Travel

Watkins Glen State Park and the Gorges Trail

We just got back from an absolutely wonderful trip to New York. Although there were numerous sights and activities to write about, one of the highlights of our trip was the visit to upstate New York, to the Finger Lakes region, where there are numerous parks and waterfalls to visit.

We stayed in Ithaca for one night and drove to Watkins Glen State Park for a day hike. The park is stunning, a picturesque scene at just about every turn. We found it relatively easy to hike, unlike trips we’ve done in California where hiking one or two miles yielded no luck in finding waterfalls or even streams of water, for that matter, due to how dry it is here.

For a day use charge of eight dollars, I parked the car in a lot at the South entrance and we walked in about five minutes and immediately saw a sign for Gorges Trail. Following the posted directions, we entered the gorge via a suspension bridge. Once we crossed the suspension bridge, the walk is easy to do if you don’t mind stairs. It’s a long narrow oval trail, walking first on one side of the trail and then crossing over to walk along the other side.

You get a great view from the suspension bridge, but there are other bridges that also offer beautiful viewpoints.

I don’t recall the name of the first large waterfall we encountered, where we could walk behind the water, but you’ll definitely get sprayed on if you stand behind this waterfall. The path is somewhat narrow so single file lines walking in each direction is required.

The falls spilled over and into the shape of a heart, at least, it looks like a heart to me.

The trail has numerous steps to go up and down, but we did not find them tiring. The weather was perfect, and there was a lot of shade so it was mostly cool during our walk.

I love the stone bridges.

Our favorite waterfall was Rainbow Falls. We did not see the rainbows, but reportedly, if you stand under the falls in the late afternoon, the sunlight would shine on the water, causing rainbows to appear.

There are so many other stunning pictures from the park and too many to post in this blog, but this is a must-see park if you’re in upstate New York.

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