Watkins Glen State Park

Friday I took a day off from work and headed to Watkins Glen State Park. WOW! I’m pretty sure I came here once when I was (much) younger, but all I really remember was my sister running all of the stairs – somethings never change. There are 832 of them – stairs I mean. My sister runs marathons – further evidence that one of us is adopted. 🙂

But I digress. It was an amazing trip. Just exactly what I needed. I postponed my arrival a bit to allow a rain shower to pass through and entered the glen around 8:30 – mine was the second car in the parking lot. Speaking of parking lots – you just know it’s going to be a good day when this is what you see – from the parking lot!

Watkins Glen State Park

Entrance to Watkins Glen State Park

Things you should know before heading out: 1. Watkins Glen is pretty popular – if you’re going to shoot photos – go early before the crowds. I left around noon and I missed some shots towards the end of my hike because of too many people. 2. You will get wet. There are two sets of falls you will walk behind, as well as lots of overhangs you will walk under. There are lots of drips and puddles – dress accordingly. And bring bug spray.

As I mentioned, the Gorge Trail will lead you behind two waterfalls the first being Cavern Cascade and then on into the Spiral Tunnel.  I’m not a flash photographer – really I don’t know much at all about shooting with flash so I had to make some educated guesses and use some trial and error.  This was my favoite of the various settings I tried.

Watkins Glen State Park
Cavern Cascade as seen from the Spiral Tunnel

There were many times when I would turn the corner and upon seeing the vista before me I would literally gasp out loud.  This was one of those times.

Watkins Glen

The Narrows at Watkins Glen State Park

We’ve been having frequent severe storms along with warm weather which created such a lush, moist environment at times I felt like I was walking though a jungle. The rocks were constantly dripping.  And the vegetation was incredible.

Watkins Glen
Dripping Ferns at Watkins Glen State Park

The second set of falls you can walk behind is Rainbow Falls.  On a sunny day they say you can see rainbows reflected off these falls in the late afternoon.  I’ll have to try that!

Watkins Glen
Rainbow Falls

I had the best light for most of my trip allowing me to get those nice smooth waterfalls shots that I love.  Following my hike I stopped at The Great Escape for ice cream.  This place has the best ice cream anywhere – I highly recommend.  2 scoops please – I’ve earned it!

I will be posting more Watkins Glen pics to my flickr page in the next few days so stay tuned.  You can view my entire Watkins Glen set here.


7 thoughts on “Watkins Glen State Park

  1. Magical! New York has some of the best waterfalls and parks to see them. Did you walk up? I was told to park below and take the shuttle up though you have to look back for the best angles and scenes that way.

    A friend of mine has been asking me to get down here with him. I can see why now!

    • I walked up the Gorge Trail but I stopped at the Mile Bridge because the upper park isn’t really open yet so I skipped the last set of stairs. Then I walked back down the Gorge Trail, but I detoured onto Lover’s Lane (!) so I could check out the view from the suspension bridge. I’m thinking that’s going to be a fabulous sunrise spot one of these days.

  2. Pingback: Lick Brook aka Sweedler Nature Preserve « My Life in CNY

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