Tuesday, July 27, 2021

A Waterfall Picnic Park

Racing season is now in full swing in Saratoga Springs, where our famous historical thoroughbred racetrack brings tens of thousands of visitors to town each weekend between now and Labor Day. For us locals, weekends are a good time to get out of town, and one of my husband's and my favorite places to go is Lake Luzerne, about 20 miles north of Saratoga. Our favorite lunch spot there, with a long veranda overlooking the Hudson River where it plunges through a gorge at Rockwell Falls, is now closed, alas! But a riverside tree-shaded park with picnic tables and benches suffices for a lunch date instead, so that's where we headed this past Saturday. The view here is lovely, and (since I made the sandwiches myself) the price can't be beat!

This sweet little park sits on the Hudson riverbank just above Rockwell Falls.  We couldn't see the falls from our bench, but we sure could see the plumes of mist rising from the plummeting falls. And hear the roar, as well, with the river running fast and full from many previous days of drenching rains.

After eating, we made our way down a steep bank to a rocky promontory right where the Hudson plunges into a gorge.  We could see the water charging along from where the Adirondack Mountains rise upstream.

Downstream, we could see how the rocky cliffs each side of the river channel the full flood of the water through a narrow gorge.  Just beyond the bridge, the Sacandaga River joins the Hudson and the river widens enormously from there on down.

On this day, the gorge was so full we could hardly detect where the Rockwell Falls normally plummets, although the foaming, splashing surge was impressive for its power.

It was refreshing, on this hot day, to sit on the rocks right near the surging turbulence and feel the cooling mist on our skin.

When our kids were young, we used to come here to swim where the water calms its turbulence below the bridge. I don't think it would have been a good day for a swim here today!

As we turned to go, I detected a marvelous fragrance on the air, and I soon discovered the source. I was amused to find these deliciously scented Groundnut flowers (Apios americana) entwined among the green fruits of Carrion Flower (Smilax herbacea).  A month or so ago, I would have detected a much less pleasant odor on the air.  For then, the Carrion Flower would have been in bloom and -- true to the name of this plant -- releasing a stench that attracts carrion-eating insects to its pollen. While repelling the rest of us!


The Furry Gnome said...

That river looks amazing!

Anonymous said...

we have had a lot of rain this month

threecollie said...

Awesome water shots! Impressive capture of the wild water in motion.

Anonymous said...

What is the name of the park?

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Thanks, friends, for stopping by and taking the time to leave your comments. I am so glad to hear from you. Regarding the name of the riverside park, I'm not sure it has an official name, but this expansive green lawn lies behind the Lake Luzerne Chamber of Commerce building on Main Street, which contains an information center about the village and its history, as well as restrooms. It is also often staffed by a very informative docent, who is happy to tell you all about the village and its storied history as an Adirondack vacation destination.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info
Restrooms are important!