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The Central Cascade

Mark Papke

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The Central Cascade Photograph  - The Central Cascade Fine Art Print





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Debra Johnson 6 Days Ago

Climax, Ga - United States

Great image! L/F

Nucla, CO - United States

Great shot!

Valley Center, CA - United States


Omaha, NE - United States

Gorgeous! Great capture and scenery! v

San Francisco, CA - United States

Beautifully captured! L

Portland, OR - United States

Seemless, perfectly executed

Savannah, GA - United States

So Lovely!..v

Lindfield, NS - Australia

Great shot!

Rochester, NY - United States

Love it. Great capture.

White Hall, MD - United States


Belgrade, MT - United States

Great Image ! L

Glendale, AZ - United States

this is so beautiful!

Gahanna, OH - United States

Nice composition and capture! v

Palmyra, VA - United States


Hancock, ME - United States

Nicely done!

San Lorenzo, CA - United States

Such a fabulous composition and gorgeous light!!! Love it!!!! :)))fv

Nalcrest, FL - United States

Excellent capture! v

Melbourne - Australia

wow gorgeous place, beautifully captured - v & fav

Columbus, OH - United States

Lovely scene....wonderful light and color....v117

Lacombe, la - United States

That is beautiful

Bhubaneswar - India

What a view ! Love it.v/f

Mequon, WI - United States

Stunning capture and composition, Mark. vf

Williamsport, PA - United States

Gorgeous capture of this most amazing site, Mark! Stunning shot! v/f

Fort Worth, TX - United States

beautiful, as usual! v

San Juan, Pu - Puerto Rico

Exceptional photograph! The setting is wondrous, with so many natural complexities aligned with the man-made stair that would allow visitors to get a close glimpse at the spectacle. The image makes one want to jump into the scene. Just fabulous! F/v/t/G+

Gibraltar - Gibraltar

another great, vote 93

Thisted, N. - Denmark

Nicelly done Mark. v

Barcelona - Spain

Excellent capture, Mark! You made a very nice work with the light. vtd.

Orchard Park, NY - United States

still voting for this one.

Morpeth, No - United Kingdom

Stunning - well worth another V!

Etna, NH - United States

Gasp! Beauty! v

Peoria Heights, IL - United States

beautiful f

Dallas, TX - United States

Fantastic view! V

Southampton, Ha - United Kingdom

Amazing find photographed beautifully

Fruita, CO - United States

Mark, another great image v.

Stroud, Gl - United Kingdom

Back to vote again. :o)

Panama City, FL - United States

Amazing shot!!! One of the best I have seen!!

Yellowknife, NT - Canada

Very nice

Catskill, NY - United States

Wow - what a gorgeous place and equally gorgeous shot. v/g+1

Calgary, AB - Canada

Incredible capture - voted!

Brussels - Belgium

Magical location captured magically! V!

Jacksonville, FL - United States

awesome ,like it a lot !!

Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Again!! A very lovely piece Mark!

Bury, Ma - United Kingdom

Another fab waterfall shot. Love the detail in the shadows.Voted

Suffolk, VA - United States

Great capture. v

San Pedro, CA - United States

Very creative! v/f/t/

Franklin Square, NY - United States

Mark, another fantastic scenic waterfall scene, love the way the waterfall is set back and the foliage is so clear and detailed in the foreground. Great capture of the stone stairs leading down the side with such a great capture of picking up all of the detail in both sides of the forest. Fantastic view up top also. Fantastic photo, voted, Tweet, FB, Google+ promoted

Perham, MN - United States

This capture made my jaw drop, it's so beautiful. v/f

Hecla, SD - United States

Stunning capture... a very beautiful image with a great write-up! F/V

Spokane, WA - United States

Simply amazing!v

Chicago, IL - United States

Beautiful as usual Mark! already voted to came back to fav and fb :)

Plainview, TX - United States

Really beautiful photograph, my friend.

Tucson, AZ - United States

Beautiful the composition and the description. (V. R22)

Fullerton California, ca - United States

Wow beautiful...v/t/p/s/

Calgary, AB - Canada

Wow, what a capture! v/f

Prescott, AZ - United States

Very nice...voted.

Astoria, NY - United States

Great lighting and composition! Thank you for the detailed description - this is one site that I have now added to my list of places to visit for sure!

Holbrook, MA - United States

Beautiful nature capture Mark - love the composition the softness of the waterfall - lovely - v/f/

Clovis, NM - United States

Nice technique and color range.

Galveston, TX - United States

Beautiful and peaceful capture! :D

Montreal, QC - Canada

Breathtakingly AWESOME! V&F

Newport News, VA - United States



Remarkable nature show with beauty of nature...Mark...+f/v

Scotts Valley, CA - United States

Great capture! The water seems like silk strands. The stone staircase adds to intricacy! Voted g+1 pin it.

Thunder Bay, ON - Canada

Mark wow I love this shot the stairs alone are a work of art. The water flowing into the cavern is beautiful Voted and Favorite

Morro Bay, CA - United States

FANtastic!! Love this!!

Seattle, WA - United States

Amazing capture! v. Marcie

Northridge, CA - United States

Marvelous..grand shot of a amazing place and waterfall..V,F)

Iola, WI - United States

Just love waterfalls, Mark, and this is one of the finest pieces I have had the pleasure to view. Love all the elements of this grandiose piece. Voted

New Orleans, La - United States

What a lovely vire voted tweet facebook

Terrace, BC - Canada

Breath taking! My Fav!

Calgary, AB - Canada

Wow Mark, you travel to so many fantastic places! The photo and the lighting you captured are amazing! voted :)

Young Harris, GA - United States

Your usual gorgeous work, Mark! f/v

Naples, FL - United States

What a beautiful work of art.

San Jacinto, CA - United States

Wow, what a great photo!, thank you.

Auburn, PA - United States

Perfect detail and color Mark - wonderful lighting - Dave - V/F/P

San Miguel, CA - United States

I would like to visit there, someday. I love your photography of this beautiful place! Voted.

Union Dale, PA - United States

Very nice composition Mark Voted ... Elaine

Rochester, Ne - United States

Beautiful capture!!!

Lexington Park, MD - United States


Rochester, NY - United States

another spectacular photograph.....breathtaking image.....v/f/fb/g

Long Prairie, MN - United States

Very beautiful area, love the waterfall and all the character in the rocks. Great description! V/f

Concho - Snowflake, AZ - United States

V & F !!! This is awesome, and your write-up is terrific!

Toronto, ON - Canada

so wonderful spot and great capture Mark voted

Maryland Heights, MO - United States

This is the best waterfall photo on all of FAA!!

Mandeville, LA - United States

Beautiful shot! Great detail, especially in the dark areas.

Jacksonville, fl - United States

Mark, love the fine details..great capture. love it.V/F/FB/T/G+ promotions R22 CFC group.

Kolkata, We - India

So many elements to look for in this image.. I love it! v!f!

Redan, vi - Australia

I so want to go here v/f

Hermann, MO - United States

Gorgeous image, wonderful processing. Back story really adds to the whole thing. voted

All Over, sl - Poland

Dreamy shot...nice capture and colors :) V!

Murphy, NC - United States

Wow, such an amazing photograph!

New Delhi, De - India

nice travel photography. *voted

Bend, OR - United States


Bhopal, MP - India


Pelzer, SC - United States

Very nice image. Love the way you preserved the detail in the deep shadows.

Montague, NJ - United States

Love this. v/f

Morpeth, No - United Kingdom

Fabulous Mark! V

Dallas, TX - United States

Beautiful! V

Puyallup, WA - United States

Very nice.. v

Mark Papke replied:

Thank you.

Southampton, Ha - United Kingdom

Lovely lines Mark

Mark Papke replied:

Thank you.

Bulli , Ne - Australia

this is beautiful Mark f/v

Mark Papke replied:

Thank you.

Orchard Park, NY - United States

fantastic shot! vtd

Mark Papke replied:

Thank you.

Fort Myers, FL - United States

Breathtaking! v

Mark Papke replied:

Thank you.

Lauderdale Lakes, FL - United States

Mark, your images of the Glen continue to just blow me away. Awesome job!! f/v/l

Mark Papke replied:

Thank you.

Stroud, Gl - United Kingdom

Gorgeous. Just.... gorgeous. v

Mark Papke replied:

Thank you.

Fort Worth, TX - United States

lovely! V

Mark Papke replied:

Thank you.

Chicago, IL - United States

very nice!

Mark Papke replied:

Thank you.

Beckley, WV - United States

Wonderful! Great description to!

Mark Papke replied:

Thank you. I didn't write it.

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The Central Cascade


Mark Papke


Photograph - Photograph


Dark and damp, with cavernous pathways, alien-like stone formations, rare plants, and eerie isolation, Watkins Glen is the type of setting you would expect to find in a fantasy film rather than Upstate New York. Carved into the escarpment at the southern end of Seneca Lake (the deepest of the Finger Lakes), this hanging valley is the oldest and most renowned State Park in the Finger Lakes region. The park is easily divided into two sections, the deep shale and limestone glen that the park is most known for, and the upper park, which is filled with picnic, camping, and recreation facilities.

Visitors to Watkins Glen start their journey in the lower parking lot, which is actually within the massive mouth of the glen. Here the limestone cliffs tower 200 feet above Glen Creek and the parked cars. Visible from the lot is Sentry Bridge, a CCC-era stone overpass that towers above Entrance Cascade. The first of many waterfalls and bridges within the glen, this scene is eerie; embedded between two sheer cliff-faces, half hidden, almost as if a hint about the wonders to come.

Fittingly, the 1.5 mile-long Gorge Trail starts from a dark spiraling tunnel cut into the cliff-side. It is this tunnel that effectively removes the technology, traffic, and noise of the bustling village and envelops you in a world of natural stone, calming flowing water and gentle breezes. From the first gaze upward at the surreal Glen Alpha, the (recently-raised) gate admission fee is immediately forgotten and a sense of wonder and amazement takes over. Despite walking on a manufactured pathway, through chiseled tunnels, and over mortared bridges, the Gorge Trail puts you within the glen itself, as close as one can safely get, where you will feel changes in temperature as you progress, get splashed by the refreshing waterfalls, hear the birds singing above the rim canopy, and tread carefully so as not to step on caterpillars and salamanders.

Winding up the glen, the trail leads visitors through an assortment of cliffs and abutments that can best be described as natural sculptures. Each breathtaking scene after another is unique in sight and sound, and seemingly isolated from the rest of the gorge. The trail presents each scene perfectly, as if displaying landscape paintings lined up in a row. The aptly-named Glen Cathedral widens like a gothic church, with a natural pool, dubbed the Baptismal Font, facing the "cathedral's" pulpit: a beautiful stone arch bridge and 60 ft Central Cascade. There's no surprise that over the last hundred years or so, each segment of the glen, vista, rock feature, and waterfall has been nicknamed. Continue on to the Glen of Pools, and what many consider to be the "main attraction": Rainbow Falls and Triple Cascade. Such a generic name does little justice to this majestic dreamscape. It has to be seen to be appreciated.

The Gorge Trail is what defines the park. It is why people come here year after year, and why I consider this to be one of the most photogenic spots in New York State. It inspires artists; amazes young and old; invigorates the soul; and brings out the inner conservationist in even the most urban of us. Although small and tucked away in the heart of Upstate New York, away from busy cities and major airports, Watkins Glen is a national treasure and certainly a world-class attraction.

Outside of the glen, the park has trails along the gorge rim that offer more casual hiking experiences with more typical wooded terrain and an abundance of historical and educational markers that help to guide you through the natural and unnatural history. Abundant picnicking grounds and an Olympic-size swimming pool give families a reason stay a while longer, and for those that can't get enough, the west end of the park has a beautiful campground with restrooms, playgrounds, ball fields, and over 300 modern campsites.

The Village of Watkins Glen should not be overlooked. Steeped in racing history, this Grand Prix town hosted its first road race in 1948 on a course that wrapped around the park and actually crossed Glen Creek. Racing has since moved to its own contained course and hosts amateur and professional circuits, as well as concerts and other events. Other nearby glens, such as Excelsior and Havana, are not as grand as Watkins, but certainly worth the time to explore.

Seneca Lake is known for its wine, and the southern end near the village is packed with excellent selections. Some wineries offer casual dining, and gift shops as well. The village itself is home to several casual eateries, one particular favorite is the Seneca Harbor Station, right on the lake. Grab a bite to eat, head over to one of the ice cream parlors for a sprinkled cone and walk along the pier at the village's waterfront park and enjoy the scenery.
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September 18th, 2012


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