Watkins Glen State Park,
North Rim Trail
Total Time: 0:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 0.9 Mile
Pros: Famous, highly scenic area gorge
Cons: A very busy and popular area
Hike Type: Loop
Google Maps of Parking:
Watkins Glen is perhaps the most famous gorge in New York State, and certainly the most-well known in the Finger Lakes area. It is a steep and narrow gorge with unique rock formations and many waterfalls. I was with my family on a camping trip and we were en route from Corning to Ithaca, and we drove through Watkins Glen on the return route.
It was already late in the day, so we couldn't do the full route, so we just did the first part with a very short loop just under a while. It may have been short, but it was beautiful. The lateness in the made for a very quiet hike, despite this hike being very busy normally. There is a parking fee to visit the area, but since I was already staying at a state campground I was exempt from parking fee.
I was at Watkins Glen on a camping trip approximately 9 years prior, and noticed the newly renovated entrance area. There used to be a parking lot at then entry of the gorge, which was now replaced by paths and gardens. We took the Gorge Trail through the gorge, crossing the Sentry Bridge at the first waterfall, and then behind the waterfalls at Cavern Cascade, and then under the suspension bridge. We then took the North Rim Connector Trail back, crossing over the Suspension Bridge, and then back along the North Rim Connector Trail back to the entrance area.
|Map of the Route|
|The Steep and Narrow Gorge at Watkins Glen|
|Steps Going through the Gorge at Watkins Glen|
|Me and the Cascade Cavern Waterfalls|
|Trail Behind the Cascade Cavern Waterfalls|
|Me Behind the Cascade Cavern Waterfalls|
|The Gorge Trail through the Narrow Gorge|
|View of the Steep and Narrow Gorge|
|The Creek Winding through a Narrow Sliver|
|View Above the Gorge from the Rim Trail|
|Descending the Rim Trail on the New Steps|