Category Archives: hiking

Beaver Lake

The last time I visited Beaver Lake Nature Center, I think I was about seven years old. I saw an upside down tree while on a school field trip and I couldn’t wait to tell my dad about it. We took a family trip there that weekend and when I pointed out the tree – it turned out to be an uprooted one.

At the time, I felt stupid. But now the part of this story that I truly love is that Dad wanted to experience the hike with me. I felt like he was with me when I placed these angels on the trails. I always feel like he is with me when I am hiking, but, well, you know.

The trails felt vaguely familiar. They have different names – back in 1970 they were called Trail 1, trail 2, etc. And I didn’t remember the fabulous visitor’s center complete with a shop, a library, a museum and restrooms.

Beaver Lake Nature Center is located at 8477 E. Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville, New York 13027. There is a $5.00 fee, which you pay upon exiting the park.

You can hike or jog several trails of various lengths. But no biking. It is incredibly serene with pine woods, old growth areas, a swamp trail and others that overlook the lake. I saw several deer milling about and tons of squirrels chirping like cray-cray.

They open tomorrow at 7:30 am. The park closes at dark (5:00 pm).

The Bears

Chittenango Falls State Park is located at 2300 Rathbun Road (RT. 13), Cazenovia, NY 13035. The attraction is a 167-foot waterfall. There are hiking trails, a playground, plenty of spots to have a picnic and as of two hours ago, home to a dozen painted rocks.

I painted these yesterday for this park because we are the bears. I have worked for the Chittenango school district for 26 years and this is the first time I visited this park. It won’t be the last. Go bears! <3

Tinker Falls

From Jamesville, New York, drive about 20 minutes down Route 91 and you will find yourself in Labrabor Hollow. There is a parking lot off the highway – cross the street and now you are at Tinker Falls!

What an amazing experience. There are two components here – the treacherous climb up to the falls, the trail under the falls and another steep incline up, up, up…and then…a wide trail that continues up, up, up to a scenic overlook, which is a hang-gliding hot spot.

The brilliance of New York State all in one perfect day. The air is so fresh and the hike makes you feel so alive, so present, as if nothing else in the world matters.

It is a perfect place to stumble upon an angel or six. So grateful. <3

Three Falls Woods

Three Falls Woods is located at 4618 Sweet Road, Manlius, NY 13104. It is a beautiful place to hike! There are two main trails – the white trail leads to a pond and the blue trail loops the falls, and then there are the other trails that get you completely lost and so the key is to go early in the morning and make sure your phone is charged to GPS your ass out of there. So fun!

Bubo & Company

Be on the lookout for these little darlings. Yes, more owl rocks! This time I painted them with acrylic metallic paint. They remind me of Bubo from “Clash of the Titans” (1981 version).

First I used gesso. Then I painted on the faces, added color and did the detail work using a black Sharpie marker.

In addition, they are coated with Mod Podge in a matte finish.

They will be sent to a park nearby. Not sure which park yet. Stay tuned. <3

The Parkway

The last time I was at the Onondaga Lake parkway, I fell. I was rollerblading and tripped over my own feet, lost my balance and hit the ground butt first really hard. For a minute or so, I wondered if I was paralyzed. That is, up until people surrounded me and someone said, “Are you all right?”

That is my least favorite comment in the world. It fuels the fire of humiliation and embarrassment. Somehow, I found the strength to get up and rollerblade back to the car with my fractured coccyx in tow.

That was years ago, probably close to twenty years ago – I’m fine now, but have since retired my rollerblades. They are in my sister’s garage preparing for her next yard sale. Size 8, if you want them.

Yesterday I decided to make my triumphant return to said parkway. It takes about an hour each way to walk the road adjacent to the lake. It is set up for the annual holiday event called Lights on the Lake, sponsored by Wegmans.

It doesn’t look like anything in the daylight; however, much like my students’ clay projects needed the heat of the electric kiln to transform the glaze, this place requires the night sky and electricity to come alive.

Yesterday’s hike was magnificent though. Peaceful, safe – and the bathrooms are heated! I did not make a spectacle of myself, no injuries to report, lol, and it was all free.

If you want to take a ride over there at night, you need to get your tickets in advance through their website.

Click here to see the magic that is Lights on the Lake at night.

Lights on the Lake will continue through January 14, 2022. Drive thru happens from 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Get your tickets here.