Hiking In Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park is such an incredible hiking area in the Finger Lake region of New York. It is located just south of Seneca Lake (the address is 1009 N Franklin Street Watkins Glen, NY.) It provides spectacular nature areas to explore with waterfalls, cliffs, plunge basins, and really unique rock formations.

Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park

My husband and I are huge fans of hiking and exploring nature settings, so when we traveled up to Watkins Glen (we are from the Philadelphia area) we had to check this spot out!

You can park at the main entrance (on Franklin Street) or there is an upper entrance that we parked at which is located on route 409 (3310 Watkins Glen NY.) At the time we visited, the main entrance was full, so we ended up parking the upper lot, and went on the Gorge Trail from there. As a side note, there was a small fee to park in either of the lots.

The Gorge Trail is 1.5 miles or 2.4 kilometers. We were there almost five hours to really enjoy it, but if you go fast through the area, it may be possible to hike in two to three. Although it is a decent length, it is not particularly strenuous, and we just really set a moderate pace and took our time. Since this is a larger hike, I do highly recommend that you bring a backpack or bag with extra snacks (we usually take granola bars), water, sunscreen, sunglasses, hiking boots, extra jackets, gloves, or hats depending on the weather. There are restrooms in the park in case if you need to use them.

Watkins Glen State Park

This place has such an interesting history to it. 10,000 years ago, after the Ice Age, glaciers melted in New York, and the Glen Creek flowed through the woods to the steep west wall of the Seneca Lake Valley. It was from that point that the stream flowed as waterfalls and went directly into the Seneca Lake, which had been lowered by the passage of glaciers. Today, waterfalls are actually still in the process of creating Watkins Glen, and the water plunges through the resistant ledges of limestone or shale. As the waterfalls go through the ledges, there are various cascades that cut into the hills, which lengthens and deepens the gorges. As you walk through the park, it is really neat, because you are walking by these layers of rocks and you can literally see the Earth’s history through time in front of you.

Watkins State Park
Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park

As we began our hike at the Gorge Trail from the upper lot, we went down Jacob’s Ladder, which is an interesting swirling set of stone stairs. It had rained the day before, so we really just took our time to get down to the trail. As we arrived at the bottom of the trail to the impressive Glen Creek, we were happy to see that there was a nicely paved path for us to walk on.

Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park

The water looked so clear and beautiful, as we discovered the various shapes that the Glen Creek has created over the years. The typical fish that you may find here are crayfish, minnows, and caddisfly which seem to enjoy the shallow depths. My favorite formation that I found as we were meandering about the park was a beautiful heart!

Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park

There are also so many fascinating bridges that you will encounter, and they just add to the magical scenery of the place!

Watkins Glen Bridge
Watkins Glen State Park
Suspension Bridge At Watkins Glen State Park
View From The Suspension Bridge At Watkins Glen State Park

Out of all the amazing spots in the park, I had an absolute favorite. As you go through the Gorge Trail, at one point you will see a stair case feature in a rock wall, which is called the Spiral Tunnel. So the tunnel itself is very cool as you walk through it, and something unexpected happens as you make your way out of it. As you step out into the path again, you are greeted with an absolutely magical waterfall. This waterfall is called the Cavern Cascade, and it is 52 feet in length (16 meters) and seems to swoop right out of the cliff.

Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park

I truly hope that this post inspires you to make a trip to the Watkins Glen State Park. Its beauty and history is truly like no other place, and is so unique to New York and the Northeastern part of the United States. Let me know in the comments if you have ever traveled here before as well. I hope that you are having a wonderful day, and remember to click the like and subscribe button!

Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park

-Hiking Boots

The more that we explore new places, the more important it is to wear safe hiking gear, and of course hiking boots. I really love my hiking boots because they feel super cozy, warm, flexible, and of course the most crucial element of all for safety is that they are non slip! When I have gone hiking for hours at a time, they are really comfortable, which is great when you are traveling on the road.

Hiking Boots
Hiking Boots

For more information regarding these boots, check out the Amazon Affiliate link below!

https://amzn.to/3scELyt

-Additional Related Articles

https://parks.ny.gov/parks/watkinsglen/maps.aspx

The Best Things To Do In Ithaca New York

Buttermilk Falls Ithaca New York

Cascadilla Gorge Trail

Cabin View Alpacas Trumansburg New York

-YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC57fwMvJ75JRd76do3hOxqw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by NortheastAllie

For generations, my family has lived in the Philadelphia area, and my writing reflects these influences. This blog explores perspectives on life, encouragement, travel, health, and local living.

14 thoughts on “Hiking In Watkins Glen State Park

  1. What a scenic hike Allie and all those pretty little bridges too. I once visited the Finger Lakes but it was absolutely ages ago long before I started blogging. I’d love to return one day and your informative post has inspired me to do so.

  2. Watkins Glen State Park looks like a lovely place to wander around. I love the little stone bridge and the autumn vibes. The walls of the canyon have a beautiful texture. It was fascinating reading about its history. Thanks for sharing, Allie.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: