Adventures,  Painting Series,  Waterfall Wednesday

Waterfall Wednesday: Stewart Falls

For today’s waterfall, we’re going back to Cascadilla Gorge in Ithaca, New York.  Stewart Falls is one of the main named waterfalls of this gorge (Giant’s Staircase is the other).  I found instances where both waterfalls were referred to as Cascadilla Falls, so for clarity sake I’ll continue to mention them using their unique names instead.

Stewart Falls, photograph, 2018

Cascadilla Gorge is tucked into the Cornell University campus starting at Treman Triangle Park near Linn Street at University Avenue and Court Street and goes up to College Avenue near the Schwartz Center for Theatre Arts which is part of the university. 

The trail is .6 miles long one way and drops 400 feet in elevation.  The trail has quite a few stairs, so even though the trail is short you’ll still get in a good workout.  

The trail is absolutely beautiful in the summertime.  It’s filled with all types of plant life and interesting rocks.  With the sound of water all around it’s easy to forget that there is a busy campus just above.  

Stewart Falls, photograph, 2018
Stewart Falls, photograph, 2018

It’s so nice to be able look back and see the lush greens of summer when it’s so cold and snowy outside.  I can’t wait for the warm weather to be here again.

There are several waterfalls (eight or nine main ones) within the gorge that range from 8 to 80 feet tall. 

Stewart Falls is about 20 feet tall and is a series of cascades.  This waterfall can be found directly underneath the Stewart Avenue Bridge that crosses above. 

Stewart Falls, photograph, 2018
Stewart Falls, photograph, 2018

A Little History

Stewart Falls, photograph, 2018
Stewart Falls, photograph, 2018

Cascadilla Gorge was originally owned by Robert Treman (same Treman that Treman State Park is named after).  Robert Treman donated the park to Cornell University in 1909 for public use, education, and enjoyment.

In the 1930’s, the Civilian Conservation Corps created the trail that runs along the gorge.  They built stone steps and bridges that linked the Cornell University campus to downtown Ithaca.  The trail is a total of 7800 feet in length.

Today Cascadilla Gorge is maintained by Cornell Botanic Gardens who protects the natural area while providing educational use and access to the public for recreation and enjoyment. 


Painting Stewart Falls

Stewart Falls, 6x6 acrylic on wood panel, 2018

It was difficult to find the perfect angle to create this painting.  I wanted to be sure to include the Stewart Avenue Bridge above that the waterfall gets its name from, but I also wanted to do a more close up view to show the beautiful cascades within the waterfall (and avoid the steps to the left that seem a little out of place).  I ended up compromising a little to get a little of both features.  I like the bright sunny warmth that this painting brings and how cool and refreshing the water seems.

Have you visited Cascadilla Falls?  The trail was previously closed due to damage from this summer’s flooding as well as normal seasonal closures, so be sure to look into whether the trail is back open before you go.  

Resources & Further Learning

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