New York, Where We've Been

Watkins Glen State Park

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Watkins Glen State Park

Located at the southern end of the Finger Lakes area in New York is Watkins Glen State Park. This long and narrow state park runs along the course of Glen Creek. If you’re up for a hike, you can walk up creek and down for a four mile round trip or you can simply hike it one way and take the shuttle back. We opted for the former although by the time we hit Jacob’s Ladder at the end of the trail, we could have sworn we had climbed all the way to the heavens.

The way that the water careens through the gorge here is an adventure. There are several places along the path where we could walk behind the waterfalls and reach out and touch them as they cascaded down in front of us.

When this hiking trail was first constructed in the 1800’s, it was labeled as “enter at your own risk” due to the unstable ladders and walkways that were constructed around it. At the time, it was the only way to access the area. It wasn’t until 1935 when a flood swept through the area that improvements were made and the stone walkways you see today were constructed. 

In several places they hollowed out the mountains to allow visitors to pass between through the gorge. Although I didn’t notice it at the time, the way the light hit this area, it makes the golden ratio spiral. 

This area, Rainbow Falls, is the pinnacle of the hike through Watkins Glen. Water cascades down the rock face to the left while the creek funnels in from the right. The water had been pouring in this day due to heavy rainfalls, so the water was brown, muddy, and flowing rapidly. 

The view behind the gentle waterfall was just amazing. The water hit the rock wall below and splashed everyone walking through. Little kids loved it and would giggle as they passed by and held out their hands to catch it.

From above the bridge on the other side, you can better see the falls coming down from the rock face.

Ellie grabbed a quick picture of me as I was taking photos of the waterfalls. I guess I take a lot of photos. Lol!





Montour Falls Municipal Marina and Campground

This is a long term RV park that has a few sites for short stays. The residents of the park keep it well maintained. I saw them cutting their own grass and keeping it clean. There are built out porches, sheds, and other structures.

There is a small area dedicated to short stays RVers on the northeast side of the campground. The access roads are tight and pulling into our site was also tight due to obstructions (fire pit, utility box), but manageable. The only dumpsters are at the entrance, so we took out the trash when we left.

Kayaks, canoes, and pontoons are available to rent. The firewood and ice are on the honor system.

We asked when check-out time was and she stated we could leave late if we wanted to (i.e. 4pm). That worked out perfect for us, moving during the week after my husband finished work for the day. The lady who checked us in was very accommodating.

Starlink was 20 down and 10 up. We got 4 bars on Verizon and 5 bars with the cell antenna. AT&T was also 5 bars with the cell antenna.