Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Glens, Moraines, Drumlins, and Such

If you hear the name Watkins Glen, it might bring to mind the Grand Prix racing circuit, but over the past several days we’ve discovered another side of the Watkins Glen area. The natural beauty and rich cultural history of the Finger Lakes region of New York is astounding, and our e-Tour calendar allowed us to drive off the beaten track a few miles for a little ad hoc Leave No Trace outreach in some of New York’s finest state parks and public recreation areas.

We spent one night at Taughannock State Park near Ithaca and a second night at Watkins Glen State Park at the southern end of Seneca Lake. Both parks feature impressive gorges (“glens” in New York-speak) and numerous waterfalls, and each exhibits uniquely beautiful characteristics that have resulted from the glacial forces that sculpted the geologic landscape of the area 12,000 years ago. In addition to hiking the rim and gorge trails in Taughannock and Watkins Glen, we bicycled along the Catharine Valley Trail, which follows an old railway grade and even older canal towpath past the wetlands of Queen Catharine Marsh Fish and Wildlife Management Area and Montour Falls.

From Finger Lakes Region

As we set up our Coleman E-1 pop-up in a campground, we quickly become immersed in the local camping community. Our attention-grabbing Leave No Trace Subaru and Coleman camper invariably pique the curiosity of our neighbors, and open the door to conversations about our camping rig, Leave No Trace, and our e-Tour odyssey. We always carry LNT hangtags and brochures on our walks or bicycle rides to give to folks that we meet, and find that there is generally a receptive and friendly cohort of fellow travelers who are interested in talking with us about our shared appreciation of and concern for the outdoors.

From Finger Lakes Region

Hope to see you down the trail on foot or bicycle.

Peggy and Barrett
e-Tour 2010

e-word: evolving

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