Till I had visited this state park in New York state, I had no clue how beautiful this part of the state is. In fact, other state parks located in the Finger Lakes region of the state, apart from Watkins Glen, is also very beautiful and awe-inspiring. But Watkins Glen State Park simply stands out, I must say. It is the most famous state parks in the state and is located near Watkins Glen village, south of Seneca Lake.
I had visited this park in the September of 2017, after seeing one of the splendid photos of my colleague. Most remarkable feature of this park is it’s 19 waterfalls which dot the map of this park within 2 miles distance. How exciting! Park features three trails but if you are out for waterfalls, take Gorge Trail, which is the most popular among all three. This trail winds along with stream, which runs the 400-foot deep, narrow gorge. Sometimes you walk under falls, and at times, you cross over stone bridges – and Rainbow Bridge too. All along the 2-mile trail, there are more than 800 stone steps, and for most part of the trail, you will be walking almost at the bottom of the gorge between its walls.
When to Visit: Park is open year round. However, Gorge Trail is open only in summer when weather is favorable. From mid-May to mid-October, this trail gets closed. Moreover, trail shuttle service also runs seasonal. You can use the shuttle service to get picked up at the other end of the Gorge Trail, which will bring you back to the parking lot from where you had started the hike on Gorge Trail.
Fees: There is a fee of $8 per vehicle in the park.
How to Reach: There are two entrances to the park. Most popular of the two is near the Watkins Glen village. Second entrance is in the upper part of the park in woodland on Station Road 409.