Monday, June 27, 2016

Watkins Glen State Park

When I was younger, my dad and stepmother took all of us kids on a camping trip to the Finger Lakes Region of New York.  One of the places we visited was Watkins Glen State Park.  I remember the park being so beautiful, so when it came time to plan our vacation for this year, I suggested it to Tom - we could get some great hiking in, plus the Finger Lakes are known for their wineries (bonus!).  I showed him some pictures and sent him this Buzzfeed article which named Watkins Glen State Park as one of 29 surreal places in America you need to visit.  He thought it sounded great, and our trip did not disappoint!

For a trail map and more information about the park, visit the New York State Parks website here.  There is a small fee to enter the park.

We started at the Main Entrance and took the Gorge Trail.  The trail follows the gorge as you walk next to, above, and even behind the many waterfalls along the way.  The stone path can get very wet and slippery from the spray.  There are also about 800 steps along the way!  The trail isn't difficult, though - you'll be stopping a lot to just take in all the sights! 

View down into the gorge

Inside the gorge

Glen Cathedral

Central Cascade

Rainbow Falls

We took the Indian Trail back.  There are a couple short paths that will bring you back to the Gorge Trail from the Indian Trail.  We walked down to the suspension bridge, which is 85 feet above the gorge, and then got back on the Gorge Trail to get back to the parking lot.  Our total hike was approximately 3 miles.  Watkins Glen is really popular and can get very crowded, so I would recommend going early in the day.

Indian Trail

The pictures kind of speak for themselves, although at the same time the pictures don't do justice to the beauty of Watkins Glen - you really have to see it for yourself!

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