Monday, August 2, 2021

Watkins Glen State Park - New York

Watkins Glen State Park in the Finger Lakes region of New York, at the south end of Seneca Lake, is an incredible place. It was the main reason I wanted to travel to this region and it was much better than I'd anticipated. We were there on a Wednesday morning and it was crowded - I would avoid it on a weekend. Although the crowds tarnished the experience a little bit, the natural beauty overwhelmed that negative. Watkins Glen is a world-class destination, a jewel that not many people (at least in the circles I walk in) have heard about. My son, Andrew, who lives in New York City, turned to me and said, "Dad, how did you find out about this place?" 

Glen Creek has cut a narrow gorge through layers of shale, limestone and sandstone. A two mile trail, on paths and bridges built by the CCC, winds its way down the gorge through fantastical, mystical, dark, eerie, tight, wet rock and varying shades of green through and around 19 waterfalls (I don't think I saw them all - you have to keep looking back the other direction - or you miss them) and over 800 steps (I didn't count them - but I'll tell you they are much easier going down-hill than up-hill). We made use of the shuttle which took us from the bottom of the gorge, in the village of Watkins Glen, to the top of the gorge where we parked our car. 

I'm not going to do much commentary, the pictures can tell the story:

The shuttle bus - at the top. 

It starts tame and the canyon is not particularly narrow. 

In places the canyon walls are dripping wet with luscious green growth springing out of cracks and hanging down over dark shale. 

Rainbow Falls, one of just a few place names identified by sign. 

Here the trail crosses the creek under the waterfall. 

1 comment:

  1. This is definitely a place worth detouring to visit. It's unbelievably gorgeous. It almost feels like a movie set. Also, it's a great place to visit on a hot day because there are plenty of places where the water is dripping off the top and onto the trail.