“It is life, I think, to watch the water. A man can learn so many things.” – Nicholas Sparks
This past weekend we ventured to Watkins Glen, New York, and realized there is a TON to do while still Social Distancing. It is located in the western part of the state accommodating thousands of people every season for Camping, Hiking and Racing.
Our first stop was to the Watkins Glen State Park since all NY parks are open and free. I would recommend getting there early (they open dawn until dusk)! Find a parking spot was a bit of a challenge in the afternoon. This particular State Park houses 19 waterfalls but the main entrance has been closed off. You must now hike up stairs that bypass the main waterfalls. They do have open overlook areas along with the bridge to their Olympic sized pool. Although it was closed, I am happy to report the restrooms were open! Every other stall/sink was closed to help keep people 6ft from one another. It may not be the normal views you may be accused to, it’s still a beautiful place to hike, picnic and enjoy with your family!
Explore Hannah Glen Park which houses the Eagle Cliff Falls. It is a $2 donation but honestly it’s worth it! After trekking the trails at the State Park, we always venturing here. This amazing 41 foot waterfall is tucked back behind a campground area. It has a stairway with rails, nice playground and a swimming area, for when things open back up!
On our way back from the Eagle Cliff Falls to Watkins Glen, there are several Waterfalls that line the road side. I am not sure of each of their names but worth a stop. Most have little pull of parking spots and there is even a outside BBQ restaurant that serves tasty to-go lunch.
Once back in town we always stop at the Montour Falls. This is a free viewing waterfalls that cascades down between two residential homes. Could you imagine having this view right out your back door? They do have picnic tables and a BBQ you can use. We simply find street parking and walk down to it.
If you are ready for refreshments there are some businesses offering takeout and a Walmart is located in town. On your way downtown, pass by the The Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel (great place to stay BTW) and venture out to the pier! Normally, full of people taking boat tours, it was rather empty for us.
Next, take a drive along the Wine trail and view some of the magnificent waterfalls along that roadside! I recommend the Hector Falls, personally. We always make a point to stop and snap a picture. I will say this road is pretty heavily driven so taking little kids out for a picture might be a challenge.
Many of the Wineries are doing to-go orders (just no tastings) for now.
As businesses start opening back up I will mention there are several Bed & Breakfasts throughout the Wine trail (many do not allow children). I recommend, Single Island Shores, who have completely furnished cabins. Enjoy coffee on the deck over looking Lake Seneca and sunsets at night.
We have a great day trip and was pleasantly surprised how much you could do while still maintaining Social Distance. Whether a day trip or overnight getaway this area offers so much!
What waterfalls are YOUR favorite in Watkins Glen, NY??
Have you ever been to this region??