Down & Up at Carpenter's Falls

Jon Cammarata reports on the hike down and up the historic “jug path” at Carpenter’s Falls:

Jon Cammarata, Bonny Dudden, Doug Whitehouse and Chris Andrews at the trailhead

“Even though the local weatherman would have suggested otherwise, the inaugural hike of the ChaseDesign Outdoor Club went on, though with an understandably smaller turnout than we had hoped. Mercifully, the hike down to the shore was dry.

“But the descent of 430 feet was slippery, due to a heavy cover of wet leaves atop tree roots and acorns. At times, the trail took us very close to the edge of cliffs with treacherous drop-offs of hundreds of feet.

“Eventually, the trail led to the shore of calm Skaneateles Lake, where we took a break for refueling and rehydrating, while skipping stones on the cold water.

Doug, Nate Cammarata and Jon, Chris and Bonny on the shore

“Unfortunately, after setting out to climb back up the hill, our good luck ran out and the skies opened. The rain fell in big drops as we trudged up the slippery trail through the dark woods. For Tolkien fans, it felt a bit like climbing the endless stair on the way to Mordor. Spirits and determination wavered, but we prevailed, arriving at the top about the time it finally stopped raining.

“Carpenter’s Falls was loud and angry due to the volume of water from the rain, and the routes were a bit too treacherous to get much closer than our photo indicates.

Doug Whitehouse and Alex Cammarata attempt to start an off-road vehicle at the trailhead

"Soggy and getting colder (now that we were finished hiking), we climbed back into our cars, cranked up the heat, and headed for home. This was one of those “builds character” experiences, as my dad used to say, but I’m glad we went, nonetheless.”