New York - NYS Parks

Chittenango Falls State Park

After our visit to Fort Stanwix on Saturday, we decided to check out Chittenango Falls State Park, which one would assume is in Chittenango, but is apparently in Cazenovia. And I have no idea whose crazy idea it was to visit this place.

That’s not true. It was 100% my idea, and as a result I am no longer given clearance to make these kinds of decisions.

Don’t get me wrong, the falls are lovely. Standing 167 feet high, it’s pretty impressive. But let’s do the math on going to see something that’s 167 feet high. In order to get to the bottom to see the whole thing, one would need to descend 167 feet. Which is…a lot of stairs.

A bit of background, for those who don’t actually know me. I’m old, and I’m fat. No, not that slightly pudgy version of fat that I was in high school and would sell important internal organs to have again. Just fat. And out of shape. I have rheumatoid arthritis, which basically means my immune system hates me and wants to eat the lining of my joints for dinner. On top of that, I had a small meniscus tear in my left knee about six months ago. I fortunately did not need surgery and was able to rehab it with physical therapy, walking with a cane, and time.

This whole National Parks thing came about at a time when my knee was feeling pretty good. I had been able to walk without my cane for a while, and the RA hadn’t flared up in a bit. I wanted to test the knee and see what she could do, but I was still hesitant. I knew with just a little more support, it might be ok to go do all of the outdoorsy things. But as a precaution, I grabbed some KT tape and wrapped up the kneecap. The verdict? That shit is spectacular. I wish I had known about it sooner. I could actually feel the knee being properly supported, and I was ready to hit the trail.

So back to Chittenango Falls and all…those…stairs…

Yeah, just picture 167 feet of that.

The trip down the stairs was fairly uneventful. I took it slow, because a lot of the steps were cracked or uneven, and were of varying heights, so I had to be sure where I was planting my feet. But the effort was worth it when we got to the bottom and saw the falls in all their glory.

As you can see, I took pictures with both my cell phone and with my big girl camera (Canon 80D). While I was generally happy with the long exposure shots on the Canon, I didn’t have my tripod or monopod with me, so the details aren’t quite as crisp as they should be.

While we were at the bottom of the falls, we did the obligatory selfies, and I dipped my toes in the cool water for a couple of minutes. We sat on a big rock on the shore and people- (and dog-) watched for a bit. Eventually I had stalled long enough and it was time to head back up to the car. This was going to be…unpleasant.

How unpleasant, you may ask? Well, let me show you a before climbing the 167 feet of stairs pic and an after climbing the 167 feet of stairs pic…

Yeah, that’s not pretty. But we did reward ourselves for all of our hard work with ice cream from nearby Carter’s Creamery. Their soft serve custard is a complete delight. We’re definitely adding an ice cream stop to every parks outing from now on.

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