Do you know the Finger Lakes area? This part of New York State is a popular touristic region, a beautiful area with several wineries, resorts and state parks. Its name comes from the long lakes that are found there, lakes that when observed on a map almost look like long fingers.
Outside of the United States, however, this region is less well known. When I said that I was going to spend a few days there, some of friends looked at me with curious looks. The Finger what? I think that even my boyfriend wondered for a while where I was bringing him. However, just a few hours’ drive from the Canadian border, the Finger Lakes region is a nice area to explore, especially if you are fond of hiking.
One of the gems in the area is Watkins Glen, a state park that many consider to be one of New York’s most beautiful. And for a good reason. Located at the southern end of Seneca Lake (and near the village of Watkins Glen, a well-known motor racing area), the park is centered on the Glen Creek Gorge.
Glen Creek, in its course towards Seneca Lake, has eroded the limestone from the ground and left in its wake a long gorge with several waterfalls and pools. In some places, the cliffs are over 60 meters high.
Watkins Glen is mostly very photogenic. The view of the high cliffs is particularly impressive. A path runs along the creek at the bottom of the gorge, two others follow the gorge at the top to the south and north.
Unfortunately for me, the trail at the bottom of the gorge, with its small bridges and multiple stairs, is closed in winter (it is open from mid-May to mid-October). We therefore had to settle for trails outside the gorge, which are open all year. The hike was relatively easy, and several points give a good view of the gorge. Also, on a rainy Friday morning, there was no one in the park other than us. Access to the park is free out of season, I believe that you have to pay for your vehicle during the summer season.