There are lots of little swimming holes and hikes to be had in Ithaca, and there’s no better time to explore them than in the summer. Back home, in NH, a hike usually entails a lengthy time commitment and the assurance that there will be significant incline for a majority of the hike. Here in Ithaca, that which is considered a hike has less to do with a mountain view at the top and more to do with a destination that involves water. One of my favorite places to visit, one that ends with water, is Potter’s Falls. Potter’s Falls is a beautiful fall along Six Mile Creek.
This week, I went twice: once with my friend Richard, and the other time with a bunch of my female friends who are also into hiking. Both times we started at the Mulholand Wildflower Preserve and walked about 2 miles or so to reach the falls. The trail leading to the falls is canopied by tall, old trees. The first day I went it was rainy, the second day sunny, but despite the change in weather, both days I was struck by how very green and vibrant it was. Energizing. The trail runs along the creek at some points, where often people are swimming or sitting near the water, and at other times it veers away from the creek and follows a part of the trail that involves a little more of an elevated climb (you can chose a less or a steeper trek). Along the way there is one spot in particular that stands out to me: it is a vantage point that overlooks Second Dam, and is worth a pause to take in the water below, the trees surrounding, and the sky above. There are also downhill streams that cut across the path every once in awhile, which are fun to stop by and get your feet wet in. The walk is close to an hour, but what usually happens when I’m going to Potter’s Fall is that, quite suddenly, I’m there! Met with a little rocky beachy area, some flat rocks in the water that are perfect to sit on and bask in the sun (maybe read a book), and, of course, the beautiful fall itself. Swimming is recommended!