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!
Watkins Glen has two pavilions. Prices range from $75 to $150 and can accommodate up to 122 people. Check availability at ReserveAmerica.com
Shuttle & Trail Updates - Please contact the park to confirm conditions before traveling
Pet Policy: A maximum of two pets are allowed in campsites and day use areas unless prohibited by sign or directive (not allowed on Gorge Trail). Pets are to be supervised at all times and either be crated or on a leash not more than 6-feet in length. Proof of rabies inoculation shall be produced if requested by staff. Pets are not permitted in playgrounds, buildings, pools and spray-grounds or guarded beaches (this does not apply to service animals).
Weekends only from May 27 to June 30
Daily from July 1 through September 4
Weekends only from September 5 to end of season (Oct. 23, 2023).
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 easy-to-use Empire Pass card is $80- and 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. Purchase 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 a Finger Lakes State Park, please fill out this quick form to help us best assist you. The regional Environmental Educator Josh Teeter (Josh.Teeter@parks.ny.gov) will respond and coordinate a free program with you.
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