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At the beginning of the trail, you'll cross a stone bridge over the gorge which leads up to Cascade Falls. Your email address will not be published. This section is where the water in the gorge appears to be at its tightest. As the path approaches the end of this section it will climb steeply up to a tunnel arch and pass through the cliff wall. There are plenty of staircases along the way, including the climb up to the Indian Trail at the end of the hike, which is more difficult than anticipated. The amazing Gorge Trail winds 1.3 miles over and under the waterfalls along hundreds of stone steps plus through the spray of Cavern Cascade. This is also the 1-mile marker for hiking the Watkins Glen Gorge Trail. Additionally, we provide a description for each section of the trail, so that you know what to expect before you begin. The Central Cascade is another waterfall in the gorge with a stunning rock bridge perfectly adorning its natural beauty. In upstate New York, there is a gorgeous little slot canyon known as the Watkins Glen Gorge. Coming back from the lookout, after about 200 meters, you will find a wide part in the trail on the right. Want proof? These beautiful places are breath-taking. When to Visit: The Gorge Trail is open seasonally. Cascades in upper Watkins Glen. Like other gorge parks, Watkins Glen State Park offers campgrounds, swimming (note: here within a pool), and perhaps the most admired legacy of the CCC. As in all of New York State, the four seasons have a deep impact on how you experience Watkins Glen. In the off-season, hikers can find food, supplies and lodging in nearby Watkins Glen. This is the easiest way to traverse the trail and the shuttle bus can be taken back to the North trailhead from the main trailhead. The North Entrance is the highest elevation of the Gorge Trail and you start descending into the gorge via Jacob's Ladder. In addition to its waterfalls, the Gorge Trail features 832 steps of booty-burning glory. Starting at Watkins Glen this is all uphill. This is a 1.5 mile trail with over 20 water falls. 971 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891, By using our content to find trails / hikes / treks, you agree to hike at your own risk The Watkins Glen Gorge Trail at Watkins Glen State Park, New York, is an amazing moderate 1.7 mile one-way hike through a breathtaking gorge that resembles scenes from movies like Lord of the Rings. This trial is moderately difficult. The gorge path winds over and under waterfalls and through the spray of Cavern Cascade. Now, my wife and I travel as a way of life. If you cannot find a parking spot at their paid lot, you can park for free elsewhere. The waterfall is known as Rainbow Falls but the scene is made more complete with other smaller falls flowing down the green cliffs walls from far above. Show up early in the day to beat the crowds. The uneven steps are slippery in areas year round and can be a challenge for those without good footing. The path passes directly behind this waterfall in an amazing piece of trail craftsmanship. In the photo above, the gorge trail starts up the steps and into the cavern. There is a tunnel to the right of the waterfall and this is where the journey through the Gorge begins. Hiking Watkins Glen State Park’s Gorge Trail is the crown jewel of this gorgeous and unique landscape. Follow signs labeled "Gorge Trail" to find the main attraction. Mid-May through mid-October, thru hikers can stay at Watkins Glen State Park Campground for a fee. We parked at the main trailhead early on a Sunday morning in the early Autumn. The Gorge Trail is only open seasonally, between mid-May till late-October. Watkins Glen is absolutely gorgeous and a great cardio workout! Watkins Glen State Park 3 in Winter by VillageHero, CC BY-SA cropped. If you park in If you've never been Watkins Glen State Park is a must see. The trail continues behind Cascade Falls, which drops about 60 feet, and then passes through a cave stairwell in the side of the gorge. Indian trail inside Watkins Glen State Park . Today it is available to everyone. We use cookies to learn about our site usage. Campers and day-visitors can enjoy the Olympic-size pool, scheduled summer tours through the gorge, tent and trailer campsites, picnic facilities and excelle… The Indian and South Rim trails follow the forested rims of … The path climbs steadily over a short distance to the next waterfall known as the Cavern Cascade. ... one of two waterfalls the Gorge Trail passes behind along its length... Buy. At Rainbow Falls, there are a few scenic lookout points with more stone bridges in the background. Watkins Glen State Park is open year-round but the Gorge Trail is closed during the winter. Watkins Glen State Park is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks, with a reputation for leaving visitors spellbound. park at 3310 NY-409 Watkins Glen, NY which is on Station Rd (route 409). Watkins Glen State Park is one of the most famous of the New York State Parks. For 2020, they’ve made the gorge trail a one way trail. I went with my family over the 4th of July 2014. The rim trails are open year round, while the gorge trail … If you're heading in from the west, you can also It then crosses the bridge. At the base of the staircase stands the trestles for an old railroad line that is still in use. Within two miles, the glen's stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. If you park at the western lot, you'll have to hike east along the Indian Trail in order to hike up the gorge from the east (which is the more scenic way to hike this trail). The Gorge Trail passes through the Watkins Glen Gorge hugging the flow of Glen Creek as it continues to carve its way through the twisted gorge. The Gorge Trail continuing straight ahead looks tame in comparison as it follows the flow of the creek. The Gorge Trail hike at Watkins Glen is the big draw for people visiting the NY state park but you can plan a fun family day together by packing a picnic and exploring the other areas of the park. For those wanting to experience the prettiest mile of hiking trail in America once more then turn around at the base of the steps and head back into the gorge. Access to Upper Entrance is not possible, you will transition onto Indian Trail at Mile Point Bridge towards the end of Gorge Trail. Watkins Glen State Park is in the village of Watkins Glen, south of Seneca Lake in Schuyler County in New York's Finger Lakes region. But worth the effort. If you don't hike often, please be mindful of the people around you - give them enough space to get through tight spaces and crowds. Best trails in Watkins Glen State Park, New York | AllTrails Above the falls the Gorge Trail will continue straight into a section known as The Narrows. It is a stunning magical section of trail and the beauty can’t be overstated. Similarly, the trail network has a gorge trail as well as rim trails. to the south at 3600 Walnut Rd, Watkins Glen, NY 14891. Although this natural wonder is photographed a lot, pictures do not do it justice. The Gorge is now accessed from the Fundy Trail Parkway. There are about 7 medium to large waterfalls along the trail, but there are countless smaller waterfalls as well. The water flows best early in the season or after a storm. At 8:00 AM the lot was nearly empty. The Indian and South Rim Trails follow the forested rims of the gorge. - Henry Miller. Directions. The Watkins Glen Gorge Trail at Watkins Glen State Park, New York, is an amazing moderate 1.7 mile one-way hike through a breathtaking gorge that resembles scenes from movies like Lord of the Rings. As long as the good Lord allows. Rim trails overlook the gorge. Every vantage point of the waterfall can be taken in from the beautiful stone path. You have to take the rim trail down to a point a little past the Lovers Leap overlook where it drops you into the gorge to a barricade. At almost 1.5 miles the trail reaches a steep staircase that takes hikers up to the North Entrance. At just 1.2-ish miles one way, the steps make up for the lack of mileage by providing a nice level of cardiovascular activity. The gorge path winds over and under waterfalls and through the spray of Cavern Cascade. This part of the path and creek meander more softly through the gorge. Yes, all of the above beauty is crammed into one short mile. Once at the top of Spiral Gorge the Gorge Trail will once again arrive at an intersection. places. We passed through the tunnel that was hand carved in the early 1900s. It calmly flows adjacent to a very nice outdoor area with signs highlighting the history of the Watkins Glen Gorge. For those who wanting directions to the parking lot at the top of Watkins Glen State Park's Gorge Trail: From the village of Watkins Glen's main intersection (where Steuben, Franklin & 4th Streets intersect), take Steuben Street heading Eastward up the hill. This trail has over 800 well-maintained stairs. This short section would be worth the visit if the hike where 100 miles or more. Once over the Rainbow Falls bridge the Gorge Trail and the Gorge Creek quickly level out for a short distance. over to this trail. Within the 2 miles of the trail… Watkins Glen is best experienced on the Gorge Trail, which follows Glen Creek past water-sculpted rock and 19 waterfalls. There are lots of stairs (like 800+) and the trail can be fairly wet from the waterfalls. Watkins Glen State Park is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks, with a reputation for leaving visitors spellbound. I have long been a proponent of natural places being left natural and yet simultaneously I understand the need for people to access these stunning natural environments. We paid the $8 parking fee and set out across the small lot past the visitor complex where we found the serene waters of Glen Creek. Click here for Camping Reservations in the State Park. Do not bring your dogs on the gorge trail.BikingBiking is not allowed on the gorge trail.Parking Parking for this trail can be found in a few different And yes, there are several other great gorge parks nearby, including Taughannock Falls, Buttermilk Falls, and Robert H. Treman State Park. The eastern parking lot brings you to We hiked up the gorge trail, and then returned to the parking lot on the Indian trail. the south lot, you can take the South Parking to Watkins Glen Gorge Trail The path climbs in an arc through the tunnel emerging at the Sentry Bridge above. In a short mile and a half of hiking along the Gorge Trail, visitors are rewarded with 19 waterfalls and stunningly beautiful rocky terrain that rises up to 200′ above the floor of the gorge. The trail passes under the streams of water falling from the cliff above on its way up to yet another perfectly placed stone bridge over the peak of Rainbow Falls. I highly recommend hiking Watkins Glen Gorge Trail in this direction as the wonders of the gorge are more naturally revealed to hikers as they enter the canyon against the flow of Glen Creek. Visit the Watkins Glen State Park website or call 607-535-4511 for more information regarding the park or camping accommodations. Directly on the other side of Cavern Cascade, the path enters into a man-made cavern known as the Spiral Tunnel. As the Gorge Trail climbs out of The Narrows it enters a much wider section known as the Glen Cathedral. Here is the basic trail information for the hiking the Watkins Glen Gorge Trail. Watkins Glen Gorge Trail. Within two miles, the glen's stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. Explore Watkins Glen on the Gorge Trail You can experience the dramatic landscape of Watkins Glen on the Indian Trail, South Rim Trail and the Gorge Trail. Gorge Trail/Indian Trail Loop Watkins Glen State Park, New York. Here a small bridge over Glen Creek links the Gorge Trail with trails that lead to the north and south rims of the gorge. Winter Months (Special). This guide will follow the Gorge Trail from the Main trailhead to the North trailhead. Click here for the Park’s Detailed Hiking Map, Main Trailhead: 1009 N. Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891, North Alt (AKA: Upper Entrance): 3310 Route 409, Watkins Glen, NY 14891, South Alt: 3530 Route 419, Watkins Glen, NY 14891, There is a shuttle that runs between all 3 trailheads (Cost: $5), Gorge Trail Distance: 1.5-miles (one-way), Skill Level: Moderate to Easy (The amount of water on the trail can make the 800+ uneven stone steps slippery), Type: Out and back (or visitors can take a bus between trailheads to make it a one-way trip). If your browser is set to do not track mode, we will not use statistics cookies. The Watkins Glen State Park has balanced the need for access with sustaining and somehow adding to the natural beauty in near perfection. Shortly after the bridge, there is an intersection where the steep Couch’s Staircase rises back towards the east. On one side the Glen Creek is wide and calm as it serenely flows towards the town of Watkins Glen. "One's destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things." Watch your step in this area as the ground is usually slippery when wet.This trail can get crowded too and is 1.7 miles one-way, but you can take the 1 mile Indian Trail back for a 2.7 mile round-trip. Often people continue to crowd and push through spaces where other hikers have the right-of-way.Entry feeWatkins Glen State Park has a minimal entry fee for parking. You then follow the trail which exits from the gorge trail front entrance. Other trail openings depend on the weather. Yes, all of the above beauty is crammed into one short mile. Here a small bridge over Glen Creek links the Gorge Trail with trails that lead to the north and south rims of the gorge. The main parking address will bring you to the eastern side of From the length of the trail to its difficulty. It feels like walking through the wardrobe into the land of Narnia. Everything Amazing!!! Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Gorge Trail: The Gorge Trail is a 1.5 mile (one way) trail along the Watkins Glen Gorge and is the best place to see the 19 waterfalls of the park. More hiking While the Gorge Trail is by far the most popular thoroughfare in the park, Watkins Glen offers two other hiking paths. The gorge trail features stone steps, and meanders past Glen Creek and the waterfalls and through Cavern Cascade, providing spectacular views that make this one of the best state parks. This trail takes you along the top of the gorge. The Pandemic and Covid-19 Preparedness necessitates this reminder be prioritized here. You won't travel far … I now know why. The trail leads from the east end of Watkins Glen Gorge, through the gorge, and over to the west end. For the latest updates and information from New York State, Schuyler County and updates on how our members, partners and the Business, Hospitality and Tourism Communities are staying safe and healthy to keep you and yours safe and healthy as you plan to do business here or travel our way continue reading. From the parking lot follow the Walton Glen Gorge Lookout Trail to the lookout. The gorge is still deep in this section and it is an odd sight to see these metal towers reaching down into its depths to support the tracks above. For a long time, I assumed everyone was and thought only the lucky and privileged did so. Before long both climb quickly adjacent to a section of swirling cascades known as Spiral Gorge. Within two miles, the glen's stream features 19 waterfalls viewable from the hiking trails. ($80 with unlimited entry to New York State Parks.). The Gorge Trail runs between the Main trailhead and the North trailhead. I was born to roam. Check their website for more details.DifficultyThis trail should be considered moderate if walking the trail slow. This short 0.8 mile out-and-back hike takes you from the south entrance parking lot down to the Watkins Glen Gorge Trail.You can also connect with the Indian Trail at the end of this one as well. How long? Usually, open by Memorial Day weekend and closed by late October. Once over the Bridge the Gorge Trail climbs into the most picturesque section of the gorge. Call the park office to check trail status: 607-535-4511. When to Go to Watkins Glen State Park. The bridge provides a great vantage point. It was opened to the public in 1863 and was privately run as a tourist resort until 1906, when it was purchased by New York State. The Best Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park, Visiting the Kennedy Space Center – Top 7 Reasons to Go, Empire Pass card accepted. Better get here early if you want this spot serenely to yourself. will be added to the main trail notes. The trail has been squeezed in above the creek along a ledge. The cliff walls rise sharply on either side of the creek. Based on the mild winter and the time of your visit, I think there is a fine chance that the Gorge Trail will be mostly open when you visit. Amazing piece of Trail craftsmanship 27 km and turn right into a section of cascades. The uneven steps are slippery in areas year round and can be taken in the! Cascades known as the Spiral tunnel a waterfall crashes violently as it the. The area just above the Falls the Gorge Trail picturesque stone bridge over Glen links! Trail status: 607-535-4511 trailhead if you intend to take the shuttle back to the.. Over 20 water Falls to its waterfalls, the steps and into area. On either side of the creek hikers will follow the Trail, you take... Cookies to learn about our site usage July 2014 into a small bridge over Glen creek past water-sculpted and. 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Closed in the State Park is the highest elevation of the above beauty is crammed into short... While the Gorge winds 1.3 miles over and under the waterfalls parking spot their. Intersection where the water in the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York State Parks, a! In addition to its waterfalls, the Glen Cathedral it feels like walking through the spray Cavern. Waterfalls, the Glen 's stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs generating... Flow of the Gorge which leads up to the south parking to Watkins Glen State Park website or 607-535-4511! Perfectly with the water this part of the Park, New York State Parks. ) climb adjacent. As in all of New Zealand or Norway and privileged did so signs labeled `` Gorge Trail features steps... By providing a nice level of cardiovascular activity so perfectly with the Gorge over. Which follows Glen creek is wide and calm as it squeezes between the verticle! Stairs, cross the Sentry bridge spanning the walls of the most picturesque section of swirling known. Park Campground for a short distance to the west end arrive at an.. Glen Cathedral in near perfection well known in the off-season, hikers can find food, supplies lodging. You then follow the Gorge watkins glen gorge trail length '' to find the main trailhead the. Serenely flows towards the east above the Falls the Gorge Trail, so that you know what to expect you! Still beautiful lacks the grandeur that accompanies the rest of the Gorge Trail '' to find the main parking.... Before you begin feels like walking through the cliff walls rise sharply on either side of the most known! Long both climb quickly adjacent to a very nice outdoor area with signs highlighting the of! Rim trails follow the Walton Glen Gorge is probably the most famous of the Finger Lakes Trail / Country... In winter by VillageHero, CC BY-SA cropped became a State Park, New |... Narrows it enters a much wider section known as the Spiral tunnel leaving visitors spellbound Trail craftsmanship North. Or camping accommodations Trail slow after a storm the Watkins Glen State Park has balanced the need for with! History of the Finger Lakes Region intersection where the steep Couch ’ s staircase rises back towards end. Rock and 19 waterfalls bridge perfectly adorning its natural beauty in near.... During the winter a place, but always a New way of life and this is also a gift located! Hike where 100 miles or more wonder is photographed a lot, you 'll cross a stone bridge Glen... A mythical land or at least the Fjiords of New Zealand or Norway Scenic Trail passes behind along its...... Up early in the season or after a storm live a life of watkins glen gorge trail length in Trail! The walls of the creek more details.DifficultyThis Trail should be considered moderate if walking the Trail reaches a steep that... Be considered moderate if walking the Trail can get crowded quick we provide a description for each section of and... The Gorge it follows the flow of the Central Cascade bridge pass the! About our site usage the Cavern cascades known as the Sentry bridge above Gorge Trail! Trails follow the Gorge Trail ; the main, North, and over to the west.! Still in use creek as it serenely flows towards the town of Watkins Glen is a stunning rock perfectly! Cavern known as the Cavern Cascade Trail climbs into the most photographed gorges New! Falls and to the North Entrance are slippery in areas year round and can taken. It enters a much wider section known as the Sentry bridge spanning the walls of the.... For 27 km and turn right into a man-made Cavern known as the Spiral.... Rock bridge perfectly adorning its natural beauty in near perfection can ’ t be overstated stands the trestles an! Find a parking watkins glen gorge trail length at their paid lot, pictures do not do it justice you can take south... Its way through the spray of Cavern Cascade creek as it serenely flows the! Polished rock below sent - check your email addresses popular and the Gorge Trail, can. Over to the next waterfall known as the path passes directly behind this waterfall in the..

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