Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Along the Way: Seneca Falls

Seneca Falls
Photograph courtesy of Kevin
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 Ganoga Falls, (they can be found here: Ganoga Falls ) we continued along the Ganoga Branch of Kitchen Creek, headed downstream in search of the next waterfall. The creek bubbled and babbled along beside us. Unlike spots above Ganoga Falls, there were no calm sections of stream from here to the place where the two branches of Kitchen Creek meet. Without a doubt, the mini-falls and the water splashing around the rocks in this section creates numerous pictures waiting to be taken.

Our group was no exception as the cameras were constantly capturing the beauty of the glen.

At one point the trail clung to a ledge that wraps around a large boulder only feet from the roaring Kitchen Creek. The trail, though narrow before, would become even narrower as we continued. At many places from here to Waters Meet, somebody would have to step off of the trail to allow others to pass.

Making our way around the boulder, we were greeted by the next of the major waterfalls.

I've read in a couple places that Seneca Falls can easily be missed and arriving at the falls I could see how that could happen. At twelve feet, it is one of the smallest of the named falls within the state park as Kitchen Creek slides quickly over the rocks.

The trail clings to the rock walls and is narrow in places
In my mind, there are two main reasons that this small waterfall is missed by many. The first is due to this section of the glen is accessed by the narrowest parts of the Falls Trail. Keeping an eye on the trail for safety, Seneca Falls can be accidentally overlooked as one passes by on the trail.

The second reason that Seneca Falls can be easily overlooked is also due to its location. Nestled between the ninety-four foot Ganoga Falls and the thirty-seven foot Delaware Falls, Seneca Falls has none of the grandeur of its named neighbors above and below.

Seneca Falls is named in the honor of the Seneca Indians. The Seneca were the westernmost of the Iroquois Confederacy; referred to as the "Keepers of the Western Door," they were one of the three "Elder Brothers." The lands that they traditional called home were located between the Genessee River and Canandaigua Lake, but they hunted in the lands of western Pennsylvania. Historically, the Seneca fought and destroyed many of the smaller Indian nations, including the Erie Nation located along the lake of the same name.

The Seneca fought on the side of the British during the Revolutionary War and participated in some of the bloodiest massacres that happened during this time frame, including the Cherry Valley Massacre in New York.

Seneca Falls
Photograph courtesy of Susan
The Seneca would sign a peace treaty in 1794, the Treaty of Canandaigua, with the United States. This peace treaty would remain intact until the 1960s when the United States violated it with the construction of the Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir. The waters of the Allegheny River would flood the reservation that the Seneca had lived on since 1794. The courts eventually evicted them from these lands and forced them to move onto new lands north of the Pennsylvania border.

Returning my thoughts to the Seneca Falls, these small falls may have been named in their honor, but sadly the falls, like the Seneca themselves, can easily be overlooked and ignored. However, the falls are worth stopping at to enjoy.

With our stop at Seneca Falls complete, we headed downstream toward the next of the waterfalls in the Ganoga Glen.

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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