We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Breathtaking & Gorgeous!”

Watkins Glen State Park
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The cascades of 18 waterfalls are the calling card of this state park.
Reviewed June 21, 2010

This was the highlight of our trip! It was so beautiful. One stunning waterfall after the next. And great exercise! Stick to the stairs, the trails off the side were not as pretty. Wear old shoes because it can get muddy! Not to miss! Don't forget your camera!

Thank Mermal2xy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (3,467)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages

3,315 - 3,319 of 3,467 reviews

Reviewed June 1, 2010

We really enjoyed the Gorge Trail at the State Park. If you can walk there from your hotel, do so because there is a parking fee. Otherwise, pack some water and a camera. The trail takes you up many steps (800 in total) and by many gorgeous waterfalls. We took the Gorge Trail from the main entrance to the Upper Entrance and then took the Indian Trail back, which was step-free and less populated.

Recommendations: go early to avoid crowds, wear sneakers, prepare to be splashed slightly, prepare to climb steps (not all at once - it's not overwhelming). We are fast walkers and were able to do the Gorge Trail one way and the Indian Trail back to the main entrance in under 2 hours.

3  Thank dlovvanPhiladelphia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2010

A few of my friends decided to go on a hike; we had already been to the hikes around Ithaca a couple times, so we decided to check out this lesser-known park. Although Watkin's Glen was nowhere near as expansive as the parks near Ithaca, its twists and views are enjoyable.

We arrived at the east entrance. There are a few trails you can take - we chose to save the Gorge trail for last since it runs by the Glen Creek. We first trekked along on the South Rim trail and crossed over to the Indian trail at the Mile Point bridge. There was not much to see at the west end of park, besides a small playground and rest areas. From there, we descended the steps to explore the Gorge trail.

The South Rim and Indian trails were nothing special; however, the Gorge was spectacular. We were glad that it was saved for last. It takes you into the cascade-filled gorge. At some points, we were even showering in the mist behind waterfalls. The trail is pretty curvy, so coming around bends revealed pleasant surprises.

3  Thank rhwang88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2010

We read about the waterfalls and the gorge trails in a travel book while on our vacation in the Finger Lakes region so we checked it out. Well worth our time and the pictures don't do the beauty justice...the hike itself isn't bad at all, and many people did the round trip. You will walk behind two waterfalls on the Gorge Trail. What wasn't clear to us until we already paid our money is this--you can either park at the main entrance (in town) for now $8 or park for free at the top entrance. We parked at the main entrance and waited 30 minutes to take the shuttle bus to the top entrance. We were trying to figure out why we just paid $6 for a trip we could have made for free in our car. However, as we found out, we didn't have to make a round trip. We hiked down (1.5 miles) and went to the car. We took our 1 year old in his stroller--it wasn't a problem for us as whenever we approached the stairs, we carried him in the stroller (starting from the top and working down had its benefits--we didn't have to make any climbs up stairs, just down them). I would not recommend this trip for anyone who has problems walking--once you start you are committed to the trail start and finish points, althought there are plenty of places to stop, take amazing pictures and rest (this may not be the case on other trails, but was for us on the Gorge Trail). As many people already mentioned, there are a lot of stairs and the paths are not always smooth (it is a gorge, after all). I definitely recommend doing this on a day with good weather and to take some water. Despite our small confusion at the beginning with the parking and shuttle, our hike was well worth it and worked out in the end to be a great way to see the natural beauties. Also, as you exit right from the park there is an ice cream shop (right next to BK) that is worth your time for a refreshing treat after the hike.

5  Thank stacyh09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2010

First off, Watkins Glen is beautiful. There are numerous waterfalls throughout the gorge, and you get to walk under a few of them. My only advice is to show up at the right time of the year. We visited in early May, when the snow had gone and the temperatures were higher, but only the first 1/3 of the gorge trail (the best of the trails) was open. That means there are multiple waterfalls that we did not see, including the much better view of Rainbow Falls. I understand they needed to make repairs, but it was disappointing to not be able to see the rest of this beautiful state park.

Thank gittinsj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Watkins Glen State Park also viewed


Been to Watkins Glen State Park? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing