This past weekend we decided to take advantage of these days of amazing weather and get outdoors. As I mentioned last week (see Racefever and local BBQ) Walkins Glen is well known for it’s racetrack. But it also the base for Seneca Lake and many natural waterfalls, most of which are found in Walkins Glen State Park.
We have driven through town and past the state park many times but hadn’t taken the time to explore it. For eight bucks we parked our car in the bottom lot and walked toward the entrance to the Gorge Trail.
Unlike other state parks trails I’ve explored, the beauty and photo worthy views start at the very beginning. Out of the side of the mountain you can see the first of 19 waterfalls flowing down under a walking bridge. To enter the Gorge Trail you climb a set of stairs through the rock wall and across the bridge. The tourist buses actually drive to the south or upper entrance and then guide guests down to the lower entrance, this way the tourist get some of the best views last.
The following path is a slow incline of several step-ups and sets of stairs. The concrete and stone paths are wet and muddy in places as waterfalls flow from both the left rock path and the right gorge view.
Only so many words can describe the many breathtaking views. The further up we went the less congested it became until we reached the suspension bridge which crosses the gorge over to the aouth entrance where there is a lodge, restaurant, snack bar, and public swimming pool.
We chose to finish the Gorge Trail. As we ascended, we reached a set of rail road tracks set high above the gorge. A historical sign indicated it used to have a steel reinforced beam centered in the Gorge’s waterway but it was destroyed in a 1930’s flood. The bridge is now reinforced on either side of the Gorge instead. We came to the upper entrance by late afternoon. Taking a break to get water, we looked around. Probably the smallest of entrances, it boasts only a bathroom, snack bar with outdoor picnic tables, and playground.
When we were ready, we decided to take the Indian trail (one of the two rim trails) back down. I am sure this trail would be beautiful to walk again during the fall foilage. We traced the gorge and water down hill on the right, passing hill sides full of trees on the left.
We cut back to the Gorge Trail for the last .25 mile and got one last chance to take a few pictures of the beautiful waterfalls without the foot traffic (the tour /shuttle buses had stopped running).
In all it was a beautiful afternoon outing and we left right before the sun began to set.
What did you do last weekend?