Watkins Glen and Schuyler County can best be described as that place where Mother Nature meets Main Street. There are countless opportunities for hiking including easy, moderate, and more challenging paths.
Watkins Glen State Park in the heart of downtown Watkins Glen is the largest outdoor attraction in the region and is considered one of New York State's "flagship" parks. It was also voted the #3 state park in the country in a USA Today Readers' Choice Poll. Within two miles you'll see 19 waterfalls. For more information, click here.
Outside of the park, other opportunities await. The Finger Lakes National Forest is nestled between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes, just a short drive north of Watkins Glen. It is the only national forest in New York State, one of only three in the Northeast, and it is expansive - covering 16,032. For more information, click here.
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. For more information, click here.
Just 7 miles west of the village of Watkins Glen, you'll find Sugar Hill State Forest, which covers approximately 9,085 acres and offers an abundance of recreational activities, plus camping, five lean-tos, a fire tower (which you can climb for a beautiful view), and a picnic area. There are miles of trails for hiking, snowmobiling, and horseback riding. Camping is available on a first come, first served basis. For more information, click here.
The Finger Lakes Trail also winds its way through Watkins Glen and Schuyler County. The Finger Lakes Trail system, over 950 miles in length, runs from the Pennsylvania-New York border in Allegany State Park to the Long Path in the Catskill Forest Preserve, with branch trails to Niagara Falls, the Genesee River valley, the Great Eastern Trail south of Corning, the central Finger Lakes, and the Syracuse region. This system is built and maintained almost entirely by volunteers. For more information, click here.