Watkins Glen State Park Travel Guide

  • chipmunk collecting nuts
    chipmunk collecting nuts
    by Rhondaj
  • a recent fall of shale
    a recent fall of shale
    by Rhondaj
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by Rhondaj

Watkins Glen State Park Things to Do

  • Entrance Tunnel

    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.

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  • Maybe....THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP

    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...

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  • Animals

    Dogs on leash are allowed,,,,Except not on the gorge trail!Please don't feed the wildlife...they can take care of themselves.

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  • Hiking in Watkin's Glen State Park

    There is a $6.00 entrance fee per vechicle.Although the park is open year-round, the trails, especially the gorge trail, can be closed at any time due to poor weather conditions.

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  • Get behind the falls

    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.

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  • Carved Pools

    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

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  • Rainbow Falls

    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.

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  • Sentry Bridge

    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.

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  • Hike the Gorge Trail

    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...

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Watkins Glen State Park Restaurants

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    View from the Resturant

    by kazander Updated Jun 3, 2005

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    In the town of Watkins Glen, right at the tip of Seneca Lake is the Seneca Harbor Station. I had read about this resturant in my New York State guide book and when I mentioned they had seafood, Lou's eyes lit up so off we went. We sat on the back porch which overlooks the lake, really lovely scenery. If it's too cold out, you can still enjoy the view through floor to ceiling windows in the dining room.

    Favorite Dish: Lou really enjoyed his appitizer of clams and his main course of ribs. My buffalo chicken sandwich was good, but nothing to write home about.

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Watkins Glen State Park Nightlife

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    from their site

    by chodearm Updated Aug 23, 2004

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    As I surround myself with new scenes I like to also give my insides a taste of the area. I hunt for local products, and here is what I found for the Finger Lakes district. The night included Ithaca beers and Finger Lakes wines. The area has tons of wineries so when in Watkins Glen go down to the main street and make sure you get a bottle of some local prodi. I gotta say, Ithaca has got their brewing skills together, along with their wineing, if thats a word.

    Dress Code: Just make sure you bring your hands to hold this sweet bottle of beauty.

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Watkins Glen State Park Transportation

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    Jeff and John cruising

    by chodearm Updated Sep 20, 2004

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    A car is much in need here. The town and surrounding areas are rather dispersed and if theres want to make it to other Finger Lakes driving is a definate.

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Watkins Glen State Park Shopping

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    Rainbow Falls at Watkins Glen State Park

    by kazander Written Jun 6, 2005

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    Much to my dismay the State Park gift shop was closed when we returned from our hike. I needed my magnet fix so I hurried across the street to another little souvenier shop. Though they were just closing up for the day (it was 6pm) I managed to sneak in my purchase.
    The other purchase I made in Watkins Glen was for my Dad. This town is also well known for it's car racing, and Dad is a big fan. There is a little shop in Franklin Street that sells racing paraphanalia. I picked up some vintage style posters for him. He likes that kinda thing :)

    What to buy: Magnets for me and posters for Dad. You might want to pick up some wine at the store next to the Seneca Harbor Station. Unfortunately they were closed when we were there.

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Watkins Glen State Park Local Customs

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    don't throw your bottle in here!

    by kazander Written Jun 2, 2005

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    Why come to a NATURAL park if you are going to just mess the whole place up? I can't tell you how many bottles I saw in this park! AND there are garbage cans everywhere. PLEASE I beg you, pick up your trash and put it in the proper receptacle!

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Watkins Glen State Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Slippery when wet

    Most of the gorge trail is made of rock. Lots of places are damp or strewn with puddles due to the spray of the falls, or the dripping and seeping of water down the gorge walls. Wear proper shoes and keep in mind wet rock + wet leaves= double the slipping hazard.

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  • Watch for falling rock!

    Walking the trail gorge early in the morning is delightful to the senses. The sights, the sounds, the smells of fall. And then,,,,we heard a great big cracking sound, turned toward the sound, and saw a layer of shale give way and fall, ka-pow! to the ground. It was quite startling! It happened on the other side of the gorge, where there isn't a...

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Watkins Glen State Park What to Pack

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    Watkins Glen State Park

    by kazander Written Jun 4, 2005

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good Hiking Shoes are a must! The trails and stairs are sometimes wet and slippery, make sure you wear something with a little grip to the sole.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: I thought it would be buggy, but it wasn't that bad at all. Nevertheless, bugspray might be a good idea.

    Photo Equipment: Lots of film or room on your media cards. A polarizer is always good to have. And definately a tripod for those soft waterfall shots.

    Miscellaneous: It's always a good idea to bring water along on a hike.

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Watkins Glen State Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Beaver Ponds

    What I am about to spit may or may not be true...this is just what I have collected over time from varied sources. A beaver lives in a house made of mud pounded with their tails, and trees downed by their teeth. The dome shaped residences sit a bit off shore and access can only be gained from a entrance that is beneath water. A beaver believes in...

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  • One room schoolhouse in Naples

    On the approach to the High Tor Trail head you will drive down Old Schoolhouse road that will run directly in front of this one room schoolhouse. Just get out and steal its soul.

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  • High Tor Trail

    The word "TOR" refers to a craggy hill or peak. The High Tor Wildlife Management Area consists of 6,100 acres, with truck trails weaving throughout making it easily explorable. The hike sits at the south end of Canindaugua Lake. Naples Creek spills all the montains liquids. If you follow the blue blaze trail you will find natural waterslides and a...

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Watkins Glen State Park Favorites

  • Bird Watching

    As Lou and I made our way back along the Gorge trail, we heard a ruckus in the river. When we checked it out we saw a mama Common Merganser and about 12 little babies swimming beside her. I had never seen one before! They took us by surprise, the picture is lousy.

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  • The texture

    The walls and ground look very much layered here. Interesting in that the deeper you go the older you get.

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Explore Deeper into Watkins Glen State Park
Gorgeous gorge trail
Things to Do
Cavern Cascade
Things to Do
Natural Waterslides
Off The Beaten Path
South Rim Trail
Things to Do
Picinnini
Things to Do
The Cavern Floor
Things to Do
The Light Within
Things to Do
Tight Situation
Things to Do
Behind Cavern Cascade
Things to Do
Cavern Cascade
Things to Do
Sentry Bridge
Things to Do
Watkins Glen KOA Campsite
Things to Do
The Gorge Trail
Things to Do
The trail map
Things to Do
Map of Watkins Glen State Park

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