Saturday, September 15, 2018

Watkins Glen State Park: A Nature’s Paradise

Explorer Lens


One of the must visit state parks in the vicinity of New York state is Watkins Glen State Park. It has the reputation of leaving the visitors spellbound by its beauty and this is absolutely true. The day I visited the park, was a bit cloudy and rainy. The weather added to the beauty of the park and the waterfalls which were present all the way along the trail, made me fell in love with them. Within two miles, the glen's stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. 
The experience at Watkins Glen State Park is truly unforgettable. Winding path and steps will lead you over to stone bridges and beautiful waterfalls, leaving you in the lap of the Mother Nature.
Watkins Glen state park is the most famous of the Finger Lake state parks, located at South of Seneca Lake, in the village of Watkins Glen.
Read our guide to find out the best time to visit the Watkins Glen State park and enjoy the beautiful trails there.
There are three trails here, which are listed below:

George trail:
The Gorge Trail is what defines the park. People come here year after year and seasons after season to visit this trail, and this is one of the most photogenic spots in the New York State.
The George trail offers stunning views of the waterfalls and caves. The trail is open from mid-May until late October. Its closed from the beginning of November but depending on the weather, it can be a little earlier or later.
You can start at either the bottom, or the top of the gorge, and there are shuttles available to take you back to your start point, but I would recommend to start at the main entrance Franklin Street in Watkins Glen.
The highest waterfall at Watkins Glen is cascade central which is 60 feet high. The most photographed waterfall in the park is the Rainbow fall where you can walk underneath the fall.
The Gorge Trail hugs the gorge much more closely, allowing for better view of the river, waterfalls, cascading pools, and rock formations within the gorge.

Indian trail:
The Indian Trail follows the river at somewhat of a distance, so that it is more a gradual ramp. We recommend the Indian Trail as a way to get back to the entrance rather than taking the Gorge Trail in reverse.

South Rim trail:
This trail is 4.5 mile one way. It runs along the south rim of the glen. It is a nice hike to do but you won’t be able to see the gorge from it.

Tickets and Fees
There is no entrance fee for the park but there is a parking fee of $8 per car.

There is snack bar offering ice cream and beer at the top and bottom of the trails. You can have beer only in certain areas. Best option is to carry your own food along with you which you can have along the way.

There are three entrances (Main, South and North) to the park, each with its own parking lot, restrooms and additional facilities. We recommend to start with the main entrance, traversing the gorge trail all the way up to the Jacob’s ladder and then using the Indian trail as your way back down. You can also use shuttle service which runs between all the three entrances, if available at a nominal fee of $5.

You can stay at their camp grounds and enjoy the hike as early as possible.

Explorerlens gyan:
1.) Try to avoid peak holiday season like summers weekends when it can become highly crowded and you will not be able to enjoy the view properly.
2.) Use a good hiking and non-slippery shoes for the hike since the path can be watery.
3.) Start your hike in the morning as early as possible to avoid crowd and get the complete views with peace.
4.) All the three parking lots have flat fee and hence you can use any one of them. But do remember your entrance to get back to it. If you exit out at the wrong entrance and shuttle service is not working, it may become difficult to get back to your car.

Here are some of the pics from out visit to the State Park :)

Explorer Lens / Author & Editor

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