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4.5
34 votes

Watkins Glen State Park

3530 State Route 419, Watkins Glen, New York 14891 USA

Free
Free to Visit
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
    Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair
    Accessible
  • Public
    Restrooms

“Be Spellbound in Watkins Glen!”

"Welcome to New York's ultimate hidden gem- Watkins Glen State Park! The main feature of this exceptionally lovely natural area is the natural, 400-foot gorge running through the park, carved out by a babbling creek. It makes for a serene, blissful hike through natural beauty so captivating that you might forget that you're not in a fairytale. The canyon is made up of shale, sandstone and limestone, which erode at different rates-- that's why the creek is full of magical pools and misty waterfalls (19 in total!) There are three trails in the park, which lead visitors through meadows and into the canyon along the creek-- but be prepared for a bit of a workout, since the trail into the canyon has around 800 steps! It's totally worth it though; even though you can't swim in the creek, you can explore the caves along the trail and go behind many of the waterfalls. Along the way, you'll pass gorgeous bridges (the Sentry bridge in particular seems to complement the gorgeous scenery to perfection) and the eerie remnants of the resort that once occupied the park land. Despite the fact that the resort is gone, visitors can do some old-school camping at the park, which also has a swimming pool and offers guided tours. The best time to visit? Spring, when things are just starting to bloom, and fall, when the firey foliage lights up the scenery." -Roadtrippers Watkins Glen State Park is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks, with a reputation for leaving visitors spellbound. Within two miles, the glen's stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. The gorge path winds over and under waterfalls and through the spray of Cavern Cascade. Rim trails overlook the gorge. Campers and day-visitors can enjoy the Olympic-size pool, scheduled summer tours through the gorge, tent and trailer campsites, picnic facilities and excellent fishing in nearby Seneca Lake or Catherine Creek, which is renowned for its annual spring run of rainbow trout. Watkins Glen State Park is located on the edge of the village of Watkins Glen, New York, south of Seneca Lake in Schuyler County. The main feature of the park is the hiking trail that climbs up through the gorge, passing over and under waterfalls. The park has a lower part that is next to the village and an upper part that is open woodland. Sparkling lakes, breathtaking waterfalls and rolling pastoral land dominate the landscape of the Finger Lakes Region. Over thousands of years, gigantic glaciers and coursing streams have carved this landscape.  The most recent glacier moved through shallow river valleys leaving in its place deep, steep-sided troughs. When the glaciers receded north 10,000 years ago, water filled these new troughs, creating the 11 Finger Lakes. Since that time water has flowed down glacially steepened hillsides carrying debris that cut away at soft sedimentary rock to form our beautiful and unique gorges.

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Reviewed by
Greek_nomad

  • Road Warrior
  • 401 Reviews
  • 207 Helpful
September 17, 2014
Rated 5.0

The gorge trail!! What a tiring trip but so worth finishing it. You have to climb more than 800 steps to get on the top but the views you get afterwards are breathtaking plus the smell of fresh air that you inhale.

While you go up there are several places to stop and relax or have a drink.

There is also a bus taking you up and making your trip easier but I would strongly recommend taking the hard way.

Great place for photographers.

5 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
devin.newmeyer

  • 31 Reviews
  • 15 Helpful
July 07, 2014

beautiful park. very crowded and touristy, though. If we walk on any of the higher trails, like Indian trail, it's not very crowded. moat of the tourists don't go any further than the gorge.

5 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
ferris

  • 6 Reviews
  • 5 Helpful
October 02, 2014
Rated 4.0

A great place for a slow walk. We arrived really early (around 7am) and we hardly saw anyone else the whole time we were there. We also didn't pay to get in despite trying to, even asking the gardener where we could pay the fee (it turned out the staff wouldn't arrive for a couple more hours.)

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Joshua Smibert

  • Road Warrior
  • 125 Reviews
  • 173 Helpful
August 31, 2014
Rated 5.0

Definitely one of my top 10 parks in the us - the stone stairs and archways throughout frame the various waterfalls incredibly. Their is coffee and food around the entrance and if you go early on a weekday in the fall - you will see incredible fall colors along the trail! Keep your eyes open for wildlife - we saw a number of deer and other critters on the hike! Love this place

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Jbaiibee

  • 2 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
July 20, 2016

I lived in Watkins Glen with my mom, she was born & raised there including my dad. It has some beautiful sights to see, including Seneca Lake! I spent my days at the Lake & the Gorge during the summer, the fishing is pretty good there, but you have to have a boat in order to catch some good ones :) The cruises which is operated by Captain Bills is just awesome. The little bars surrounding the lake is nice also, highly recommend the Harbor Hotel to stay in & the Tiki Bar for the adults is also somewhere to go have a good time! There is other bars in town, like The Bull Pin, The Crooked Roster, etc! During the Winter it's beautiful, the falls in Montour is definitely worth seeing when it's froze over & snow is covering the cliffs.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
James Fisher

  • Road Warrior
  • 515 Reviews
  • 374 Helpful
July 20, 2016
Rated 5.0

Lot's of steps to climb but it's well worth it! Costs $8 per car to get in. Camping facilities are on site :)

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
ferris

  • 6 Reviews
  • 5 Helpful
July 20, 2016
Rated 4.0

A great place for a slow walk. We arrived really early (around 7am) and we hardly saw anyone else the whole time we were there. We also didn't pay to get in despite trying to, even asking the gardener where we could pay the fee (it turned out the staff wouldn't arrive for a couple more hours.)

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
mel.go2

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
July 20, 2016

I love! I must go here!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
GigiVoegeding

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
July 20, 2016

This park was so much fun for my husband, kids, and me. Grade school kids and up will have a blast. There is a lot of walking, steps. It is worth an afternoon. Amazing. Would love to go back again!!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Brian Coleman

  • 3 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
July 20, 2016

The camp ground is pretty nice too. Lots of side trips and wineries in the area. My wife and I try to get to the Finger Lakes region at least once a year.

1 person found this review helpful

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Watkins Glen State Park

3530 State Route 419
Watkins Glen, New York
14891 USA

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  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Private Parking
  • RV Parking
  • Yes Parking
  • 50 AMP
  • Tent Sites
  • Dump Station
  • Showers
  • Swimming Pool

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