Tag Archives: Hiking

2chicks Photos ~Light on the Marsh

Light on the Marsh

A calm weekday evening, a few people milling about, but mostly quiet, nature, silence and beauty. A heron flies low and lands just out of reach. I wonder what else is happening out of our view? The sun is getting tired from a long day’s work, but still has some show left in her. “Do you mind if I take a picture of a smidge of your work, oh sunshine, fair”?

Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve and Marina, Mentor, Ohio

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2chicksNiagara ~One cat’s opinion…

One cat’s opinion? Misha wanted to remind you that no matter the season, Niagara is a great place to visit, love and live! Autumn’s just around the corner, so be a cool cat and plan your trip ahead.

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The 2chicks family has been in the midst of a move, so less publishing this summer, but Misha was tired of just hanging around and had to get her two cents in! Her trip’s already in the bag. 😉

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2chicks Niagara ~ Gorgeous Gorge

For the Beauty of the Earth.

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The wind curves ’round the bend,

The Hawk and eagle glide on by,

The water rushes down below,

My heart it soars, touching the sky.

Sherrie Robins

 

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The Gorgeous Niagara Gorge

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Hello, friends, it’s Autumn in Niagara. The leaves have reached their peak in beauty, and we’d love to share them with you! We start our autumnal journey at the stairs that lead down to the gorge, by Devil’s Hole Park. Currently it’s a bit of a treacherous walk, but they have plans to fix them in the near future. (Notice that we hop up and down the gorge a few times, based on the order of our photos!)

 

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One of our favorite trees along the path at the top of the gorge.

 

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Such beautiful, rich colors. Don’t get to close to the raging waters!

 

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A blanket of leaves cover the ground along the trail, on the banks of the Niagara.

 

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A bird’s eye view of the Niagara Gorge. Looking across toward the Canadian side of the river, the colors are so vibrant.

 

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After our Bird’s eye view, we dive back down for a closer look at the water!

 

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We pop over to the Niagara Falls Discovery Center, where there is easier access down to the gorge. An elevator will take you to the bottom (Open from Spring through October 31st).

http://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/discovery-center.aspx

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The familiar turquoise waters of the Niagara.

 

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A patchwork quilt of orange, gold, yellow, red and green.

 

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An adventurer brought their bike down the elevator, and went for a walk. Thank you for leaving it to ‘pose’ for the picture. 😉

 

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The Rainbow Bridge connecting two countries, and a part of the Horseshoe Falls too.

 

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Niagara Falls, Ontario.

 

Fall really is one of the best times to visit Niagara; the tourist population and the heat is down, and the beauty is up. So if you’re an adventurous person and you like to hike, the stairs are for you. But if you prefer beauty without all of the hard work, you can enjoy it just as much using the elevator.

So whatever season you choose to visit, you’re always welcome.

The Parks of Niagara – Part I

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Devil’s Hole State Park

The Niagara region is rife with vegetation and life. It’s beaming with beauty and verdancy.  So much is accessible to the public for viewing, some in a natural state and some in more manicured park lands.

Here is a quick overview of a few of the Parks Niagara has to offer, featuring Devil’s Hole, Whirlpool State Park and Niagara Reservation State Park.

Devil’s Hole State Park has been a great source of Inspiration for our family. With it’s changing moods, with the seasons, diverse paths and trails, it seems to always present something for each of our tastes. Mom likes the above trail and the creative opportunities a stroll affords. The rest of the family likes the hiking down the cliff to the water’s edge: destination ‘wild water’ and unique rock formations.

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No pictures of the lower path. Sorry. Everyone was too busy having fun! You’ll just have to come and experience it for yourselves.

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And on a practical note, there are picnic tables, so bring a lunch.

Whirlpool State Park and Devil’s Hole are ‘next door’ to one another and accessible via a trail that runs along the top of the gorge. It is not a difficult connection, but it is not easy either. If you are looking for an easy walk, the Devil’s Hole trail is the easiest. Whirlpool’s has a hill you need to navigate and the connection between the parks has a stony and hilly trail.

October 25, 2012. Whirlpool State Park. A special treat of 78 degrees!d
Whirlpool State Park

Whirlpool Park has a lovely view of the Whirlpool, below on the Niagara River and of the Aero car that crosses the gorge, over the Whirlpool, from Canada to Canada.

Lovely stone building and look-out.
Lovely stone building and look-out.

We would be remiss if we did not turn the spotlight toward Niagara Reservation State Park. A constant beauty, showcasing the Falls, renowned world over, this Park is the number one destination of all tourists visiting from across the globe. A four-season reservation, no room for any hesitation, this is the ultimate destination! 😉

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Niagara Reservation State Park – America’s oldest State Park.
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The water crashing on the rocks below. Always magnificent.
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On Luna Island, between the Bridal Veil and American Falls…up close and personal.
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In the heart of the City, Niagara rings true with paths and walkways, assured of natural beauty.
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You never know what you’ll find around the corner at Reservation: Buffalo Philharmonic performs.

 

 

 

Niagara Falls Tips – Picnic at the Upper Rapids

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When people think of visiting the Falls, they often only think of the waterfalls. But there are many varied things to do, including frequenting one of natures charms, the upper rapids.

A great way to get up close and personal with the beauty of Niagara is to have a picnic by the water. The rapids are located both above and below the Falls, and all visitors should take the time to see them. If you are at the Reservation State Park, and you’re done looking at Niagara, you can proceed up river, away from the Falls, along a scenic pathway. You will pass two bridges; one is for pedestrians only. These bridges take you over to Goat Island, which, given the time, is another must see. As you walk along this path, there is a constant view of the rushing waters. The further away you are the calmer the water is. The thundering roar lessens, becoming a ferocious rush, then a tumble, and eventually, a peaceful calm, while the distant waterfalls’ roar hums in the background.

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Here is a simplified image of Reservation State Park:

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We had a quick and easy picnic of our own, brought some takeout, and ate on a park bench, though many others bring chairs and blankets as there are no picnic tables in this part of the park. There are, however, some terrific photo opportunities which we also took advantage of.

Niagara Falls, Ontario across the gorge.

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Close to the Falls, the rapids are quite spectacular.

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One of the two bridges that cross over to Goat Island.

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The waters begin to calm.

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Because this is the road less traveled, the crowds have thinned.

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We arrive at our peaceful and serene destination.

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Enjoy!

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The secret inspiration of the gorge

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One of my all time favorite places to write.

There is a space along the Niagara gorge, between the Devil’s Hole and Whirlpool Parks that holds my heart. The land slopes gently downward, among slithering bends, parallel to the mighty Niagara, though lofty heights above. A stately old bridge graces a water run off and large trees play hide and seek with chipmunks and squirrels.

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I love lazy autumn afternoons, when the air is still and the sky grey, when there is a mere wisp of a cool breeze, indicating what is yet to come.

But nothing can properly describe the breath taking visuals, nor the total immersion of sounds; a regular feast for the senses; crickets, katydids and grasshoppers chorus their canticle, alongside the hum and roar of the waters rushing below. Up above, whirlybirds (helicopters) hum their constant Niagara tune, a theme played multiple times daily, delivering thrills to hundreds of tourists.  Cars and lawnmowers chime in to remind us that this is actually a giant slice of nature placed in an urban setting…or perhaps the other way around.

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A residential area is directly across the Robert Moses Parkway. Deveaux has many stately old homes.

The Canadian side is so close, one feels as though they could reach out and touch it, (if you had a freakishly long arm)! The Niagara Glen is just across the way, a place my high school class made an annual visit for our year end picnic. Now here I sit, writing from Western New York, an observer of little bodies climbing up and down stairs and rocks like ants.

Back here, in continued observation, the Great Niagara Whirlpool is to my left. (It’s also home of the Spanish Aero car accessible from Canada only). To the right are both power plants, the American Niagara Power Project and Canadian Sir Adam Beck. The Niagara Power Project is easily accessible from here, a mere stones throw away. The Robert Moses Parkway also jangles along the gorge from beyond Youngstown NY on one end and to the far end of Niagara Falls on the other.

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This is the converted Robert Moses Highway. On one side there is a road, and this side is a pedestrian and bike pathway. Part of this land is protected so that the flora and fauna can grow naturally.

Regarding trail accessibility, bike and hiking trails, both dirt and paved (adjacent to the Robert Moses Parkway) are varied. The trails available are for both the adventuresome and the more gentle soul. Hikers, bikers, joggers, dog walkers and strollers all live together in perfect harmony…or at least they use some of the same path ways! Picnic tables, and bathrooms are also available. (seasonally).

I prefer to stroll along the top of the gorge, gaze at the beautiful vistas, take pictures in a photographer’s paradise and dodge the occasional squirrel,  sitting ‘neath the tree, with my name on it, putting pen to ink…

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