Sunday, June 12, 2016

Hiking the Gorge Trail–Watkins Glen, NY

While on a business trip to New York, I managed to squeeze in a few hours for hiking.  I asked around and the recommendation that looked the most interesting was a spot called Watkins Glen.  The full trail is about 1.5 miles (one way), and includes 800 steps.

Glen Cathedral-1
Glen Cathedral

The Gorge Trail is covered with flat paving stones, and has a stone wall along the side of the trail.  There are also a few stone bridges that cross from one side of the creek to the next.  All of this was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps a part of Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal”. 

Cavern Cascade
Cavern Cascade
Stairstep falls-2
Stair Step Falls

Along this relatively short trail, there is so much to see.  After getting rid of photos that came out blurry or had bad lighting, I still had about 50 shots to upload to my Panoramio page; I’m sure that some of these will also end up on Google Maps.

Central Cascade-2
Central Cascade
Rainbow falls downstream
Rainbow Falls

There are two spots along the trail (Cascade Falls and Rainbow Falls) where the trail goes behind the water fall, providing an excellent view of the back of water.

Upstream view from cascade bridge
Upstream from Cascade Bridge
Andy in the gorge
Andy on the Trail

As a Florida hiker, I was curious how well I would do hiking up north where there are real elevation changes.  It turned out that I did okay… I even made it up Jacob’s Ladder – 180 steps up a steep staircase at the end of the trail.  I will admit that the next day (and the day after), my calf and thigh muscles were pretty tight.  It was worth it though!

Below the RR bridge
Creek under Railroad Bridge
Stone bridge
Stone Bridge along the Trail

I took way to many photos (if you notice all of the photo markers on the map below) to include here; if you take a look at the rest of this Photo Gallery, you won’t be disappointed.  This spot is absolutely amazing, and I can’t recommend this trip enough if you find yourself in the area.

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