Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen, New York 14891

Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This magnificent glen is arguably the most spectacularly beautiful place in upstate New York."

More Watkins Glen State Park Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking New York (Falcon Guides)
Rhonda and George Ostertag
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"This park houses one of the premier gorge and waterfall settings in the Finger Lakes Region, and in the nation. Charged with excitement, the hike brings together majestic 200-foot cliffs and the nineteen waterfalls, turbulent chutes, and deep plunge pools that punctuate a 545-foot drop on Glen Creek. A loop fashioned by the Gorge and Indian Trails shows off the canyon spectacle. Scenic bridges, tunnels, and twisting staircases make the trails an attraction as well." Read more
Five-Star Trails: Finger Lakes & Central New York (Menasha Ridge Press)
Timothy Starmer
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"Watkins Glen is truly a spectacle of both natural beauty and trail construction. A plethora of waterfalls, potholes, plunge pools, flumes, and sheer cliffs alone make a visit to this gorge worthwhile. Add the carefully crafted stone staircases, bridges, walls, and tunnels, and this becomes a can’t-miss excursion. The trail is definitely one of the more popular and congested trails featured in the book, but the scenery makes it well worth joining the crowds." Read more
200 Waterfalls in Central & Western New York: A Finders' Guide (Footprint Press)
Rich & Sue Freeman
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"Whether it’s a first time visit, or a repeat hike, you’re in for a treat at this park. The strenuous trails wander through rock tunnels, behind waterfalls, over bridges above the gorge, and most importantly, alongside an incredibly spectacular gorge full of water cuts and waterfalls. There are many steps to climb, so you’ll get a good aerobic workout in a short time, and you may get wet from waterfall spray. The Gorge Trail is closed November 10 when ice and snow make the journey dangerous, and is reopened in early May once it is deemed safer." Read more
Take a Hike! Family Walks in New York's Finger Lakes Region (Footprint Press)
Rich & Sue Freeman
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"Whether it’s a first time visit, or a repeat hike, you’re in for a treat at this park. The strenuous trails wander through rock tunnels, behind waterfalls, over bridges above the gorge, and most importantly, alongside an incredibly spectacular gorge full of water cuts and waterfalls. There are many steps to climb, so you’ll get a good aerobic workout in a short time and you may get wet from waterfall spray. The trails are closed from November 10 until mid-May when ice and snow make the journey dangerous. Surface: Stone and dirt trails." Read more

Watkins Glen State Park Reviews

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8/26/2010
We started on the Gorge Trail, then over to the South Rim trail out to Punch Bowl lake (part of the finger lakes trail) then back again onto the Indian trail, finally returning to the parking lot via the Gorge trail. We were a little disappointed at how built up the walls and fences were, which made it more difficult to actually see the falls. The Gorge trail had a fair amount of foot traffic, whereas the Rim trail was completely empty (saw no one). A comparable hike is the Robert H. Treman/ Enfield Glen near Ithaca which is much less crowded, more accessible and very enjoyable.
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8/12/2009
A beautifull hike but too much tourist ! May be in autumn the crowd is less important
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9/15/2008
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10/22/2007
WGSP was a great day hike! If you're not sure where to go when you get there, definitely take the Gorge trail... it's absolutely beautiful! The stairs and narrows passages can really slow you down if you get there around midday (when it's typically busier), so I suggest heading out there early in the morning, but bring your coat if it is early spring or fall (after September), as it can be around 10-20 degrees colder in the gorge. On the downside, I was disappointed how short the hike was. I think we went all the way from the north lot to the south lot and back (did the Gorge on the way down and the Indian Trail on the way back) and it took about an hour or so. If you are going to be driving from more than an hour away, you might be able to find areas around you that are really fun without having to drive so far, but if you're in Watkins Glen, this hike is a must. My best advice: take an early morning hike with your hiking buddies, girlfriend, wife, etc. and then head out to the east part of seneca lake for some of the great wine tasting that they are known for! Definitely worth it! Then stay at one of the great B&B's in the area... we went there two years in a row now from 5 hours away! The second trip might have been even better, but we'll see how next year goes!
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9/10/2007
its a big park, with paved trails, rangers everywhere and lots of tourists. it's unbelievably beautiful, though. best to go on a weekday, when the crowds are smaller
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7/2/2007
This is stunning hike providing a cardio-workout. The gorge delivers exquisite beauty from the minute you hit the trail. The 3-mile in and back is on a civilized rock or concrete surface, but it can be a bit slippery when it's wet. There's quite a bit of stair climbing, but there's plenty of lovely resting spots along the way. If you're around Rainbow Falls in the late afternoon you will likely be rewarded with numerous bright rainbows - a treat indeed!
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5/26/2006
We spent a worthwhile afternoon hiking trails in this state park and taking pictures of some interesting waterfalls. The hiking is enjoyable and not difficult. Hiking above the main Gorge Trail added scenery and trees as well as a dirt path. The Indian Trail and South Rim Trail high above and on each side of the Gorge Trail are worth the extra effort.
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7/1/2003
this is one of the best areas for a diverse hike,you can view the gorge or take the finger lakes trail for a short or long hike-the gorge had a few more people but it never seems overcrowded and the finger lakes trail hardly had any other people at all -they were both excellent short hikes!
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Watkins Glen State Park Photos

Trail Information

Watkins Glen
Nearby City
3
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
2 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
Waterfalls, Views
Features
Watkins Glen State Park, Rte. 14, Watkins Glen 14891; (607) 535-4511; nysparks.com/parks/142/
Local Contacts
nysparks.com/parks/ attachments/WatkinsGlenTrailMap.pdf
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018