January Thaw in the Finger Lakes

Last Sunday was a good day for a drive and we headed to Watkins Glen to see what was going on at the southern end of Seneca Lake. As we were headed down the hill on route 14 into the village of Watkins Glen, the harbor looked deserted.  No boats, no people, no activity of any kind. The weather was quite nice as the digital temperature shown on the Chemung Canal Trust Company Bank was 60 degrees.

We headed over to the Hector Falls (click here) in Schuyler County. Almost all of the snow is gone but the run off from the hills and fields above the falls made for some spectacular falls watching. The height of the Hector Falls is 165 ft. with a first drop of 50 feet which towers above the roadway.

The water from the first drop passes under the roadway, and then makes a sharp right hand turn before it spills over the next falls of some 100 feet into Seneca Lake below. Come to think about it, I don’t recall having seen any falls in the Finger Lakes which has a roadway passing over the middle of the falls!

The final drop into Seneca Lake is along some private property so one can’t gain access to that part of the falls. If one looks across the lake, one can clearly see the salt mining operation along the west side of Seneca Lake. We depend upon the snow cover to fill our streams, lakes, and wells with water, but once again in the Rochester area, we find that our snowfall has only been 27 inches so far this winter. We should have received 43 inches of snow by this time in January. I never thought that I would find myself wishing for more snow in the Finger Lakes!

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