Sunday, February 19, 2017

Along the Way: Oneida Falls

Oneida Falls
I want to start with stating that the trails winding through Ganoga Glen and Glen Leigh are steep in spots and can become slippery. Please be careful while visiting and hiking the area of the falls and please wear proper footwear.

Leaving the splendor of Mohawk Falls (which can be found here: Mohawk Falls) behind, the next waterfall is a short walk deeper into the Ganoga Gorge. The trail between Mohawk and Oneida Falls is not as steep as the trail as it is in other places in the glens. I was amazed that the creek seemed so quiet and still compared to the rushing waters over the ledge just a short distance above us. And while the water fanned out over the falls, the stream seemed to narrow at this point – there was nothing that would suggest the magnificent waterfall we had just passed, nor hinted at the falls we were about to see.

Our quartet passed some workers clearing out brush along the stream. At the time I wondered why they were anchored securely with ropes to the banks. Obviously, the waters, though shallow by my standards, were running much faster then they appeared to be moving.

Unnamed falls entering Kitchen Creek
Between Mohawk and Oneida Falls
Where the group was working, an unnamed (or at least I cannot find a name for it) stream cascades over and around boulders entering into the Ganoga Branch of Kitchen Creek on the opposite side of the gorge from the trail. Though we could see the waters of this unnamed creek dropping among the rocks, getting a good picture of it was almost impossible. We were able to get a couple pictures of the base of these unnamed falls, but the growth farther up the hillside prevented any decent pictures of the rest of the waterfall. I could not help but wonder if the workers were going to clear out the brush to allow visitors a view of these falls also.

After a short walk we arrived at the next major waterfall in the Ganoga Gorge. Oneida Falls is one of the smallest named waterfalls in Ricketts Glen State Park. Having a drop of thirteen feet, only two other named waterfalls have a shorter drop. But the short drop does not take away from the beauty of Oneida Falls.

Oneida Falls
These falls are named in honor of the Oneida Indians, one of the original members of the Iroquois Confederacy. Their name translates to "The People of the Upright (or Standing) Stone." Traditionally their lands were in Central New York, west of the lands held by the Mohawks. The Oneidas have a unique distinction among the members of the Iroquois Confederacy: they, along with the Tuscaroras, were the only members to support the colonists during the American Revolution.

Unlike Mohawk Falls, the Oneida Falls are much easier to photograph. One can easily, but with caution, step from stone to stone into the middle of the stream to get pictures of the waterfalls.

While researching the history of the glen and the waterfalls, I've read in many different places how photogenic this particular waterfall is. A couple different sites even went as far as stating it was more photogenic than Ganoga Falls and many called it their favorite waterfall. I can understand why others have made this claim: Oneida Falls is a block (or sometimes called classic) waterfall, the type people think of when they think of a waterfall.

After finishing our pictures of Oneida Falls, we continued down the trail to the next of the next major falls.

Oneida Falls
Picture courtesy of Susan
Again, please be careful while visiting and hiking the area of the falls

A note of thanks: A big thank you goes out to Susan and Kevin for joining me on this adventure and also for allowing the usage of their pictures in this article.

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