cuts, the campground is no longer in operation.
The Chittenango Falls State Park is one of those magical places that should be on every nature lover’s bucket list. If you are in Madison County set aside some time to enjoy the Falls and their unique flora and fauna.