Watkins Glen State Park, Watkins Glen, New York
1009 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, New York 14891| Map |
Biking, fish, camping and numerous waterfalls make Watkins Glen State Park the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks in New York. The highlight is the glen's stream that descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course all within two miles. The family-friendly park attracts visitors from all over who gush over the scenic waterfalls and rim trails overlooking the gorge. Families like to pack food and drinking water and arrive early for a day of exploration. In summer, hikers can join a guided, 90-minute tour through the gorge. The tours provide information and insights about park history, ecology, gorge formation and geology. Hikers tour a mile of the gorge trail that follows Glen Creek past water-sculpted rocks, through tunnels, next to and actually under two waterfalls. There are many beautiful stone steps on the trail making it a difficult hike for some visitors. More fun things to do with kids include swimming in the Olympic-size pool and fishing in nearby Seneca Lake or Catherine Creek, which is renowned for its annual spring run of rainbow trout. Camping is a great way to extend a visit to Watkins Glen State Park in Finger Lakes, New York.
Brenda Austin has been here
Ratings by kids' ages
- Tots (0-2)
- Little kids (3-5)
- Big kids (6-8)
- Tweens (9-12)
- Teens (13+)
Tips for Families
Families can enjoy a leisurely picnic or strap on a backpack with supplies for a thrilling hike past waterfalls at Watkins Glen State Park in Finger Lakes, New York. In summer, it's a good idea to bring a bathing suit for a swim in the Olympic-sized pool.
Address: 1009 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, New York 14891| Map
Hours: Park is open year round. Check hours of operation. More Info
Price: Check fees and rates. More Info
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Gorgeous GorgesFlag review
Watkins Glen State Park is the most well-known park in the lower Finger Lakes region, and with good reason. With 200 foot cliffs carved by a stream that eroded the soil and rock after the Ice Age and almost 20 waterfalls throughout, the park looks like a scene from a fairy tale. The Gorge Trail seemed more passable to us for children, but no matter what your age, be ready for lots of walking on narrow and often damp or wet pathways, and prepare to climb a lot of stairs. Comfortable shoes are a must.
Tips for Families
There are picnic tables and campsites available. There is also an Olympic-sized pool on site along with a smaller kiddie pool, so don't forget to bring your swimsuits. If you're staying in this area for a couple of days, the Corning Museum of Glass a short drive away is a must-see.
Suggestions for nearby family-friendly accommodations
I'm not a camper, personally, and hotels can be expensive and sometimes impractical when traveling with children (especially infants), so we found a great deal on an extended stay in Horseheads nearby - Candlewood Suites. We got a large studio with a fully-equipped kitchen and a small dining area for the cost of a budget hotel room and brought our daughter's pack and play for her to sleep in. It worked great for us. We had free internet, too. Best of all, extended stay hotels have free, empty refrigerators that you can use to store your own food rather than a typical hotel minibar setup. This can be a lifesaver when preparing meals for a young child.
Suggestions for nearby family-friendly restaurants
My Kid's Review
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