Recently we went on a weekend getaway, where we went Hiking Watkins Glen State Park, located in the finger lake region of New York.
It was Js birthday and I knew he would enjoy spending his weekend hiking and wine tasting. The trip was truly a last minute decision, as we did not make plans to go until the Wednesday before, after I read an article about the park. It’s about a 4 1/2 hour drive from our house which was perfect for a weekend getaway.
We arrived early Friday morning, which is the key to getting great pictures in the park. There were not very many people in the park when we started our hike, but that would change by the time we returned to our car.
Arriving at the park entrance you will see your first waterfall. Making your way through the tunnel entrance, it will take you to the trail and the bridge (see picture below).
Once you come out of the entrance you will cross a bridge, which is the start of the trail.
The trail is well marked with signs along the way.
It was a cool morning, and the sun was trying to break through the clouds. We noticed that it takes a while for the sun to reach the gorge. The trails were wet from the dew and waterfalls. The fallen leaves made the trail even more slippery. I was glad we had worn our hiking shoes.
As you stroll along the gorge footpath, it will take you by 19 waterfalls and over 800 steps with more spectacular scenery as you make your way along the trail.
When you come to the end of the trail, there are a set of stairs that take you to the North entrance of the park. During certain times of the year, there are shuttles that will take you back to the main gate. There were no shuttle buses running that day, so we just used the bathrooms and took the Indian Trail back.
The Indian Trail is a flat trail that runs parallel to the gorge. In my opinion, there’s not much to see on this trail after hiking the previous trail.
Walking along the Indian Trail, we found part of it was closed. Luckily there was a set of stairs that took us back down to the Gorge Trail.
This allowed us to get more pictures before we left the park.
Returning to the entrance we were glad we got there early. More people were coming in to enjoy the park. We were glad we were able to take pictures without a lot of people around. It only took a couple of hours to hike the gorge. Since it was a little early to hit the wineries, we decided to explore the town of Watkins Glen and look for a place to have some lunch.