Harris Hill, New York

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Welcome to Harris Hill, New York!

Welcome, dear Hometown Tourist, and visitors from outside Chemung County, New York.

Quite a hike up here, wasn't it? We are actually some distance outside Elmira, and that's unusual for GrandDog Ellie and me. She doesn't like long trips in the car, and whines the entire way. Spoiled little critter, sitting in her elevated safety seat, surrounded by dog bisquits.

We will skip the driving range, putt-putt course and kiddie rides, even the pool. They can be found anywhere (although only these are owned and operated by our own local people!), and we want the main attraction. The Soaring Capital of the World, a hotly-contested title that will be challenged by those who think they know, is set in the most heavenly park almost above the clouds.

Please, add your own memories and comments.

Little Pond

The main park building has a listing of all the rules. My favorite prohibits "dangerous weapons" and explosives and fireworks. Someone invent a non-dangerous-type weapon? Posted by Picasa

Here and there are signs of ecological maintenance. There is actually very little evidence of tampering with the environment here, outside of the necessary tables, benches and roads. Posted by Picasa

As we push deeper into the park, facilities become rarer. These paths into the woods indicate a solution to the problem, I'll bet. Posted by Picasa

Ugly old water tower is a necessary evil. But it makes a great landmark for marking out one's route to and from the picnic area. Posted by Picasa

Interplay of light and shade promises a pleasant stay. Warm sun for the bones and cool shade for just chilling. Posted by Picasa

There are many individual pavillions available for reservation. Some areas are designated alcohol-free, but not all. Sounds like a deal to me... Posted by Picasa

One of the many older playgrounds that dot the picnic areas. There is a much fancier, modern playground at the front entrance to the Park. It is completely accessible to the disabled. Posted by Picasa

View from a picnic area. Got a real feeling of distance here. Posted by Picasa

At the peak of summer, many views are partially obscured by the local flora. Park maintenance does include cutting them back. This is a huge park, and rather well-kept for its size.
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Summer crops make the view lushly green. Little communities give it humanity. The rolling hills give it dimension, even majesty. Posted by Picasa

These things have been buzzing overhead the entire visit, so I guess we'll have to head up to see what the fuss is all about. Posted by Picasa

What is it? Everyone asks. A tailfin, of course. This is the glider capital of New York. Posted by Picasa

This is the ultimate thrill ride to us locals. Everyone says they will someday go up in a glider. Posted by Picasa

And the liftoff. Bring the kids for this. I personally never get tired of it. Posted by Picasa

C+ for effort. It's the thought that counts, I guess. Not strewn around, anyway. Guess these guys couldn't bring them home. Lots of underaged drinkers visit under cover of darkness. Posted by Picasa

Enough said. Posted by Picasa

Plaque to Rufus Stanley, local youth advocate and educator.Posted by Picasa

Apparently Harris Hill was the old Rhode farm. Ellie is simply not impressed. Posted by Picasa

Parking areas and seating areas. This is especially well-kept. Lovers of all ages can be found here at all times. Posted by Picasa

Roadway views here must cause a lot of accidents, or maybe just some tie-ups. Come up sometime in the winter for a chilling view and visit. Posted by Picasa

No Kidding. Low Flying Aircraft. Especially incoming. Posted by Picasa

Listen for it. The universal greeting whenever I approach people in the seating areas up here. Sounds like the lawnmower from Hell. Posted by Picasa

Gorgeous clumps of some very healthy-looking flora grace the seating area. Posted by Picasa

Here they come! The glider itself is just behind the swing. Hey, someday, when Ellie isn't with me, I'll get a wonderful shot of these things. Posted by Picasa

And over they go! The speed is impressive, so you'd better have a fast camera. I certainly don't. Besides, the GrandDog doesn't care for the loud roar, and is trying to beat a hasty retreat. Posted by Picasa