2016 Keystone Bullet
2016 Keystone Bullet
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At the end of the last great ice age, around 10,000 years ago, a mile-high glacier scraped and gouged at the soft New York soil exposing bedrock. As it retreated north, it simultaneously melted, leaving a huge amount of water. The water worked its way downhill, eventually forming what would become Chittenango Creek. The creek twisted and turned, joining with other creeks to find a set of massive granite ledges and plunged some 160 feet to the lower ground. A few thousands of years of water constantly pounding the rocks eventually eroded it a few extra feet, and its official height stands at 167 feet. Chittenango Falls State Park was officially established in the 1930s to preserve the scenic waterfall for posterity.
The closest town is Cazenovia, which has a handful of restaurants and restaurants. The town is about four miles south. For more variety in retail shopping, as well as a medical center for health emergencies, Oneida, is about 15 miles to the northeast. Search for an RV in Madison County, NY, and get ready to embark on a memorable RV camping vacation.
All signs of the surrounding agricultural farms disappear upon entering Chittenango Falls State Park. Tall, slim trees tower overhead, its branches reaching out to one another to form a lacy canopy that filters light onto the forest floor. Nearby, the sound of water gurgling and burbling away creates a pleasant background sound that accompanies birdsongs in the trees. The two-tier waterfall stream year-round. In springtime, after the snowmelt occurs, the waterfall turns into a blazing gush of water, hiding the massive granite boulders underneath the white froth. As the flow of water ebbs under the heat of the summer, it slows to form a delicate, wide veil of water. Hikers and photographers can choose to enjoy the waterfall from the footbridge at the lower level or take a short trail to the top of the falls.
Though Chittenango Falls State Park is a smaller one, covering around 193 acres, there’s plenty of hiking fun to be had. The Chittenango Gorge Trail follows Chittenango for about two miles before veering off into deep woods. The trail, which is laid over old railroad tracks, meanders south for about 10 miles, eventually connecting to Cazenovia.
Nearby state parks and forests, such as Helen McNitt State Park, offer year-round recreational fun. Hike, fish, swim, snowshoe, cross-country ski, and more.
Although camping with an RV at Chittenango Falls State Park would be nice, it was determined in the early 2000s that the park was too small to support a campground. However, there are several options within 15 miles of the waterfall. One option to consider is RV camping at Green Lakes State Park near Fayetteville. It has almost 200 RV sites, and a majority have electric hookups. Although there are no water or sewer hookups, there are faucets and bathrooms available and an on-site dump station.
Should space run out, which happens on occasion during the summer months, Cedar Valley Campsite in Morrisville, may be a good candidate. All sites have full hookups and fire pits. The restrooms also have hot showers, which is a nice feature after a hike on a damp day. One potential catch: this facility is cash only (no credit card).
This part of New York is nearly as steeped in history as Philadelphia and New York. Hop into a rental Airstream and roll into the past. The Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, NY, details the process of constructing the famed Erie Canal and some of the challenges that the engineers had to contend with. The exhibits have artifacts, tools, maps, replica boats, art, photographs, and other items on display for visitors to browse.
Join the other waterfall-chasers in an RV rental and search for the perfect waterfall to photographs. Though upstate New York has thousands of waterfalls, only a small percentage persist year-round after the spring snowmelt. Many of these larger waterfalls are close to roads or can be accessed with a very short walk. Several of these year-round waterfalls, in addition to Chittenango Falls, can be found in the area. Near Canastota, NY is Oxbow Falls. Though it’s a shorter one, the thick woods that lean over it protectively make for a very photogenic spot.
At the end of a long day of exploring and sightseeing, kick up your heels outside a camper rental. Listen to the soft crackle of a campfire and watch the stars appear in the night sky.