Hiking Glen Creek Gorge

The Gorge at Watkins Glen State Park is a highlight of the Finger Lakes region. The Gorge was created from a combination of glaciers and erosion. The mix of shale, limestone and sandstone erode at different rates, resulting in the beautiful succession of waterfalls through the gorge. Being both Fall and apparently a bit of a drought, the water flow was not very high, but it was still very pretty.

There is a parking area off the highway, as well as another inside the main State Park area. Parking in the highway lot costs $8.00. On weekends, there is a shuttle that runs from the upper to the lower trailheads (meaning you can walk one-way, either up or down). We chose to go during the week, both so that we had fewer people (although we were hardly alone) and also because they were not collecting money for parking in the lot near the pool in the state park. That did require some additional walking to get down to the start, but a few extra steps didn’t hurt us.

The Gorge Trail was very well maintained. Climbs were done with stone steps and the path was almost entirely stone as well.


We took the Indian Trail back as it was supposed to have overlooks. While it did have overlooks, there really wasn’t much to see from the overlooks in our opinion. The best view was from the suspension bridge that crossed the gorge, although if you missed it, there is no reason to feel bad.

After climbing the 832 steps through the gorge and viewing the 19 beautifully sculpted waterfalls, this mystical journey through time left us wanting to come back and see the gorge again at high water.


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