Under a crystal blue September sky, my wife and I climbed into the gorge of Bear Swamp Creek to the foot of this waterfall past the site of a distillery where, years ago, locals used to frequent using a “jug path.”
The creek is strictly protected as part of the water source for Syracuse, flowing from the Skaneateles Highlands past historical villages such as “New Hope.” Before merging with Skaneateles Lake, the creek traverses this 90 foot fall, call Carpenter Falls.
You need to climb the steep slopes of the gorge for this unobstructed view.
It is even possible to climb to the ledge behind the water. Standing on the ledge, the stream passes 50 feet overhead. It is a lovely view down the gorge in all seasons.
Sandbank Road climbs from the valley of Ithaca city to the rural peneplain on the way to Buttermilk Falls, we passed the sign for this preserve many times, today we explored this place, new to us. The trail descends to Lick Creek canyon.
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We stopped to enjoy the open space of a powerline clear cut where the trail intersects the creek bed. Here we turned, following the water.