Akron Falls

Above is a picture taken this past summer at Akron Falls located at Parkview Drive in Akron, NY. The waterfall, both in the winter and summer are phenomenal sites that you have to see to be in complete awe.

Inhabited by Seneca indians since 1650, the land was eventually used for a road called the “Buffalo Road” turning it into the first wagon trail in Erie County. The Civil Works Administration proposed an expansion of the falls. The park was established and was the land was expanded from just a main passageway to (including, but not limited to) a dam and lake. In 1947, Erie County Parks attained Akron Falls and have created their vision for a peaceful family environment.

As said, Akron Falls is great to visit anytime of the year. Since the falls are located outside, there are more activites offered in the summer than the winter. Besides taking in the atmosphere around them, family and friends have a variety of activities to choose from. First, there are multiple picnic sites that provide shelter, all with grills close by. Depending on which shelter is chosen, the postives are close bathrooms and other activites to partake in. The negative to some shelters is the distance from bathrooms and the lack of other activites. There is quite a list of entertainment to select from including: • Bicycling • Fishing • Hiking trails • Ice Skating • Tennis • Baseball/Softbal • Skiing/Sledding

The nature of Akron Falls, as most parks, is what makes it exceptional. Unnoticable is the thriving plant life at the park. You will see the following:

• American Beech • Basswood • Hawthorn • Black Birch • Virginia Bluebells • Black Walnut • And many more

The animals seen will be nothing out of the ordinary, but it is always great to see animals in their natural habitat; in and out of the water.

• White-Tailed Deers • Skunks • Opossums • Great Blue Herons • Eastern Screech Owls • American Kestrels • Pan fish • Bass

Below are more photos taken from my experiences at Akron Falls.

The one on the upper left is just a different and further angle to see the falls. The picture on the upper right (say “Hello” to Nicole!) was taken within the same vicinity the one on the upper left was.

The picture on the right is taken with the falls directly behind. At the times of these pictures, you can see that the water level was pretty low and made my friends and I able to access the areas we did. The pictues thus far has given you 360 degree view directly of Akron Falls. It is a breathless site. Take a few minutes upon your arrival just to take it all it, you will definitely need it!

Below are pictures taken during the fall/winter season.

Eternal Flame Falls

Eternal Flame Falls is located in Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, NY. Positioned deep in a gorge you are required to engage in a short hike through the forest before glimpsing at the flame. The walk through the forest is pretty effortless, it’s not until you start entering the gorge where the walk becomes time consuming and may be slightly difficult. The trail is well walked on making it easier to identify, but is steep and slippery on a wet day. Below shows some of the difficulty along the trail. This is at a point on the trail where you will have to truck through a stream; holding onto sturdy trees and planting your feet will gain the most success.

Hiking to the Eternal Flame Falls you will view the following trees: • Pine • Maple • Hemlock

Upon entering the creek bed you will observe a 30 foot waterfall. Underneath the fall is where the flame is located. This may be hard to believe, but because of a gas seam coming out of the rocks, a flame is able to be lit. The flame is usually four to six inches depending on the pressure of the gas. It is possible for up to three flames to be visible. The flame has potential to go out due to strong winds and other natural causes, but can easily be relit with a match or lighter.

Below is a photo of the hill that is to the right of the flame. The tree roots are purely amazing.

Squaw Island

Squaw Island Park is located in Buffalo off Niagara Street. Established in 2004, the park is adjacent to the Niagara River and the Black Rock Canal. Originally a landfill, the park is gradually transforming to a natural park. The up and coming park seems mostly hidden and does not currently offer a lot of man-made entertainment.

Activities found at Squaw Island are fishing, bird watching, and picnicking. The mass of grassy areas is an oppurtunity for many to start a sports game, party, or to just relax and enjoy the sites. There is a paved path around the park allowing for people to bike and walk. Presently, the park consists mostly of fisherman. Where I would like to direct this to is the Black Rock Canal. From personal experience, although there is definite use during the day, I find the canal to be more charming during the evening hours; the darkness always seems to have an enticing effect. There is a dazzling view of the city from the canal when all the lights are lit. Another reason to visit is because of the sunsets you are able to see from this spot. You are always guaranteed an array of colorful sunsets. Past the canal, going further into the water, you will see a wall of rocks on your right. To enter this you must go through a metal fence, which very convienintly people have made wide enough to go through. It would be smart not to sneakers or boots considering you will have to hike through a mass of boulders. This part of the canal I am describing is simply a “chill” spot. Lower left is a picture taken of a sunset from sitting on the boulders. The lower right photo may be difficult to see since it was taken in the later hours of the evening, but the canal is located directly to the right (out of the picture.)

Works Cited

"Akron Falls Park." Parks and Recreation. Web. <http://www.erie.gov/parks/akron.asp>.

"Eternal Flame Falls | Buffalo New York Waterfall Trails | Trails.com." Camping, Hiking, Mountain Bikes & Biking | Outdoors on Trails.com. Web. <http://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=XFP005-012>.

"Eternal Flame Falls." Things to Do In and Around Buffalo, for the newbie. Web. <http://buffalo4newbies.blogspot.com/2008/06/eternal-flame-falls.html>.

"Buffalo New York Outdoors." Squidoo : Welcome to Squidoo. Web. <http://www.squidoo.com/buffalonyoutdoors>.

"Squaw Island Park - Buffalo, NY." Waymarking - A scavenger hunt for unique and interesting locations in the world. Web. <http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMQTR>.

Buffalo Lighthouse

This is a view of the Lighthouse from the Buffalo Harbor. It is located at the mouth of the Buffalo River/ Black Rock Canal.

The Lighthouse has been reconstructed four times since it was first established in 1818. The Lighthouse was first used during the immigration period. It is often called the "Chinaman's Light" because the top is said to look like the a Chinese coolie hat.

In 1985 the Buffalo Lighthouse Association was formed in an effort to preserve the 1833 Lighthouse. In the 1980's a restoration was completed and it included:

A park-like entrance Pedestrian Walk way which included historical plagues which tell the stories of the earlier lighthouses and the other places of interest along the Buffalo Harbor.

The U.S. Coast Guard owns the Lighthouse but Leases it to the BLA. It no longer is used to bring ships in it is for show only.

Lighthouse view at night.

Burchfield Nature Preserve

Just one image of the beautiful nature sites.

A Plague dedicating the Nature Preserve to Charles Burchfield.

The Burchfield Nature and Art center is located in West Seneca, New York. Charles Burchfield was a longtime West Seneca resident and a famous American Artist. The nature center is an opportunity for people to go and learn about nature and art Through a variety educational and recreational programs.

The center consists of:

29 acres of woods and trails wild and cultivated gardens sculpture which is on the banks of the Buffalo Creek

There are guided tours, child and adult art classes, free summer concerts, and special events.

The Nature Preserve is open year round.

A unique aspect and part of learning process is that visitors are asked to post a photo of themselves inside or outside of whichever nature center they visited. They don't have to do this but a log without a photo will only be allowed if it includes a long description of what they learned.

Works Cited

""Burchfield Nature and Art Center - West Seneca, NY" Waymark." Waymark.com. 18 Oct. 2007. Web. 5 Oct. 2009. "Inventory of Historic Light Stations New York Lighthouses." Http://www.nps.gov. 16 Mar. 2004. Web. 5 Oct. 2009. Nieman, Don. "Charles Burchfield Nature Preserve." Charles Burchfield Nature Preserve. Web. Rote, David M. "The Buffalo Lighthouse (1990)." Http://www.ci.buffalo.ny.us. Web. 6 Oct. 2009.