As a photographer, there are so many places on my "bucket list" to see in person and photograph. Watkins Glen State Park - and more specifically, Rainbow Falls, has been on my list for a long time. I saw photos of it online more than 10 years ago and on Saturday morning, I was finally able to capture it in the glory of early-morning light.
The park is only 35 minutes from my new home in Ithaca, New York and the weather finally cleared up for a weekend hike. I wanted to accomplish two things - 1) beat the crowd of people and 2) take advantage of the morning light before the midday sun overwhelmed the gorges. So, I got up at 4:30am, loaded my gear and headed west.
Part of the experience, to me, is taking in the surroundings not just of the destination, but of the journey there and back. So there's a sunrise shot along Hwy. 79 of some farmland with a steaming pond in front of a beautiful sunrise and the last couple photos are of Taughannock Falls in Trumansburg, NY, a pit-stop on my way home.
When I arrived just after sunrise, there was only one other car in the parking lot, so I knew I was in for a peaceful photo-taking experience. I'll let the photos speak for themselves below, but as I hiked back through Watkins Glen State Park - I was captivated by the beauty of the park. The rock formations, the waterfalls, the vegetation, the sustainable paths created for enthusiasts like me - everything was just absolutely gorge-ous (sorry, had to). I had an incredible experience and I hope you all enjoy the photos. Cheers!