where mother nature meets main street
Watkins Glen and Schuyler County can best be described as that place where Mother Nature meets Main Street. Watkins Glen State Park in the heart of downtown Watkins Glen offers a breathtaking walking experience of cliffs and waterfalls - 19 in less than 2 miles. It was voted the #3 State Park in the country in a USA Today Readers' Choice Poll.
Important note for the 2017 season - there is a major renovation taking place at the Main Entrance of Watkins Glen State Park but the Gorge Trail is STILL open! You can access the Gorge Trail from the Main Entrance. There is limited parking on the park-side of North Franklin Street, with the majority of parking across from the Main Entrance on 10th Street. The renovation will create beautiful green space, plenty of seating, and improve access to the Gorge Trail. It will also result in the creation of a new Welcome Center, better traffic flow, and a much-improved visitor experience. The project will continue through 2017 with completion estimated for the Spring of 2018.
Outside of the park, other outdoor opportunities await
The Finger Lakes National Forest is nestled between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes, located just a few minutes drive from downtown Watkins Glen. It is the only national forest in New York State, one of only three in the Northeast, and it is expansive - covering over 16,000 acres.
The Catharine Valley Trail is a year-round recreational trail that accommodates walking, bicycling, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing through the glacially-carved valley south of Seneca Lake.
Located 7 miles west of Watkins Glen, Sugar Hill State Forest covers over 9,000 acres and offers an abundance of recreational activities. There are miles of trails for hiking, snowmobiling, and horseback riding. Roads throughout the area offer great biking opportunities.
Havana Glen Park located just south of the village of Montour Falls offers a playground, camping, pavilions and picnicking, and the breathtaking Eagle Cliff Falls, which is just a short walk from the parking lot.