Does hiking over and under 19 waterfalls over the course of three miles along the windy rim filled with pools at of one of the most sought after gorges in the country make you want to jump in your car and start driving straight to it?!
It sure did for us! Watkins Glen State Park has been on my list for quite some time. Ron and I randomly decided mid-day to jump in the Defender, drive seven hours just to hike the famous Gorge Trail.
We arrived late at night so we found a spot in Finger Lakes National Forest to pop up our Front Runner roof top tent for the night. It was a great morning! A little bit of rain never hurt anyone!
Getting to the trailhead was very simple. We paid $6 to park at the visitor center, and with a couple minute walk the 1.5 mile one way and 832-step trailhead began. The views were already so breathtaking!
It’s been a constant rain for several days which means the falls were RAGING. This is not the normal. Typically, you can see the bottom of several pools along the gorge and whimsical falls throughout the hike. This made for a fun, moody fall color hike.
You get to walk under the waterfall without getting soaked! It was very cool to stand under it watching the power of water flowing over our heads.
The trail was very well maintained; I did not feel unsafe hiking along the gorge at any time. The wet steps and fall colors made this place jaw dropping gorgeous.
There are three bridges along the hike.
The famous Rainbow Bridge scene. This was a rare occasion to capture the falls this moody. When your done reading the whole post, Google it and see what it typically looks like. Mother Nature is the one thing you cannot control, which makes for a fun unpredicted experience!
Walking up to the bridge.
Nearly everyone can do this hike. Talk about the best stair climber around. Who needs the gym when you got landscapes like these!
I never mind walking back the same way we came, it gives the trail a whole new perspective.
PASSING THROUGH CANADA
After our hike, we got some home madesoup from the little cafeteria at the visitor center then headed back home through Canada, stopping at Niagara Falls in Ontario for the night.
Being that we are from the Detroit area and 15-minutes from the Ambassador Bridge we decided to take the CA route to change it up a bit. We did not have any issues driving over. We brought our passports and Watsons vaccination shot records. Check here for more detailed information on crossing the border.
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Waterfall lovers paradise
WHERE: Watkins Glen State Park
DIRECTIONS: 1009 N Franklin St Watkins Glen, NY 14891
HIKE: Gorge Trail
WHAT TO EXPECT: 1.5 miles one way, surface uneven, wet, 832 steps, skill level moderate
There are several other connecting hikes in Watkins Glen State park. However, this is the most secnic and popular attraction. Dogs are NOT allowed on the Gorge Trail. Indian and South Rim trails are pet friendly. Make sure they are leashed and clean up after them.