Watkins Glen State Park New York, Hiking, Trails, Pictures, Movies and Maps
Watkins Glen State Park has dramatic landscapes on the Indian Trail, South Rim Trail and the Gorge Trail, which follows Glen Creek past water sculpted rock and 19 waterfalls. The Gorge Trail can be accessed from the Main, South and Upper entrances. Most visitors walk uphill from the Main Entrance and return. Others take a shuttle bus to the Upper Entrance and walk the 1.5 miles back down to the Main. Many prefer a shortened trip from the South Entrance to the Main or vice versa.
Tunnels in the gorge were hand cut into the rock in the early 1900's. As you emerge from the tunnel onto Sentry Bridge, peer through the hole cut in the rock on your right. In the mid 1800's, water behind a dam passed through this tunnel, down a wooden trough and over the waterwheel of a flour mill in the Main Entrance.
Cavern Cascade This is one of two waterfalls you can walk behind. This is made possible by the wearing away of a thing layer of sandstone. This waterfall has eroded this narrow section of the gorge and the deep pools below. Cavern Cascade and the other waterfalls have created Watkins Glen by eroding the rocks deep into the hillside.
Spiral Tunnel and Suspension Bridge After emerging from Spiral Tunnel you will pass Cliff Path on your right. This leads to Point Lookout on Lover's Lane, then on to the Suspension Bridge. There you can access the Lily Pond, South Pavilion and swimming pool, or you can pick up the Indian Trail.
The Narrows Beyond the nest tunnel and starcase are the Narrows. The gorge here has its own micro climate. It is shady, cool and very moist most of the time, similar to a rainforest. Plants including ferns and mosses prefer these conditions and thrive here.
Glen Cathedral Beyond the top of the next staircase is the broad, high Glen Cathedral area. Lover's Lane meets the Gorge Trail here which leads to the Indian Trail at the Suspension Bridge. The Cathedral is like a desert. On a clear day, you will notice the sun soaking the dry gorge walls beside the trail. These ledges support drought resistant grasses, wildflowers and shrubs typical of a dry field. There is a slab of stone with a rippled surface from an ancient sea bottom.
Glen of Pools leads to Rainbow Falls. You can walk under this waterfall. In late afternoon you can see rainbows reflected off the falls on a sunny day.
Spiral Gorge Beyond the bridge above Rainbow Falls, enter a dark and narrow passage with dripping springs, sculptured pools, and thin Pluto Falls, named for the ancient Roman lord of the underworld. Little can grow in this darkness.
At Mile Point Bridge, the Indian Trail and South Rim Trail intersect the Gorge Trail. Here you can either Continue on the Gorge Trail for .5 miles, or take the Indian Trail to the Upper Entrance.
For more information about the Finger Lakes New York State Parks go to Finger Lakes State Parks.
The Finger Lakes State Parks of New York are the most dazzling
series of waterfall bonanzas that I've ever Hiked. I wondered, how could awesome natural
beauty like this have been created. Once again the answer came
with a little basic Geology. The many waterfalls are left over
from the last ice age. Mother Nature sculptured out her master pieces using time, cold weather,heavy ice,
water and gravity.
I wish I could have been around all those years to witness it.
Visit website hikingohioparks.com for more information about many other hiking parks and trails. See hiking pictures and movies of Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee and other States.
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