As we move upstream from Waters Meet, we can immediately see more waterfalls above us. They are coming one after another now, and the short stretches of stream between them are peppered with smaller falls and rapids. Its an embarrassment of riches from a scenic standpoint.
|B Reynolds from beside (40 feet)|
We are definitely climbing more now, but it is easy going, and I am almost oblivious to that fact due to the amazing scenery. At most of the falls, and in some other spots as well, the trail climbs up very well maintained sections of stone steps. This gives your quads a little bit of a workout, but is significantly easier than climbing the same kind of slope on a steeply angled dirt trail. That and the fact the we stop to admire every new waterfall and scenic spot, giving us lots of small breaks, makes the effort seem like nothing.
|RB Ricketts (36 feet)|
Between RB Ricketts and Ozone, we stop suddenly when Leo says "you don't see that every day." Very true. What you don't see every day is a porcupine from a distance of about 6 feet. This guy was waddling along right next to the trail, heading uphill away from the stream, and couldn't have been less concerned by our presence. Clearly a creature comfortable in its own skin, or its own coat of three inch needles as the case may be. When we stumbled upon him and then stopped to look at him, he didn't change course, break stride at all, or attempt to pick up the pace. He just kept waddling, ducked under a fallen log, and kept going up the hill.
The next large fall we came to was Ozone, a very nice one, and one of the larger ones it seemed, but I'm not sure how tall it is. The State Park handout from the trail head says 60 feet, which might be somewhat of an overstatement, but is probably a good number all told from top to bottom if measuring continuous water-travel distance and not pure height. The large wooden signs at a few locations on the trail all have it listed at 20 feet, which seems definitely too low a number (but probably is a good number for pure elevation difference). Whatever the truth is, it was a spectacular one.
|Ozone - how high? (20? 60?)|
The view from the top of Ozone was one of the better ones on the day, because the stream below the fall was very picturesque. As usual, anything with a panorama, or anything with a view up or down just doesn't translate into photos very well at all. Everything looks compressed and less spectacular. Scale gets lost.
|Ozone - view from the top|
Huron (41 feet) and Shawnee (30 feet) are a pair of nearly back to back falls separated by a rock walled alcove, like a small amphitheater carved out of the rock. The secluded alcove was one of a dozen or so places where we saw decent sized patches of ice, despite it being April 28 on a 55 degree day. This was one of my favorite spots of the day.
|Shawnee - wedding cake (30 feet)|
The last large fall on the Glen Leigh side was FL Ricketts, a 38 foot classic wedding cake, with the water spilling down a series of rock ledges like it was flowing down a staircase.
|FL Ricketts (38 feet)|
11:25am - We reach the top of Glen Leigh and its eight named waterfalls. Twelve down, ten to go. When we left the parking lot it was barely 40 degrees. Now it is probably mid to upper 50's, with bright blue sunny skies and a nice breeze. We couldn't ask for a nicer day. The hike is absolutely living up to its hype so far, and there is much more yet to come.
Next...Highland Trail and Ganoga Glen