After finding the no trespassing signs at Peppermill Gulf on Saturday, we had to pick another destination, and this is what we came up with. The guide here lists it as "property status unknown". The only reference I can find to it in the forum is this:
Re: Who are you and what do you do?
Postby chuckerp on Tue May 27, 2008 8:13 pm
I found this site in the Finger Lakes magazine, and I was curious to find out if the falls I grew up exploring was listed. It is! It is the Onondaga county falls listed as the Cascades, located between Berry Rd. and Clark Hollow Rd. The owership is listed as undetermined, but I can tell you that the upper falls is on private land owned by Art Goldsmith of Berry Rd. I don't know exactly how far down his land goes, if he owns all the falls sections or not. We grew up climbing all over the upper falls, from Berry Rd on down, and in the spring when the melt water is running fast, the views from below each cascade are spectacular! There used to be a trail that lead down to the lower cascades, but the gulch walls are fragile shale and the trail has eroded. A climber with rope and harness could easily get down, as the walls are not sheer, just very steep and crumbly. The upper falls from Berry road are more accessible. There once was a mill on the first set of upper falls (grist mill? not sure) and the ruins are still visible. We have hiked the entire length, from the headwater springs that start the streams up on Swift Road, down all the cascades to Jamesville-Apulia Rd. It is a strenuous hike. The common name we know the falls by is "Conklins", although I don't know the source of the name. I don't know the owner name previous to Art Goldsmith, and he has owned the land since at least the early '60s. I could probably check into Family history records, as we Partridge's have been in that area since the 1770's, and Art could almost certainly tell me. I'll have to stop in and ask him the next time I'm up North.
It's on private land all the way between Berry Rd and Clark Hollow Rd. The upper part (which I believe includes all of the falls) is owned by one person, and the lower part must be owned by the dairy farmer on Clark Hollow Rd, because it runs right through his pastures. Downstream from the farm it looks like it runs into a swamp, I'm not sure if you can access it legally (or if you'd want to - definitely no waterfalls there). From there, the creek must flow into the stream that runs along Rt 20 just after Big Bend in Lafayette.
We took the hike with permission, which you should seek if you want to go there. It's a nice creek walk, pretty strenuous because you have to walk back upstream to get out. I took some pictures, which sadly aren't quite as nice as most of yours, but I'm a point-and-shoot, no tripod kind of photographer.
The first falls has two different sections - to the right is a nice cascade, to the left is a drop off an overhang.
The pictures might not give a good sense of scale - I'd say the cascade is 150ish feet long and maybe 30-40 vertical feet? These are all from the top - we didn't go to the bottom. You wouldn't like to try to climb down the falls as it's pretty steep and algae-covered. You need to go out of the creek bed a bit to find a little gully that runs down back toward the creek. It looks passable (though quite brushy) from the top. However, from there you would need to seek permission from the farmer because you're getting pretty close to the pastures on Clark Hollow. My friend, who grew up here and has been down the creek many times doesn't think that there are any more falls below.
I'm not sure if you guys are interested in falls that you might not be able to visit, so feel free to delete this if you like, but I thought I'd post as a thanks for this great resource.