If you’re looking for a unique, relaxing camping experience with unforgettable views, look into a trip to marvel at the beauty found in Watkins Glen State Park in New York! This incredible state park provides a comfortable camping area close to the natural beauty of this stunning area! With plenty of activities to enjoy year-round, it lives up to its title of the 2015 third place winner of USA TODAY Readers’ Choice Poll for Best State Park in the United States!
First opened to the public in 1863 as a tourist resort, Watkins Glen is an incredible sight to see! Sitting on the southern part of Seneca Lake in northern New York, this amazing state park is considered to be the most popular of the state parks of the Finger Lakes region. The park spans over 778 acres, and is popular for the lovely gorge that cuts though the park. A stream called Glen Creek runs through this gorge, and supplies the 19 gorgeous waterfalls that can be found throughout the park! Although the campground makes this an amazing place to stay, visitors can also enter for the day and experience the trails, have a picnic under the pavilion, take a swim in the pool, and more! Since this park is open year round, there is something great to experience in any season!
Things To Do
There are three great trails located within Watkins Glen State Park, the Gorge, Southern Rim, and Indian trails. If you’re looking for a quiet, secluded hike, then the Indian Trail is great for you. It’s a little out of the way and there isn't a lot to see, but it’s fun nonetheless! The Southern Rim is also a more secluded and wooded trail, but is a pleasant three mile hike!
The real attraction is the Gorge Trail, which is about a mile and a half trail that follows Glen Creek along its path! This trail is by far the most popular, and features a series of man-made stone bridges and steps, which are often compared to the landscapes of the Lord of the Rings movies, making this a great hike that can be finished in about half a day! You’ll get great views of all the incredible waterfalls and breathtaking rock formations which have been sculpted over thousands of years! If you do anything while you stay in Watkins Glen State Park, be sure to go on this hike!
There are 19 fantastic waterfalls in Watkins Glen State Park, but there are a few that you’ll definitely want to stop and take in the beauty and wonderful of these natural phenomena! The Cavern Cascade is considered the main waterfall you will see on the Gorge Trail and is impressive with its 60-foot falls! Central Cascade is also beautiful and located about halfway through the hike and is located in Glen Cathedral, which is a fantastic open area with fantastic views!
Perhaps the most popular area is the Rainbow Bridge and Falls, which is simply stunning! You’ll get to see waterfalls from different amazing viewpoints, and even get to walk behind some waterfalls! The sound of the rushing water that surrounds you is relaxing and refreshing, making this a truly unique and unforgettable experience!
Hunting And Fishing
Hunting and fishing is allowed within Watkins Glen with a New York state hunting or fishing license! Only deer hunting is allowed when in season, and only bow hunting is permitted. You can also fish within the park, however there are plenty of surrounding areas great for fishing, like Seneca Lake or Catharine Creek that is known for its abundance of rainbow trout!
Watkins Glen State Park
If you’d like to be close to the action, there is delightful camping available within Watkins Glen State park! There are 305 sites available for tent, RV, and cabin camping! Rates range from $18-$30 with an additional $5 out of state resident camping fee. You’ll enjoy great amenities like an olympic-sized pool, bath houses, dump stations, gift and food shops, pavilions, and much more! Pets are allowed with two pets per site, with up-to-date rabies vaccination proof required. Camping in the park lets you stay close to the beauty and wonder of this fantastic park!
Clute Park & Campground
This lovely campground is open early May through mid October and offers full hookups with both RV and tent sites. With tennis courts, a soccer field, playground, and more, this campground is located close to surrounding state parks, waterways, and the lovely downtown area so you can enjoy a variety of activities!
Watkins Glen/Corning KOA
Also close to all the fun of the surrounding area, this KOA has plenty of its own awesome things to do! Kids will love the pirate ship playground, as well as a huge water slide, jumping pillow, outdoor laster tag, zip line, bumper boats, and more! RV sites are large with clean amenities, making this campground well worth its past title of KOA Campground of the Year award! Reservations can be made at their website!
The area surrounding Watkins Glen State Park is rich with fun activities! The great Finger Lakes region features several other great state parks to visit, like Buttermilk Falls State Park, or Robert Treman State park that features the awesome Lucifer Falls! Seneca Lake is great for fishing and boating, and the surrounding area is well-known for wine! There is plenty of shopping and museums to visit as well, like the Corning Glass museum!
If you’re considering taking a road trip to see some great sights, be sure to consider heading out to marvel at the beauty found in Watkins Glen State Park in New York! You’ll see magnificent views that you’ll never forget! Have you visited Watkins Glen? Comment with your favorite part of this spectacular area!