Watkins Glen State Park Things to Do

  • chipmunk collecting nuts
    chipmunk collecting nuts
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  • Things to Do
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  • old railroad bridge
    old railroad bridge
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Most Recent Things to Do in Watkins Glen State Park

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    Entrance Tunnel

    by chodearm Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This entrance was hand-cut. Its a great way to start the march through this magical gorge. Once through the hole you will be thrust onto a bridge that spans the gorge as Central Falls passes underneath.

    put it in
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    Maybe....THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP

    by Rhondaj Written Oct 26, 2009

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    When you see the old railroad bridge suspended high above the gorge, you are nearly at the end of the trail. The trail ends with a bazillion steep steps! (okay, only 180 steps called 'jacob's ladder', but they are steep.) The park planners were kind enough to have landings every zillion or so steps and there is always a few hikers stopping to catch their breath at one landing or another.

    But! you don't have to walk up these steps! If you plan to hike back to your starting point, you can turn around at the steps, go back to the mile point bridge (marked so you can't miss it), cross over the bridge and take the South Rim trail back. You will walk high above the gorge trail with occasional views of the gorge below. A pleasant and easy trail.

    So,,,,what is at the top of the 180 steps? toilets. a little snack and souvenir shack. a parking lot. a shuttle at the parking lot will take you back to the main entrance if you don't want to hike back.
    Also, the Indian trail starts here and follows the gorge back to the main entrance. Just like the South Rim trail, you will be above the gorge.

    old railroad bridge
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    Get behind the falls

    by kazander Written Jun 22, 2005

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    I love this view through the Cavern Cascade. Take a moment to check out the view from behind the falls. The first time I just hurried through because I was worried about gettin my camera wet. When we passed through on the way back I stopped to take a few shots(from a safe and not to misty vantage point of course.) I'm glad I did.

    Behind the Falls
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    Carved Pools

    by kazander Written Jun 4, 2005

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    The water from the stream cuts through stone to form these circular pools. These pools are the first step in the carving out of the gorge. They look like perfect little hottubs to relax in. Very tempting to hop in. Can't though, The park has a look and don't touch policy. Darn

    Watkins Glen State Park
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    Rainbow Falls

    by kazander Written Jun 4, 2005

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    This shot is from behind the aptly named Rainbow Falls. It's the last of the waterfalls you will come to on your hike, and some might say that they saved the best for last. Not a mighty cascade, it's sort of a glorified trickle that starts way up the side of the gorge, passes over the trail and ends up in the churning stream below.

    Rainbow Falls at Watkins Glen State Park
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    Sentry Bridge

    by kazander Written Jun 3, 2005

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    The Sentry Bridge and Central Falls greet you as you begin your hike into the park. As you approach the park entrace they are the first thing you see. Go through the tunnel and up the stairs and suddenly you appear on the span looking down into the gorge. From start to finish, this park is impressive.

    Sentry Bridge at Watkins Glen State Park
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    Hike the Gorge Trail

    by kazander Updated Jun 3, 2005

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    The gorge trail takes you right along the edge of the stream past 19 waterfalls, sometimes under them, and sometimes over bridges in front of them or above them. The trail is made out of stone and slate stairs and pathways. Originally this State Park was part of a private resort. The trails are very nicely constructed and maintained.
    There are 3 entrances into the park. We began our hike at the main entrance on Rt 14 right in the middle of the town of Watkins Glen. From here, the trail just goes up. Makes the return journey that much easier.

    The Gorge Trail
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    Gorgeous gorge trail

    by kazander Updated Jun 3, 2005

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    The stream water has carved out a path through the stone over thousands of years old. A history is exposed. Down towards the bottom of the gorge there can be found signs of an ancient sea where trilobites roamed. If you happen to see one of these, leave it where it is, fossil hunting is forbidden in the park.

    Watkins Glen
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    Cavern Cascade

    by kazander Updated Jun 3, 2005

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    The gorge trail winds up and under the tall straight waterfall called the Cavern Cascade. As you pass beneath the falls the spray bounces off the stone wall, you will get wet. Refreshing on a hot day, but keep your camera covered. After going under the waterfall you will be led through the spiral stairs. Carved into the side of the gorge, the stairs lead you to the next level of your hike.

    Cavern Cascade at Watkins Glen
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    South Rim Trail

    by chodearm Updated Sep 9, 2004

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    On your return from the head of the cavern, veer right onto the South Rim Trail. You will get a great new perspective of the Gorge below. Along the way you will pass remnants of the resort that was once there, its ghostly structures covered in time.

    tables of moss
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    Picinnini

    by chodearm Updated Aug 23, 2004

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    Do it! After the treacherous trek to the top eat yourself something. Theres a picnic area and snack bar at the top of the Gorge Trail, but first one will have to endure the steep climb up Jacobs Ladder. Theres bathrooms up here, so unload so you can make the voyage back down to the bottom. RECHARGE!

    turkey and cheese
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    The Cavern Floor

    by chodearm Updated Aug 23, 2004

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    In sections the river will slow up more to your speed of walking. Find your serenity here, tourist seem to bypass the slow sections always chasing the largest, fastest, whitest waterfall. I've heard everyone runs in to see the Sistine Chapel all the while never realizing they are bypassing some of Michealangelos best work, THE CAPTIVE SLAVES. So please slow down and observe your surroundings a little more thouroughly.

    The Cavern Floor
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    The Light Within

    by chodearm Updated Aug 23, 2004

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    The light situation in the Gorge varies drastically. Sometimes there seems to be no sky as if it became more like a cave, other times light will smack you straight in the face. Light highlights different sections and should be close at hand, watch wherever it falls.

    I've seen the light
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    Behind Cavern Cascade

    by chodearm Updated Aug 23, 2004

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    The path winds up and down and around waterfallls. Here, behind Cavern Cascade you can find refuge and feel the mist. If summer is your choice time for discovery of the cavern, this site will be a relief, for it will diminish the waterfalls of sweat pouring down into your eyebrows. Reach out and touch someone.

    Yukes repping behind
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    Sentry Bridge

    by chodearm Updated Aug 23, 2004

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    As one enters the park the first major construction meshed with the natural beauty is Sentry Bridge. The path will grab your hand and pull you over so no worries on height fright. You will be overwhelmed by your surroundings to ever be able to feel any scare.

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