Waterfall adventures and new paintings blog cover
Adventures,  Painting Series

Waterfall Adventures & New Paintings

Looking back on this past week, I visited five different waterfalls and painted three new paintings for the Summer Mosaic series.  I’m now on painting number 8 of 50 and 40 more days to go!  I’m a little behind where I’d like to be on the project, but it will be done in plenty of time.  I feel I kind of underestimated the time that it takes to go hiking to hunt down all of the area waterfalls.  It’s making me realize what a beautiful area we live in and how many beautiful different places there are to get out and be active. 

I’ve also learned this week that I don’t always follow directions well, which is a hard thing for me to admit.  See, during yesterday’s hike, I decided that I could read the map better than the person who wrote the guidebook.  I found a spot at the top of the map that looked closer to the waterfalls and decided that was the way to go.  What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was choosing to start at the top of a 500m elevation change and the loop I chose to take ended up about two miles longer.  Also, because I took the outside loop instead of a harder inside loop, I missed two of the waterfalls.  (Of course, I then had to climb back to the top to get to my car.)  It was definitely not what I had in mind for the whole afternoon but it was challenging, the scenery was beautiful, and I got a good workout in.  Next time I will be more prepared (yes I’m planning a next time) and follow directions. 

Here are the different waterfalls that I visited this week.


Chittenango Falls (Chittenango, NY)

Photo of Chittenango Falls State Park Cazenovia waterfall by Laura Jaen Smith

This one has a beautiful view from the bottom.  There’s a little wooden bridge that goes around the creek so you really can get a good view of the falls.  The path has a lot of stairs and is uneven – make sure you wear your good walking shoes for this one.  If you decide to not go to the bottom of the falls, there’s also an overlook where you can see the top portion of the falls up above that’s also wheelchair accessible. 

Photo of Chittenango Falls State Park bridge Cazenovia NY by Laura Jaen Smith

Seneca Mill Falls and Cascade Mill Falls (Penn Yan, NY)

Photo of Seneca Mill Falls Keuka Outlet Trail Penn Yan NY by Laura Jaen Smith.

Seneca Mill Falls ans Cascade Mill Falls are found a little over a mile apart along the Keuka Outlet Trail.  Both locations used to hold mills and now are abandoned or in ruin.  You can see the ruins of the paper mill that used to be around Seneca Mill Falls (top).  Ignore the random trash that has been left around it.  The beauty of being a painter is I can just leave that part out when I paint.  If you’re a photographer, you may want to keep this in mind when you visit this one.  There’s also a picnic area nearby to enjoy.  

Photo of Seneca Mill Falls Keuka Outlet Trail Penn Yan NY by Laura Jaen Smith.

(Left) There’s still random parts of the mill to look at.  It’s a little over a mile to Cascade Mill Falls along the same creek.  When I went (in the end of May) there were beautiful purple flowers that lined the path (right).  

Photo of Keuka Outlet Trail Penn Yan NY by Laura Jaen Smith

There’s also another parking area on the main road that is closer to Cascade Mill Falls (it might save about 1/4 mile if you’re crunched for time).   As you walk up you’ll see old abandoned mill and factory buildings and you’ll start to hear the waterfall.  It was a little difficult to get a good angle for photographing the waterfall.  The area has a lot of poison ivy and the building areas are unsafe to enter.  There is an overlook where you can view the rapids and then further down the trail you can kind of get in for a better angle of the whole falls. 

Photo of Keuka Outlet Trail Penn Yan NY by Laura Jaen Smith.
Photo of Cascade Mill Falls Keuka Outlet Trail Penn Yan NY by Laura Jaen Smith

Waverly Glen (Waverly, NY)

I think Waverly Glen might be one of my new favorite waterfalls.  It’s really easy to get to and a quick mostly level walk to get up near.  Because of all the teeny tiny steps of stone that make up the falls, this one has a different sound and look than other waterfalls I’ve visited so far.  

Close up photo of Waverly Glen waterfall by Laura Jaen Smith
Photo of Waverly Glen waterfall by Laura Jaen Smith

Sweedler Preserve (Ithaca, NY)

This is the waterfall I was talking about earlier.  If you go, definitely consider parking at the bottom off of route 13/34 (take the white path to the first fall, the blue path from there will keep you along Lick Brook to see the other waterfalls.).  It was a beautiful waterfall and a great learning experience.  Probably best to plan on visiting after a good rain as it looks like it could be one of the falls that dries up quickly in the summertime. 

Photo of Sweedler Preserve Lick Brook waterfall Ithaca NY by Laura Jaen Smith.

Paintings Accomplished This Week

Three paintings completed this week (3 1/2 if you count the one on my easel).  If you get a chance pop over to my Facebook page and help me choose which angle to paint for Cascade Mill Falls!  The votes so far are pretty down the middle and I could use some tie breakers. 

Letchworth Upper Falls by Laura Jaen Smith. Acrylic landscape painting of Letchworth State Park waterfall from 50 NY Waterfalls Project.
Letchworth Upper Falls
Aunt Sarah's Falls by Laura Jaen Smith. Acrylic landscape painting of waterfall Montour Falls. 50 NY Waterfall Project.
Aunt Sarah's Falls
Twin Falls Lower Falls by Laura Jaen Smith. Acrylic landscape painting of Watkins Glen waterfall. 50 NY Waterfalls Project.
Twin Falls Lower Falls

I’m going to be out of town a good share of the week this week, so there may not be as many waterfall adventures but I’m hoping to get a few paintings done before I go and I can share more about my trip!


If you liked my post, I’d love for you to share it with someone who might enjoy it also!

You can follow along in my journey and art adventures on Facebook or Instagram.  Receive updates via email by using the newsletter sign up on the right banner.

Leave a Reply