Watkins Glen State Park is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks, with a reputation for leaving visitors spellbound. Within two miles, the glen's stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. The gorge path winds over and under waterfalls and through the spray of Cavern Cascade. Rim trails overlook the gorge. Campers and day-visitors can enjoy the Olympic-size pool, scheduled summer tours through the gorge, tent and trailer campsites, picnic facilities and excellent fishing in nearby Seneca Lake or Catherine Creek, which is renowned for its annual spring run of rainbow trout.
In 2015, the park was chosen from more than 6,000 state parks across the nation as a nominee in the USA TODAY Readers' Choice Poll for Best State Park in the United States, and won third place!
Trail Shuttle & Trail Updates - Please contact the park to confirm conditions before traveling
Household pets only; caged or on a leash not more than 6 feet. Written proof of rabies inoculation. Not allowed in pool area or on the Gorge Trail. For campers, if your site allows pets, there is a two-pet maximum.
Most New York State Parks charge a vehicle use fee to enter the facility. Fees vary by location and season. A list of entry fees and other park use fees is available below. For fees not listed or to verify information, please contact the park directly.
The Empire Pass -- whether a card for $80 or a vehicle-affixed decal for $65 -- is your key to all-season enjoyment with unlimited day-use entry at most facilities operated by State Parks and the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation including forests, beaches, trails and more. Apply online or contact your favorite park for more information. Learn more about our Admission Programs including the Empire Pass.
New! Download this park's digital map to your iOS Apple and Android device.
Firewood source maps show a 50-mile radius from which untreated firewood may be moved to this campground. For more information see firewood restrictions.
The Finger Lakes Environmental Education Department offers scheduled gorge tours and educational programs at Buttermilk Falls, Robert H. Treman, Taughannock Falls and Watkins Glen State Parks. All park programs are free and open to the public, no registration required, although a parking fee may be charged.
If you have a group (10 or more) that is interested in scheduling its own gorge tour or educational program at one of the above parks or at another Finger Lakes State Park please contact the office at (607) 387-7041 x 131 or email Josh.Teeter@parks.ny.gov
The Finger Lakes Story
Sparkling lakes, breathtaking waterfalls and rolling pastoral land dominate the landscape of the Finger Lakes Region. Over thousands of years, gigantic glaciers and coursing streams have carved this landscape. The most recent glacier moved through shallow river valleys leaving in its place deep, steep-sided troughs. When the glaciers receded north 10,000 years ago, water filled these new troughs, creating the 11 Finger Lakes. Since that time water has flowed down glacially steepened hillsides carrying debris that cut away at soft sedimentary rock to form our beautiful and unique gorges.
Gorge Tours provide information and insights about individual park history, ecology, gorge formation and geology. Tours last approximately one and one half hours.
Watkins Glen Gorge Tour - You'll tour a mile of the gorge trail that follows Glen Creek past water-sculpted rocks, through tunnels, next to and actually under two waterfalls. There are many beautiful stone steps on this trail making it a difficult hike for some visitors.
Educational Programs are offered about a variety of topics.
Birds ● Fossils ● Reptiles and Amphibians ● Insects ● Invasive Species ● Mammals ● Trees● Park Histories ● Animal Tracks ● Wilderness Survival
If don't see a specific topic please call or email us with your questions.
Deer hunting, bow only, is permitted in season. Please reference the NYS DEC Hunting & Trapping Guide for current dates and rules.
A valid New York State hunting license with the proper hunting stamps will serve as the regional hunting permit. Except where otherwise stated, this is the only permit necessary.
Safety zones and restricted areas are posted to ensure the safety of other park patrons and regional personnel. Signs will be posted at all parks during hunting season to notify patrons of this activity. Handguns will not be permitted in any of the parks. No trapping is allowed.
For additional information, please contact Watkins Glen State Park at: (607) 535-4511
Meet at the main entrance parking lot on Franklin Street. The hike will go up the Gorge Trail and we will return using the Indian trail and South Rim Trail. Total hike mileage 3.0 miles. Hike length and exact route subject to change due to weather conditions.
Registration: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (607) 387-7041 ext. 131