Among the most spectacular views of Cornell's gorges are those created in winter, when temperatures hover at the melting point. Huge icicles cling to the gorge walls, where spray from the falls freezes to overhanging tree branches.
Snow and ice have long been integral elements in the local geology. During the last Ice Age, glaciers carved deep gashes into the landscape, then receded, leaving behind waterfalls and lakes.
In winter, water freezes in crevices in the gorge walls, splintering smaller pieces of shale that tumble into the creek bed. Through the spring and summer, rushing water, tree roots, and sprouting seeds continue the work.