200 Waterfalls in Central & Western New York - A Finder's Guide
Freeman, Rich & Freeman, Sue (author)
Footprint Press, 2002
|Print Style||Black and White|
Reviewed by Bryan Swan
This is an ambitious guidebook that clearly would have benefited from more photographs. If a picture is worth a thousand words...
The falls in this book seem to be somewhat haphazardly arranged. If you played "connect-a-dot" with the falls in numerical sequence, you'd leave an awkward trail around and around the western half of New York state. Each entry is given a formulaic treatment (not a bad thing) that consists of Location, Waterway, Directions, Best Viewing Locations, Waterfall Height, Best Season to Visit, Access, Difficulty, Uses, Dogs (that is, dog friendly or not), Admission, and Contact information. There is a small text blurb, and a space given for user notes. Not a bad organizational system.
There are relatively few photos. The photos that exist are of mediocre quality, and certainly don't benefit from the small space allotted. There are a great deal of maps and not much else. Several of the waterfalls are on private property, but in fairness to the authors, New York state seems to have more activity regarding posted property than anywhere else I've seen. Property postings are a common ongoing occurrence. Given the insurance, liability, and radically growing litigious nature of society (I promise, if I fall at your waterfall, I have only myself to blame...UNLESS you pushed me) has led landowners to naturally wish to protect themselves. Several falls have been posted since the book was published.
The Bottom Line: This book is a valuable regional resource for a dedicated waterfall seeker. I'll offer my two cents on the issue of "dog friendly" waterfalls: Leave your dog at home. Period. I have two dogs...love 'em dearly, but I can't be responsible for all my gear, my dogs and whatever droppings they decide to leave on the trail. Dogs also don't comprehend the concept of slippery rocks. If your dog slips and falls, it is because YOU allowed the dog to get in that situation in the first place. My dogs go places too, but not to a place that will endanger them and divide my attention to the point where I can no longer enjoy myself either. 'Kay...done preaching.