Watkin’s Glen

In the Finger Lakes region of New York lies a gorgeous State Park scheduled to reopen it’s regionally famous Gorge Trail this month. Watkins Glen State Park is a breathtakingly beautiful place. In a 2 mi. span, 19 waterfalls cascade over, under, and around a trail that should be on everyone’s bucket list. The rock formations of the gorge and the stream running through it are an amazing site.

Some of the cliffs along the trail, are 200 feet tall.

One of my favorite things about this trail is the opportunity to walk behind a waterfall. This happens twice on the trail.

The trail is seasonal. It closes each year from around mid October until about mid May. The day we went it was raining heavily. It was impossible not to walk through huge puddles in some areas. So, choose footwear wisely. There are lots of stairs and hills. Dogs are not allowed on the gorge trail and I think a stroller would be a terrible idea here.

Admission to the park is $10 per vehicle. Park hours are year-round dawn to dusk. There are other trails available when the Gorge Trail is closed. There is a pool, playgrounds, and if you are interested in activities besides chasing waterfalls- there’s bow hunting in the fall and snow shoeing in the winter. The area is also known for Spring Trout fishing. There are three entrances to the Park; the main entrance, the upper entrance, and the South entrance. In the Summer, a shuttle runs between entrances and costs $5.

You can visit the park for the day or campout over night. There are over 300 campsites for tents, small RVs, and a few rustic cabins.

Other area attractions include kayaking, wine tasting, and horseback riding. If you are a Nascar fan, you probably know that Watkins Glen International hosts races but, you might not know that you can get on the track yourself with their Drive the Glen Experience. You’ll also want to visit the International Motor Racing Research Center.
We coupled Watkins Glenn with a trip to Syracuse- less than 2 hours away. If you do the same, check out Destiny USA- a mall so big it has it’s own zip code. It’s much more than just shoe shopping here. There’s live music, a comedy club, go karts, IMAX, and escape rooms-just to name a few of the 17 entertainment venues they offer. Our favorite was 5 Wits- a hands-on interactive experience that can be best described as an escape room on steroids.
This is from the espionage adventure at 5 Wits.

My favorite restaurant in Syracuse was Eva’s European Sweets on Milton Ave. There’s a dessert case filled with impressive homemade cakes and pies that look like they are all fit for a special occasion. But, I fell in love with the restaurant food. Kielbasas, stews, and a whole menu of pierogi. Oh. my. goodness. I’ve never met Eva. But, I love her. She’s not afraid of carbs or butter. She’s my kind of people.

So, check out Watkins Glenn this summer, Conde Nast Traveler named it the Best State Park in New York. USA today readers had it in their top three of Best State Parks in America. It’s really a magical beautiful place.

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