Yesterday I posted about the beginning of the gorge trail going by the three major falls (link above in blue). We weren’t sure what could be left on the rest of the trail. On the latter part of the trail we had great gorge views at the overlooks and other spots, walked through forested areas with big trees and had some wildlife surprises but the highlight of the trail for me was Wolf Creek.
Just one of the many trees I couldn’t begin to get my arms around.
Wonder who else has looked out on this view over time? Several of my blog readers have been here I know.
There are some spectacular trees, primarily oaks on this trail. David is dwarfed beneath this giant and I can only get about half of its height in the picture.
One of our first surprises was this creative little chair along the trail. I think this is a great idea. If a tree falls or has to be cut down, cut the stump high enough to make a chair.
I was watching the turkey vultures soar above the canyon and ride the currents when I looked down onto the cliff to my right and saw a solitary buzzard sitting. Yes it’s a face only a mother could love but we sure could not do without the free services they provide us.
I thought he was looking a little droopy in the first picture but then he opened up his wings a la the anhinga and it was a sight I’ve never seen before. Wildlife sighting number one. Surprise # 2.
Wildlife sighting #2. He just sat on this stump, which could have been made into a nice chair for him, and posed for me. I thought he was so cute. Then David said, “He’s just a mouse with better clothing.”
I have to admit, he does look like a mouse if you just consider his features. Not sure I can ever look at a chipmunk in the same way again. Thanks David.
We can hear the waterfall down there, but we can’t see it. Don’t think you can see if from anywhere but on the river unless it’s one of those 25 in the book I didn’t buy.
At this point, we’ve turned up Wolf Creek Canyon, we just don’t know it yet.
I hear falls again. We can see there is a side canyon down there but we can’t find the waterfall. For whatever reason, the park hasn’t kept the view clear, so this is the best shot I can get of this long long waterfall. It’s a 225 feet cascade that actually has 4 sections. You can only see two of them through the trees.
We leave the view, such as it is, of the waterfall headed in the direction of the top and shortly look down on a bridge that appears to cross Wolf Creek.
We take a set of stone steps down to the bridge. What a lovely picturesque spot. I’m Standing on the bridge looking up stream at a stone bridge.
Looking downstream at what we guess is the top of many little cascades that must result in the Wolf Creek waterfall.
We spend quite a while here enjoying this lovely spot. I didn’t realize David took this picutre of me sitting on the wall above the little cascades. The beauty and the music of the water are so soothing.
Before we leave, we set up this selfie at the wooden trail bridge with the rock bridge in the background.
A park crew is repairing the rock wall as we pass around them.
They break for lunch but the traffic increases here at Wolf Creek which is a stop on the park loop road and workmen have unfortunately started up some sort of very loud generator to do work off beyond the stone bridge. The noise decreases the enjoyment of this beautiful spot. We walk on looking for a quieter place for lunch.
We choose another of the stone CCC picnic tables in an area which has one of the stone bath houses they built. I keep forgetting to get a picture of these great buildings. Bath houses with court yards. How classy!
This time David picks the table and it’s a much bigger one but still base and top have come from the river. Only the bench boards are not stone.
We reach a viewpoint where we again see the kayak group coming down the river. They are mighty small but colorful so we can see them in the distance but the every which way of their boats is more clear when I zoom in. I think there are closer to 30 boats today. We later find out that this is the last trip being made until the water levels rise. The raft trips were stopped a while ago but as of tomorrow, there are no more kayak trips either. We unfortunately didn’t pick the best year to come to upstate New York.
Wildlife sighting #3 for the day is this lovely butterfly which I think is a Northern Pearly eye.
We reach the end of the trail at the former site of the town of St. Helena and it’s time to turn around and head back. Without a shuttle, we just walk to the end and back. It will be a different hike with the same beautiful stone steps and stone walls.
We found this way of seeing the Gorge from the rim much more fun and inspiring than driving from overview to overview but we’re glad the drive is available to those who cannot walk this trail.