Monday, July 30, 2018

Visiting New York: A Quick Trip to Syracuse


Last October I spent a long weekend in Syracuse, NY as part of my graduate program at Syracuse University.  My dad lives nearby in Pennsylvania, so we also used it as an opportunity to meet up and do some exploring.




On our first day, we did a quick tour of a few local waterfalls.  The most remarkable was 167-foot Chittenango Falls at Chittenango Falls State Park.  The trail to the falls was quick and easy, albeit a bit muddy.  Some of the river bank is habitat to a few protected species, so you’re really not allowed to wander around, but the designated path and adorable footbridge still afford some great views from above and below the waterfall and along the gorge. 

At the top of the waterfall, a paved trail lets you explore further upstream, and my dad and I couldn’t resist building a few cairns like we always do on our trips together.



After that we drove to 137-foot Pratt’s Falls at Pratt’s Falls Park.  This park offered a lot more as far as outdoor recreation is concerned, and the path to the waterfall was a bit more strenuous.  At least when we went, the view of the waterfall wasn’t quite worth the trek to get there.  It’s quite far away from the vantage point, and unless there’s been a lot of rain, the flow of water isn’t very dramatic.

On our last afternoon, after a quick tour of campus, we decided to take advantage of the warm weather and drove out to Fort Ontario on a whim. Fort Ontario, in the City of Oswego, is situated on the southeast bank of Lake Ontario.  Not only did we get to see a really unique historic site, I got to visit the one of the Great Lakes I hadn’t seen yet. The Fort was built in the early 1800s and used by the U.S. Army through World War II.  At one point it also served as the only refugee camp in the country for Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust.



We did venture into town on the hunt for ice cream, but most places were closed for the season.

One evening, we were fortunate to get tickets to the Russian Grand Ballet’s performance of Swan Lake at the downtown Crouse Hinds theater.  Before the show, we ate dinner at Jim’s Fish Fry, a real local treasure my dad couldn’t resist trying.

The next couple of days I spent on campus fulfilling my requirements as a student before flying back to Virginia. 

Syracuse in the fall is hard to beat, but I returned again in May for my graduation ceremony. It was a bit warmer and wetter, but still a wonderful weekend of celebration.  The next time I’m in that neck of the woods I’ll be enjoying it as a proud alum.




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