Guys, I hope you’re not tired of waterfalls yet! There’s more to come but it’ll be the last one for now – promised 😉 Our last stop of our upstate road trip took us back to the Finger Lakes region, not far from our first spot Ithaca. This time, however, we stayed closer to the lake and further from any big towns. It was the perfect place to relax after visiting comparably busy Niagara Falls. Although this area is famous for its vineyards and wine tasting, all we needed was the view of Seneca Lake, a fire place and some comfort food in the village of Watkins Glen. Except for a glass of local white wine, we pretty much left anything behind that had to do with wine (maybe because I’m so used to wine culture in Vienna/Austria?) – something I have to catch up on a later trip! Just for the records, New York is the second largest producer of wine after California!
Anyways, there is another attraction the small village of Watkins Glen is known for (well NASCAR races too but that’s not what I’m talking about) and this was our main draw why we even went there: The Gorge Trail of Watkins Glen State Park. It’s one of NY’s prettiest state parks, boasting with waterfalls and fascinating gorges. It was another hot and sunny day, so we headed there early to beat the heat and the crowds and soon we entered a magic forest you’ll imagine from the story books. Seriously, if unicorns and fairies exist – this is how the place must look like where they live.
The path leads through the narrow gorge and over several bridges below and above dozens of bigger and smaller waterfalls, creating a unique, mystic atmosphere. Water also has shaped these interesting rock formations, exposing different layers of it. If nature didn’t form this fantastic landscape, someone would have to make it up! I won’t be saying much else and let the photos speak for themselves 😉
Watkins Glen makes a perfect weekend destination from New York and the drive of about 5 hours might be just manageable for a short trip. The state park is open year-round, however the conditions of the trails should be checked in advance here. There is plenty of parking, restrooms, snack bars and even a swimming pool! The gorge trail is an easy hike that will take you 2 to 3 hours to complete at a comfortable pace (round-trip). You can take the pretty but less spectacular Indian trail back that goes above the gorge.
Most people think of the West when it comes to gorgeous landscapes, but also the East coast has a lot of wonderful places to discover!