Friday, March 3, 2017

Along the Way: Delaware Falls

Delaware 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.

The distance between Seneca and Delaware Falls was a short one that Zech, Susan, Kevin and I covered as quickly as we safely could. I thought there had been a lot of people on the trail before, but the number seemed to multiply as they too were enjoying the coolness of the glen that hid the true heat of the August afternoon.

Along the path, we began seeing strange rock formations. A closer look showed that these, though they looked like rocks, were actually trees roots that had spread over the rocks. The roots were almost the same color as the rocks they had spread over, giving them the impression of a strangely formed and eroded rock.

Delaware Falls
Photograph courtesy of Kevin
Listed as being close to thirty-seven feet tall, Delaware Falls has been mentioned in many books and blogs that it can be easily missed. I was curious to get a view of them to see why so many people thought they were easily overlooked.

As we took in the waterfalls, I could not figure out in my mind how one would miss this part of the Glen. The best answer I could come up with was due to the main part of the falls being a slide, ending in a drop of a couple feet. Most of the thirty-seven feet are also hidden by brush and trees, causing the normal hiker to walk past most of the waterfall without realizing it is there.

The Delaware Falls are named in honor of the Delaware, also known as the Lenape, Indians. Their name, in their language, translates as "people," and the Lenni Lenape translates as the "Original People" or "First People."

Delaware Falls
Photograph courtesy of Susan
No other group of Indians would have the affect on Pennsylvania's history as the Lenape. Traditionally, their homelands were in the eastern portion in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. These lands would be purchased by William Penn as colonists settled on them and later were stolen from the Indians by his descendants. The Lenape would be constantly forced westward by both the settlers and the Iroquois Confederacy who gladly sold the lands that the Lenape traditionally hunted and lived on to the Penn family. Throughout the mid and late 1700s, the Lenape would fight back, making the frontier a violent and bloody place to live.

As I enjoyed these falls, I felt a sadness come over me. I found it strange and extremely sad that the Delaware, who had some of the most important parts in Pennsylvania's history, were nearly overlooked once again. The very simple waterfall was named in their honor and memory, while those Indians traditionally living in New York state have much grander and beautiful falls named after them.

Delaware Falls
Photograph courtesy of Kevin
I found these falls to be one of the more "relaxing" falls in the glen and took a couple of minutes to enjoy the spot. I wasn't the only one who found this spot relaxing as a family sat eating on one of the boulders. I passed pleasantries with them, not realizing that Susan and Kevin (who were a short distance ahead of Zech and I) had stopped to talk with them also. They shared a couple of photographic spots that could easily be missed in the glen stating that we should definitely consider stopping to see these.

We thanked them for the information and continued on our journey downstream to catch up with Susan and Kevin.

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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