Walking: Watkins Glen State Park, Watkins Glen, NY

Located just south of Seneca Lake in the village of Watkins Glen, Watkins Glen State Park offers visitors a chance to explore a narrow river gorge with beautiful waterfalls, pools and more. The 1.5 mile Gorge Trail takes visitors through the heart of the gorge through improved paths, stairways and streamside routes past 19 different waterfalls. In addition to the Gorge Trail, there are a number of other trails in this small state park, but the Gorge Trail is one that cannot be missed.

There are three main entrances to Watkins Glen State Park. The Main Entrance in the east at the base of the gorge, the South Entrance and the Upper Entrance. A shuttle runs between the main entrance and the upper entrance for those who do not want to do a round trip walk. There's a small fee to take the shuttle. The entrance fee is $8 for the day. There are concession stands at the three entrances and visitors should either bring water or buy some before they start their trek. The Park and gorge are about 2 miles long and there are 19 different waterfalls along the way.

The best way to see and experience the gorge is to walk the Gorge Trail. We would recommend starting at the main entrance and walking up to the upper entrance. While it is a climb, when you turn around to return to your car, it is all downhill from the upper entrance.

We were there on a hot day and plenty of water is necessity. There's no swimming and there are no water sources available once you are on the trail. Also make sure you have a trail map, since there are a number of different trails in the area and you want to make sure you end up back at the right entrance!

A pretty magical place, especially when the sun hits those waterfalls in just the right way!

Jack Aiello, a contributor to Adventures in the Outdoors also visited Watkins Glen. Be sure to check out his travelogue and beautiful photos for the park.

Looking for more information about Watkins Glen?

Visit the Watkins Glen State Park website and check out books like Hiking Waterfalls in New York, Five Star Trails in the Finger Lakes, and Waterfalls and Gorges of the Finger Lakes to get more information about this great destination!