The Keuka Outlet Trail

Our trip began by heading for Keuka Lake. We live near Ithaca at the south end of Cayuga Lake. The next lake to the West is Seneca Lake. The one after that (shaped like a Y) is Keuka Lake. The next lake is Canadigua Lake, which we also saw on this trip. Here's a map of the finger lakes if you are having trouble picturing it:
Finger Lakes

The Keuka Outlet is the stream that empties Keuka Lake into Seneca Lake. It is about 8 miles long with a 278 foot drop, and was formed when the stream found a crack in the underlying Tully limestone. A canal was built along the outlet in 1831, called the Crooked Lake Canal. It never turned a profit, and it was sold in the 1880s. The "Corkscrew Railway" was built along the old tow-path. The railroad was damaged beyond repair by Hurricane Agnes in 1972, and later it was turned into the Keuka Outlet Trail.

We brought our bicycles along for the trip, using our bike rack for the first time. We parked in the middle, and rode towards Dresden on Seneca Lake.

All along the path were abandoned mills:
Outlet Trail Mills

Eventually we got to the end of the trail and continued on a bit until we had a view of Seneca Lake:
Seneca Lake

Beside the trail you could see the remnants of the old canal:
Crooked Lake Canal

The wildflower Dame's Rocket was growing everywhere. It is an escaped wildflower from Europe. Kristina really likes the colors it has:
Dame's Rocket

The first falls we come to is Cascade Mill Falls:
Cascade Mill Falls

Not much further on is Seneca Mill Falls, where they don't want you playing on the old foundations:
Seneca Mill Falls

Here is a better view of the falls:
Seneca Mill Falls

We kept pressing on, and eventually arrived at Penn Yan on Keuka Lake. Penn Yan gets its name because the original settlers were Pennsylvanians and Connecticut Yankees.

We rode our bike through a pretty park, past the piles of fuzzballs released by what I think were cottonwood trees. Just past the youth baseball field we got to the end of the trail, at the very top of Keuka Lake:
Keuka Lake

After a brief pause we turned around and rode back to our car. We passed some old mill machinery:
Mill Machinery

Near Seneca Mills Falls are the remnants of Lock 17. The canal had a large number of locks for such a short length.
Lock 17

We made it back to our car, cleared all of the accumulated bugs off our arms, and continued with our trip. Here is a GPS map of our ride:
Outlet Trail GPS

We happened upon the Seneca Farms Ice Cream Stand which had really good ice cream. I got "Funfetti" which tasted just like the frosting. Here were our options:
Seneca Farms Menu

We took the scenic route along the lake, down to the middle of the Y, then continued back up to our campground which is at the top of the left branch of the Y.

We checked in and managed to reserve a campsite at Keuka Lake State Park despite the relative incompetence of the huge number of youthful staff members running the place.

We set up our camp:
Our campsite

Then we decided to visit some other nearby waterfalls....
Continue on to Conklin Gully