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Waterfall Wednesday: Cascade Mill Falls

There’s something so nice about being able to look back at pictures from this past spring and see the flowers blooming and nature coming to life.  I personally miss the warmth and this past spring/summer was especially warm.  The day that I hiked to today’s featured waterfall, I think it was just about 90 degrees.  Warm enough that I was definitely wishing I had thought to bring water even though the walk was really short.   

Today’s featured waterfall is Cascade Mill Falls.  Cascade Mill Falls can be found along the Keuka Outlet Trail that travels between Keuka Lake and Seneca Lake (between Dresden and Penn Yan) in the Finger Lakes region of New York.   Earlier in the series I shared about Seneca Mill Falls as well as the history of the area – the first settlers, the mills, canal transport, the railroad, and the eventual trail that was built.  You can check out that post here on my blog.  Today I’ll be sharing mostly pictures from the beautiful walk on the Keuka Outlet Trail.

Keuka Outlet Trail, photograph, 2018

Purple is my favorite color and I just loved seeing these little flowers pop up all along the trail. 

Cascade Mill Falls is about 20 feet tall and is found to the east of the trail (or if there’s any others out there that saying east/west doesn’t mean much, from the parking area I took a left).  The walk was pretty short – only about half a mile from the parking area – and it was pretty much level ground the whole way. 

Cascade Mill Falls, photograph, 2018

I’m fascinated by the shapes that I could see under the water and love these two shots that capture this.  (This photo above was almost the picture that I used for the painting, maybe it will be something I paint in the future.)

Cascade Mill Falls, photograph, 2018

One of my favorite parts of this particular waterfall is the amount of old ruins of past buildings that still surround it.  These old and abandoned buildings made me curious of what life used to be like along this area.  The day that I walked the trail it felt like this was a quiet forgotten spot, but after researching for Seneca Mill Falls I know that the creek was once the center of industry.  The remains of the old mill can be seen alongside Cascade Mill Falls, as well as industrial buildings from the J.T. Baker Chemical Company’s carbon bisulfide plant and Kelly Tire.  Kelly Tire reconditioned tires and relied on carbon bisulfide produced by Baker’s for rayon.  The Department of Environmental Conservation later instituted cleanups of the area in the late 1990’s and 2000’s due to chemicals found as a result the manufacturing processes.

Keuka Outlet Trail, photograph, 2018
Cascade Mill Falls, photograph, 2018
Keuka Outlet Trail, photograph, 2018
Keuka Outlet Trail, photograph, 2018
Keuka Outlet Trail, photograph, 2018

Painting Cascade Mill Falls

The most difficult part of painting Cascade Mill Falls was finding the right reference photo to work from.  Because of the condemned and unstable buildings surrounding the waterfall and the overgrowth of nature (including poison ivy) surrounding it, finding the perfect spot was almost impossible.  I wanted to be able to show the waterfall but also be able to give hints to the past surrounding it.  The painting was almost the top view from the observation deck mentioned above.  But just as I was about to give up, I found a little hidden spot where I took the reference photo that I used for the painting.   

Cascade Mill Falls, 6x6 acrylic on wood panel, 2018

The painting of Cascade Mill Falls is currently available to own via my Etsy shop.  To purchase this work or see more pictures of this or other paintings you can go here

Have you visited the Keuka Outlet Trail in person or know more about this area’s fascinating history?

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