Sunday, July 6, 2014

Discovering New Places to Visit - Watkins Glen Gorge, NY

Back in February I saw a magnificent photo of a waterfall framed with glorious fall colors on Facebook. I had never heard of Watkins Glen, didn’t even know which state it was in, but immediately added it to my (ever-growing) list of places I wanted to visit one day.

Imagine my delight when I discovered it was in New York, a mere 250 miles from my home town. It also just happened to be en route to Niagara Falls, a trip I planned to make with my brother and nephew who were visiting from England, so it seemed like the perfect place to break our journey as we didn’t want to actually stay overnight in Niagara itself.

The waterfall I saw in the picture turned out to be one of nineteen waterfalls which make up Watkins Glen Gorge (in the winter apparently there are twenty!). While certainly they can’t compare to the size of Niagara, I’d say they win hands down in terms of breath-taking beauty.

The rock formations are stunning.

The Gorge Trail winds its way from the visitor’s center up past all the falls via paths, bridges and steps which provide a good work-out as well as some amazing views.  

Add caption
It can be hard to judge scale from a photo but this gives a good impression of the sheer size of the falls:

While the lower entrance to the gorge starts from the village, the upper entrance is in open woodland offering further hiking trails, a snack bar, restrooms and a parking lot.

For those who just want to return to the main entrance but not by the same route, the Indian Trail and South Rim Trail offer easier strolls down. While trees block the majority of the views of the gorge there is still a chance for some spectacular views.

In season a mini-bus runs between the two entrances, allowing those who would like to visit the gorge, but may not be able to cope with the journey up, to walk down without having to worry about getting back to their car. 

Watkins Glen Gorge is definitely a sight worth seeing, so much so that although I could now cross it off my list of places to visit, I've left it on as I can only imagine how magnificent it is in the Fall.  


  1. Is that the one with the boardwalk and steps all through it? I think I've been there long ago. It was stunning.

  2. Yvonne, Watkins Glen has a stone walkway with lots of steps winding all the way up through the gorge. Quite an effort, but well worth it. Such an amazing sight. I can't believe I'd never heard of the place before.

  3. Gorgeous! Makes me want to visit NY again.