Watkins Glen Bridge #14264

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The Story

Watkins Glen State Park is a place of flowing water cascading down a deep narrow gorge with very high rock walls. Glen Creek flows over nineteen dramatic waterfalls deep in the gorge and visitors actually walk under two of them, with one shown here on the left. Rock bridges built of native stone carry you over some waterfalls as the trail goes along.

Visitors hike a narrow yet reliable mile-long trail cut into the rock faces with the water running just feet away. This New York state park in the central Finger Lakes region is internationally known and summer crowds can be large. You can often hear several languages being spoken by people passing by. They’ve all come to see this wondrous slice of nature in Watkins Glen, one of the most scenic and unique places in the eastern US.

On this trip, I started onto the trail very early in order to photograph with minimal tourists on the narrow path. The tour buses bringing visitors from around the world begin arriving early at Watkins Glen State Park. Not long into the morning, I still had to ask my companion to momentarily hold them back to get this clear shot of one of the iconic stone arch bridges arching over a large flowing waterfall.

Of course, native American woodland Indians were the first to visit and explore the gorge and flowing water here. Although there were rudimentary trails from very early on, the current highly developed trail and bridges through Watkins Glen were built by the CCC back in the 1930s. As a clear tribute to those men, here we are still enjoying these hand-built trails nearly 100 years later!

Here’s a view of part of the well-kept trail system as Watkins Path #14265 and another of one of the bridges as Stone Bridge Over Whitewater #14268.

For more information see the New York State Parks website. There is much more scenery around this park in the scenic Finger Lakes region of New York, so plan to stay and explore especially if you enjoy wineries, large lakes, and scenic landscapes.

Location: Watkins Glen State Park, Watkins Glen, Schuyler County, New York. Picture and story ©Andrew N Dierks

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