Showing posts with label Watkins Glen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Watkins Glen. Show all posts

Monday, December 18, 2017


I take thousands of pictures every year.  It's kind of my thing...along with mountain biking, hiking, and  teaching history.  I have absolutely no formal training in the art of when I take (what I think is a really cool photo) it is simply by chance.  Picture taking while mountain biking and hiking serves the duel purpose of allowing me to slow down and rest my "recently operated on" back while also helping me to preserve some really awesome memories. 

After looking through all of the pictures that I've taken while biking and hiking over the past year I found a baker's dozen that I am particularly proud of.  These thirteen pictures, in my opinion, are the ones that best highlight and preserve the beauty and awesomeness of the outdoors in which I love to spend so much of my time. are (in no special order) my favorite pictures of 2017.

I took this ultra cool pic of my Stumpjumper while riding Ridgeline Trail in Michaux State Forest with Mark Lentz. -- July 31, 2017

The first of two pics from an epic ride Mark Lentz and I took in Tuscarora State Forest.  I took this pic from Bower Mountain Road as Mark (faintly visible on the road) made our way up the mountain and above the fog. -- July 6, 2017

The Fall foliage was pretty amazing this year.  I took this super cool picture of my Roubaix and the Conewago Creek when I was on one of my after school bike rides. -- November 2, 2017

This year, on our wedding anniversary, Robin and I took a hike through Watkin's Glen in New York.  The entire hike was something out of a story book.  I took this picture as we approached Rainbow Falls.   If you've never been...go hike Watkin's Glen.  It's absolutely beautiful!  -- July 21, 2017

I took this picture of my Stumpjumper leaning against the South Harrisburg Wall Project during a ride with Mark and Glenn on the Parkway Trails in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Urban mountain biking at it's best! -- July 26, 2017

Michaux State Forest from Pole Steeple Vista.  Robin, Alex, and I climbed to the top of the ridge to see the amazing Pennsylvania foliage. -- November 4, 2017

Just before I made my way down Baughman Trail in Ohiopyle State Park, I took this pic of the view from Baughman Rock Overlook.  What an amazing view of Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands.  This pic has been featured as the header on my blog ever since I took it in June. -- June 13, 2017

With a massive thunderstorm approaching York County, Mark and I decided to cut our ride at Rocky Ridge short.  As we made an abrupt turn back towards the vehicles I took this picture of Mark riding towards the storm.  -- September 5, 2017

A few hours into our trip to Florida, Robin and I took a slight detour off of Interstate 81 and drove a short while on the Blue Ridge Parkway....just in time for the sunset.  What an amazing sight! -- November 25, 2017

This late fall picture of the sun shining at a low angle through the nearly depleted foliage was taken at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- November 3, 2017

Shortly after we were married, Robin and I discovered that, when traveling, we enjoy visiting...and hiking through...local Botanical Gardens. I took this surreal picture of a plant called Flying Dragon Trifoliate Orange when we visited the Botanical Gardens at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. -- November 26, 2017

Yeah...I love this pic. I took it on my only ride of the year in Swatara State Park.   I entered this picture into a photo contest sponsored by Pennsylvania Parks and Forests.  It won one one of the Critic's Choice Awards.  My prize...a gift card to Pennsylvania State Parks.  I've already used it to book a future camping trip with my wife. -- June 6,  2017

Hands my opinion, one of the best photographs I've ever taken.  The second of two pics from our epic ride in Tuscarora State Forest,  I picked my head up as I followed Mark Lentz up a fire road though the fog.  I was in awe of  the scene surrounding me.  Without Mark knowing, I stopped and capture the moment. -- July 6, 2017

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- December 18, 2017

The best ice cream pic of the year...I love Vaccaro's in Baltimore's Little Italy! -- March 25, 2017

Here are the GARMIN maps and data from the rides featured in this post...

Interested in biking or hiking some of the trails featured in this post?  Check out the TRAIL MAPS and TRAIL HEADS tabs on the ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM website.   

All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit HIGHPEAKSHIKING.COM and YOURTRUENATURE.COM!


Monday, July 24, 2017


 Taking a hike on our wedding anniversary has become a super cool tradition for Robin and I.  Last year, we found ourselves exploring the waterfalls in Dupont State Forest, North Carolina.  The year before that we explored Grand Bahama Island.  Heck, I even proposed to her after hiking to the top of Tumbling Run in Michaux State Forest.  I love that we both enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and that we take time to make life-long memories.

With Rainbow Falls providing an excellent backdrop...Robin and I pose for a picture on our 4th anniversary -- July 21, 2017

Exploring High Falls in Dupont State Forest, N.C. on our 3rd anniversary -- July 21, 2016

Exploring Grand Bahama Island on our 2nd wedding anniversary -- July 21, 2015

Last week, on our anniversary, Robin and I experienced the awe-inspiring sights of Watkins Glen State Park in New York.  I've been to New York City a few times...Cooperstown with my son a few years ago...but, until last week, I had never been to the Finger Lakes region of the state.  I had seen commercials on tv for the area...but what Robin and I saw while treking through the park was much more than either of us expected.  Honestly...I expected a destination hike.  You know...walk down a trail and check out a waterfall.  What we experienced was nothing short of breathtaking.  

Robin and I began our hike in Watkins Glen State park by descending Couch's Staircase -- July 21, 2017

Merging onto Gorge Trail from Couch's Staircase -- July 21, 2017

Glen Creek in Watkins Glen State Park seen from Point Lookout -- July 21, 2017

Walking along Gorge Trail, Robin and I soon realized that this wasn't going to be an ordinary hike! -- July 21, 2017

Waking towards Cascade Cavern -- July 21, 2017

Inside the Spiral Tunnel -- July 21, 2017

The view of Glen Creek coming out of the Spiral Tunnel -- July 21, 2017

Passing under the Suspension Bridge.  Robin and I crossed the bridge as we left Indian Trail and began making our way back to the parking area -- July 21, 2017

Glen Cathedral -- July 21, 2017

Making our way towards Rainbow Falls -- July 21, 2017

Reaching out to touch the water of Rainbow Falls -- July 21, 2017

Gorge Trail above Rainbow Falls -- July 21, 2017

The top of Jacob's Ladder.  After a brief stop at the rest area, Robin and I took Indian Trail back to the parking area -- July 21, 2017

Indian Trail....because it runs the ridge above the creek it is less populated.  The trail does get a little more rough towards the bottom -- July 21, 2017

David and Robin Raymond in Watkins Glen State Park -- July 21, 2017

With a little guidance from a park ranger near the parking area, Robin and I, map in hand, headed towards Couch's Staircase which lead us straight to Gorge Trail.  As Robin and I walked upstream on Gorge Trail it quickly became obvious to us both that this wouldn't be an ordinary hike and that we weren't just going to see one or two waterfalls.  Over thousands of years, Glen Creek has eroded a nearly 2 mile gorge which descends 400 feet through the park winding us past nineteen waterfalls...each different and spectacular in its own unique way.  The path cut by Glen Creek led us into a Spiral Tunnel, under waterfalls, and through Glen Cathedral...all of which seemingly transported us to some mystical place.  I had never experienced anything like it.  At the end of Gorge Trail we climbed the steps Jacob's Ladder and then back Indian Trail towards the parking area.  The sounds and sights of the Glen Creek making it's way toward the town of Watkins Glenn provided the perfect backdrop for Robin and I as we celebrated our anniversary.  To say that the trails in Watkins Glen State Park are gorgeous doesn't seem to do them justice....but I can't think of a more perfect adjective.  So yeah...this year our anniversary hike was not just was gorgeous.

Yep...all trails do lead to ice cream.  Robin and I stopped the Glen Dairy Bar near Watkins Glen State Park.  The potions were huge...and I mean HUGE!  Nothing like a triple layer orange sherbert and vanilla ice cream cone!  -- July 21, 2017

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- July 24, 2017

Robin and I at the top of Tumbling Run in Michaux State Forest.  I had just proposed and she had just made me the happiest man alive -- June 24, 2012

Interested in hiking Watkins Glenn or other parks I've been to?  Check out the TRAIL MAPS and TRAIL HEADS tabs on the ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM website.  
Also, be sure to check out HIGHPEAKSHIKING.COM!

Here are the GARMIN maps and data from a few of the hikes featured in this post: