Friday, March 10, 2017

Along the Way: Tuscarora Falls

Tuscarora 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.

After we left the disappointing Conestoga Falls, we continued down the glen toward the next of the named waterfalls. The short distance seemed even longer as the trail narrowed in spots and we had to stop often to allow people to pass us just as other hikers moved aside for us to pass.

As we moved along this portion of the trail, it was the first time that I truly realized how dangerous the Falls Trail really was. Portions of the narrow trail had broken off and slid to the creek below - one misstep here would cause the hiker definite harm. Though, as Zech mentioned many times before and would continue to remind me over and over along the trail, the trail was dangerous due to the steep drops along the way. However, this was the first time that it really sunk into my brain exactly how dangerous it could be as the eroded path became narrower in places.

The upper portion of Tuscarora Falls
Looking into the history of the park, the trails that we were hiking on have had little done to them over the years. From time to time the bridges were fixed and the rock steps fixed, but for the most part the trail has remained unchanged.

As we approached Tuscarora Falls, the roar of the water echoed in the glen and we were soon overlooking the falls.

Of all of the waterfalls we encountered along the trail, Tuscarora Falls ranks as one of my favorites. Another blog states that the log in the falls takes away from the beauty of the falls, but I personally disagree. I think that the log adds character and uniqueness, but again, that is my opinion.

To fully appreciate the beauty of this waterfall, we carefully descended a path to the base of the falls. The path is very steep and it is easy to lose your footing, but with extreme caution, one can descend it to fully appreciate the beauty of the falls. While Susan, Kevin and I made the descent to the base of the falls.

The lower portion of Tuscarora Falls
Tuscarora Falls drops forty-seven feet in two drops. The first drop is a solid veil, but the second drop, which is what I personally love about this waterfall, is split in the center by a large rock. This waterfall is named in honor of the Tuscarora Indians, who once made their home within the borders of Pennsylvania.

Originally from the North Carolina region, the Tuscarora moved northward after a series of battles with settlers known as the Tuscarora War in the early 1700s. Most of the Tuscarora settled in present-day Pennsylvania and southern New York. They would ally themselves with the Iroquois and would become a member of the Six Nations. During the American Revolution, the majority of the Tuscarora joined forces with the fledgling United States to fight against the British Army.

The Tuscarora Indians have left their mark in Central Pennsylvania. The Tuscarora Valley, Tuscarora State Forest, and Tuscarora State Park are just a few places named in their memory.

Tuscarora Falls
Photograph courtesy of Susan
After finishing our pictures at the base of the falls, we carefully made our way back up the hillside to continue our journey.

Again, please be careful while visiting and hiking the area of the falls PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE use caution if you descend the steep path to the base of the falls. The loose dirt and rocks makes it extremely difficult.

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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