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Waterfall Wednesday: Stony Brook Middle Falls

Today’s featured waterfall is Stony Brook Middle Falls. To be honest, before I started my project of 50 New York Waterfalls, I had never heard of Stony Brook State Park or even of Dansville, New York.  Though, that can be said of most of the waterfalls that I visited during the project.

Stony Brook Middle Falls, photograph, 2018

A lot can change in a year though!  Stony Brook State Park was a beautiful park to visit!  It reminded me a little bit of growing up going to Park Station in Erin, New York – if Park Station would have had hiking trails and waterfalls.  I think what reminded me of it was the picnic tables, camping, and volleyball area – swimming too.  (And the town of Dansville, I actually ended up having a painting juried into a show there this past fall at Dansville Artworks.)

Stony Brook State Park is located off NY 36 just off I-90 by Dansville, New York.  It is almost 600 acres with campgrounds, cabins, swimming area, basketball court, tennis courts, baseball fields, volleyball court, and picnic areas.  Of course the main attraction, at least to me, was the waterfalls and trail. 

Stony Brook State Park, photograph, 2018

There are three different hiking paths that go along the creek.  Each is about one mile each way.  The path I took was created by a series of stone walkways and in some areas there were many stairs.  

Stony Brook State Park, photograph, 2018
Stony Brook Middle Falls, photograph, 2018

There are three main waterfalls located within the park – Lower Falls, Middle Falls, and Upper Falls.  The waterfalls each have plunge pools, however swimming is only technically allowed towards the south end of the trail where there is a natural swimming area created by damming the creek in two areas.  (Note: this is not the swimming area pictured.  I’ve also seen information that they’ve upped the patrols and give out fines for swimming in non-designated areas.)

After Middle Falls, the trail gradually (via many stairs) brings you up to the campground area.  There’s a tiny glimpse of Upper Falls, but to actually get a good view you would have to go down and follow along the creek.  If you look closely in the picture you can see Upper Falls in the middle standing from the gorge trail.  

Stony Brook State Park, photograph, 2018
Stony Brook State Park, photograph, 2018

On the trail after Middle falls you can find the old supports from a railroad bridge that used cross the creek.  I always think it’s interesting to see the little clues about the past and learn more about them.  The railroad was built across the gorge in 1883 and brought thousands of tourists to the park.  The train station used to be located where the campground office is today. 

Stony Brook Middle Falls – the specific waterfall I’m featuring today – is the second of three major waterfalls along Stony Brook.  It is about 20 feet high with a large crest.  The waterfall appears to drop in large gradual steps.

Stony Brook Middle Falls, photograph, 2018

Painting Stony Brook Middle Falls

What made painting Stony Brook Middle Falls different than many other waterfalls within the 50 New York Waterfalls project was how shadowed the waterfall was.  When I visited it was a bright sunny day which caused dramatic shadows and highlights throughout the gorge.  When painting the scene I used dramatic contrast to portray the difference with the light.  Many of the other paintings in this series use more toned down colors, however in this painting, I used a bolder darks and lights with pops of yellow green.

Stony Brook Middle Falls, 7.5x7.5 acrylic on wood panel framed, 2018

I also had fun painting the rocks and showing the current of water meandering through the rocks as the water rushed downstream.

This painting is currently available to own from my Etsy shop.  Earlier this week I made a couple changes to my shop to help make shopping easier.  From the main shop page, you’ll notice the menu on the left is now broken into different categories than before.  There is still a listing for Framed Art that contains all works that have been framed, however I have added a category for collections (paintings sold as a group) and the remaining of the works are divided by price categories to help you more easily choose pieces that fit inside your budget.  Many of the unframed works of art are also ready to hang when purchased (or may be able to be framed for an additional fee) and would make great gifts for your valentine that loves art.  I’m currently taking Valentines’ Day commissions through February 1st or until my current calendar is filled.  I would love to help make their day extra special by creating a one of a kind piece of art for them!

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