We found Oneonta Gorge by accident on our way to Horsetail Falls. We were walking along the pedestrian bridge when we spotted a stairway off to the side and a super mossy wall. It seemed like a secret passage, so we went.
We followed the wall away from the bridge; the wall was, in fact, the side of the gorge and completely covered in moss and small plants. There was no one else on the little path, and we had to climb boulders to proceed. We bouldered over a 15-foot pile of rock and found ourselves in an enormous, green gorge — surprisingly full of people. Honestly, Oneonta Gorge was one of the most beautiful sights any of us had seen. I felt I was in a movie or the garden of paradise.
The people were another thing. What were they doing here? There was no sign to mark the entry, but there’s a group of 10 kids under 8 years old over there. We were puzzled and amazed.
Later we learned Oneonta Gorge is well documented online, I mean what wonderful place isn’t. We looked around that Sunday and then came back a couple of days later. The only other person there was a woman with a wetsuit and a professional camera who was making her way up the Gorge. My online sources explain that it’s a freezing but awe-inspiring trek up the gorge to Lower Oneonta Falls. We didn’t do it as there was so much water and it was so cold. It was Spring, after the rainiest year in many, many years. But I’ll be back to hike the Gorge!
I Heart Moss is a project about moss, trees, waterfalls and the forest. I, Karen Nierlich, am a nature photographer, living in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can also visit our shop.iheartmoss.com for gifts and jewelry for nature lovers. Handcrafted gifts made by artists, craftspeople, and makers just for you!