"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

May 20, 2021

May 19 - Watkins Glen State Park

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” – T.S Eliot

We spent the morning hiking at Watkins Glen State Park. Known for its natural beauty, the park's gorge trail is a two mile hike, which takes the  hiker past 19 waterfalls and up 800 stone steps. Carved into the escarpment at the southern end of Seneca Lake, this hanging valley is the oldest and most renowned State Park in the Finger Lakes region. The park is a beautiful work of natural art and it was first opened as a tourist resort in 1863. It's amazing what a little water and thousands of years can create.

The Gorge Trail begins with a dark spiraling tunnel cut into the cliff-side. The tunnel effectively removes all evidence of the world outside the glen and envelops you in a world of natural stone, calming flowing water and gentle breezes. 
Looking towards Sentry Bridge from the bottom of the gorge trail. The entry tunnel is to the right.
Tunnels in the gorge were hand-cut into the rock in the early 1900’s. As you emerge from the entry tunnel onto Sentry Bridge, you can look east and see Watkins Glen or west up the gorge towards Cavern Cascade.
The view looking up the gorge from Sentry Bridge
The stairs to the left is what most of the trail looks like.
Cavern Cascade is one of two waterfalls you can walk behind. 
This Suspension Bridge is on another trail and is 85 feet above the creek. During the great flood of 1935 the water rose to within five feet of the bridge.
Part of the Glen Cathedral. The gorge widens here like a gothic church, with a natural pool, dubbed the Baptismal Font, facing the “cathedral’s” pulpit: a beautiful stone arch bridge and 60 ft Central Cascade.  
Rainbow Falls is the second falls you walk under. If you visit on a sunny afternoon you can see rainbows reflected off the falls. Unfortunately we were there in the morning....no rainbows.
This picture was taken just before the Spiral Gorge. A dark and narrow passage with dripping springs, sculptured pools and thin Pluto Falls.  
The Gorge Trail is a one way trail, meaning we had to take the North Rim Trail to return to our car. The following pictures were taken from the trail looking down to the Gorge Trail.
A short video showing part of the gorge. This area is unbelievably beautiful. Hard to imagine it’s just on the outskirts of the town of Watkins Glen. 
After our morning hike we drove up Seneca Lake and had a picnic at the Billsboro Winery. The weather has been amazing and we are taking advantage of every minute of it.

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