Twin Falls Lower Falls Waterfall Wednesday blog cover
Adventures,  Painting Series,  Waterfall Wednesday

Waterfall Wednesday: Twin Falls Lower Falls

Today for Waterfall Wednesday we’re going back to Twin Falls near Watkins Glen, New York.  A couple of months ago I shared to about the Upper Falls portion of this area.  Today, I’ll talk more about Lower Falls.

But first, here is a view that I found while reviewing photos from my trip on the backroads around Watkins Glen.  It was such a beautiful day that I visited these waterfalls. Twin Falls was a little tricky to find because it’s kind of hidden within dense trees so I ended up driving around a little bit (I’m also pretty famous for getting misdirected whenever I visit someplace for the first time).

Panoramic photo of Watkins Glen hilltop
Photo of Twin Falls Upper Falls in Watkins Glen by Laura Jaen Smith
Twin Falls Upper, photograph, 2018

Twin Falls is also known as Templar Falls and is found towards the intersection of Templar Road and Van Zandt Hollow Road in the Town of Dix.  It is part of the 9085 acres that are Sugar Hill National Forest covering Schuyler County. 

The walk to Twin Falls is really short, maybe 50 feet from the small pull off on the road.  Compared to the hustle and bustle of Watkins Glen State Park just 4 miles down Glen Creek, the area around Twin Falls seems so serene and untraveled.  

The trail is more rustic and in order to get a view of both of the waterfalls, you will need to cross the creek further up in the opposite way where the creek becomes shallow and then climb down a bank.  

When I visited, there was a rope that someone had left tied to the trees to help guide the way down.  It seemed like the rope may have been there awhile, so be sure to inspect it before using or bring one of your own just in case.  (I always kind of wondered what experienced hikers carried in their packs.)

Once you climb down you will arrive level with the bottom of Upper Falls, and you’ll see Lower Falls below you.  In order to get to the bottom of Lower Falls you would again need to climb down (I don’t remember seeing a rope for this one).  Daylight was starting to fade so I decided to enjoy Lower Falls from a top view only.


Photo of trail to Twin Falls in Watkins Glen by Laura Jaen Smith
Twin Falls, photograph, 2018
Photo of Twin Falls Lower Falls in Watkins Glen by Laura Jaen Smith
Twin Falls Lower, photograph, 2018

Lower Falls is approximately 10 foot high and is the slightly smaller of the two waterfalls.  

You wouldn’t be able to tell at first glance at how secluded the area is now, but there used to be a gristmill settlement that operated from the bottom of the waterfalls in the 1850’s run by Ebenezer Buck.

As well as the two waterfalls of Twin Falls, Sugar Hill State Forest has trails for hiking, horseback riding, and snowmobiling, hunting and trapping, and picnic areas.  There is also the Sugar Hill Fire Tower, built in 1941 by the Civilian Conservation Corps.  The tower stands 75 feet tall and the stairs up to the top landing are open for climbing (at your own risk) to be able to enjoy the 15 mile view.  It’s listed on the National Historic Lookout Register and is one of the last fire towers in the state accessible to the public.  I can’t wait to check it out sometime!

Painting Lower Twin Falls

Twin Falls Lower Falls by Laura Jaen Smith. Acrylic landscape painting of waterfall in Watkins Glen. 50 NY Waterfalls Project.
Twin Falls Lower, 6x6 acrylic on wood panel, 2018

Twin Falls Lower Falls is unique most apparently because it is the only waterfall in the 50 painting series that I painted from above the falls looking down.  Both paintings of the waterfalls of Twin Falls feel so serene and secluded and feature a lot of green and blue tones.  

Fun Fact: Twin Falls Lower Falls is the only painting in the series that I accidentally dropped into my palette while working on.  Which is actually pretty impressive considering I had the palettle sitting directly underneath the tabletop easel.  Someone said that some day it may be worth millions because of the fact.  I’m not quite sure about that, but it does make me laugh a little anytime I see it.  

Twin Falls Lower Falls by Laura Jaen Smith back of painting

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