Located a short ride from Cazenovia on Route 13 is a very special piece of New York State History, a piece that is historic and beautiful, Chittenango Falls. Once a curiosity to visitors 200 years ago, this area now a New York State Park dates back over 370 million years and its limestone rock base gives us a glimpse of marine life when Central New York was part of what park signs describe and a “tropical paradise” since the area was near the equator in these early years of formation.
Just take a look at the following interesting video made by someone who took a drone to New York and flew around and over Chittenango Falls, located near Syracuse in New York State:
The property which originally built in the 1800s, belonged to the Boardman family that ran mills on it, it was later sold to members of the famous Ledyard/Lincklean families of Cazenovia, to make into a public park, the intent was to prevent destruction of the site to preserve its beauty, part of which is a scenic 167 foot waterfall. The area opened at that point under the watchful eyes of the Chittenango Falls Park Association becoming a Central Region State Park in 1922.
By the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corp set up by then-Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt worked on the park developing trails and roads, building the beautiful stone facilities that grace the park today. One part of the CCC was actually stationed there for the winter before it moved to help build Green Lakes State Park a short distance away.
Fall, with it many colored suits, is just one of the seasons that park visitors can enjoy today as the park offers camping, picnicking, and recreational pursuits in all four seasons. The park is also filled with visitor-friendly interpretive signage that can help you learn about our past, both geologically and recreationally. So visit this scenic wonder and learn some interesting Central New York History.
Pratts Falls Park
One of the best picnic spots to cool off at and enjoy in the Syracuse area is Pratt’s Falls Park. Situated in the Town of Pompey at the top of a rocky gorge formed by the glaciers, this park not only offers cool picnic spots and trails but it also offers a glimpse of Onondaga County’s early history.
The land, some 500 acres was purchased in 1795 by Manoah Pratt and Abraham Smith. Pratt from Connecticut, eventually after making a suitable dwelling brought his wife and his father-in-law Solomon Loveland back with him.
Many of the first Town of Pompey meetings were held in Pratt’s house. Pratt was also a mover in the establishment of the local churches becoming a founding member of The First Religious Congregational Society in the Town of Pompey in 1800.
The park features archery and orienteering and for only $1 you can picnic in the lush quiet of the forest from 8:30 am until 8:30 pm in the summer. So for a nice quiet and cool picnic, be sure to visit this historic piece of the Onondaga County Parks System. The park is located at 7671 Pratt’s Falls Road, Manlius, New York. The archeology of the area is highly interesting as is the archeology of Flowerdew Hundred in Virginia. This all teaches us so much about what happened here in earlier days.
The main attraction of Chittenango Falls State Park is the picturesque nearly 170-foot waterfall. More than 400 million years of glacial sculpting created this scenic phenomenon. You can find a very interesting variety of wildlife and vegetation along the park’s trails. You can view the impressive falls from on top or walk the trail right into the gorge and view the falls if you cross the footbridge. You can return to the falls’ top along a trail on the gorge’s opposite side. The park is a great place for picnicking, fishing, and hiking.
When you’re visiting New York state, you may also want to pay a visit to another great and beautiful historic site, the Cabin of General (Baron) von Steuben, located near Remsen, NY. The public site has long been used for picnicks and outdoor activities by locals and includes a well-maintained replica of von Steuben’s cabin where he spent the last years of his life. Here, you can also find the grave of this famous General who played such an important role in America winning independence.