Watkins Glen State Park has the most dramatic gorge in the area and is consequently the busiest. We should have left it to the last so as not to diminish the others but the weather was great and I didn’t want to go there on the weekend.
Another long post. We took over 800 shots. It was hard to stop.
The trailhead is right next to the village of Watkins Glen. If you do the entire gorge trail it is about 1.5 miles one way and 800 steps. We went as far as the Mile Point Bridge (620 steps) and turned around. The description said that after this bridge the creek was fairly flat until you climbed the last 180 steps to the upper parking lot. Some people only do the hike one way as they run an inexpensive shuttle service between the two parking lots.
They had no hesitation about modifying nature to make this trail happen. They blasted away at the side of the gorge to make tunnels, bridges, long stairways and wide flat section. The trail is wet most of the time but it was so even and well maintained that we could hardly believe that we made it to the mile marker so easily.
The entrance is at the end of the long skinny parking lot.
You enter through the tunnel and emerge on the bridge over the gorge.
As usual the pictures are from both going up and down, depending on which turned out better. There was more sun in the gorge on the way back.
Looking up the gorge.
There were several places along the trail that you could access the rim top trails. No mere dirt trail would do. It was always a set of wide stone stairs.
Looking back from those stairs.
Coming up to the walk-behind waterfall Cavern Cascade.
One of the many bottlenecks.
From where I was standing, above, you take a spiral staircase in a tunnel to continue on.
I think this is the area called The Narrows.
The upper trails cross the gorge on a suspension bridge.
Into the next tunnel and stairs.
Looking back as we go higher.
A nice sunny spot to warm up as we head towards the Glen Cathedral.
Then on towards the Central Cascade.
Next up was Rainbow Falls. No sun so no rainbow. It was a very wet walk behind.
Looking back down the trail.
From the bridge.
It was very drippy in this section.
Looking back at the trail.
At the Mile Point Bridge.
We sat on the bridge and had our lunch before heading back.
The path after the bridge did look less interesting.
Once we got back at the car we drove back to Corning to pick up our glass projects. Our admission ticket from yesterday was still good. I realized we had missed going to the Museum part of the place. I’ll just include a few shots.
It was a very stark white setting.
The stuff must be very valuable. There were guards and cameras in every room.
This one had an interesting story. It looks like a pile of rope. The loop was about 4 feet across.
It is actually made up of 4.5 million black beads. Uncoiled, the thick section of rope is about a mile long. The artist used a team of Zulu women and it took them more than a year to make it. Why? I do not know.
After I picked up our projects, we watched a few more of the glass making demos. We are fascinated by the skill of the artists. Again just a few shots to remind us.
A goblet with a dolphin stem.
Once a week they take a drawing from the audience and try to make it. Here was this week’s creation.
I assume this was one of the weirder ones.
Our suncatchers turned out pretty well.
We wished that we had picked different colours for the flower. It was still lots of fun to make.