Watkins Glen and Letchworth State Park

In continuation of my weekend trip to the Finger Lakes, I wanted to add a post about Watkins Glen and Letchworth State Park. These two attractions were the main reason we decided to visit the Finger Lakes. I would highly recommend visiting both parks as they are both beautiful and take a good amount of time to walk the whole way through. Watkins Glen could be pretty in just about any season, and I'm sure Letchworth would be also, but the falls colors in Letchworth are amazing.

Watkins Glen


We had seen many photos of Watkins Glen before going and experiencing the Glen. We expected it to be a relatively quick walk through, but we ended up spending more time there then we expected. We were in the Glen until it was dark and we had to use a flashlight to get back out. A major thing we learned from visiting Watkins Glen was that when you cross the main bridge to get into the Glen, you have to go to the right. After seeing the whole right side of the glen we thought we were done, but there is actually an entire other side to the glen that is even bigger on the other side of the bridge. We spent a lot of our time exploring the right side and ended up wasting time we could have used on the other side. This photo was taken from the right side of the Glen. The right side is all similar to this look with tighter pathways for the water to travel. The fall foliage made for a beautiful backdrop to the running water and carved rock throughout the glen. There is a good chance you could get slightly wet while exploring the glen as there are many waterfalls along the pathways. Our major problem was that after the sun drops the Glen becomes freezing cold so I would recommend a jacket if you are visiting in the evening. The left side of the Glen was a lot more open and was home to many beautiful waterfalls and bridges. This is where you will find some of the iconic shots of Watkins Glen. As it gets later, the area becomes less crowded and leaves the ability to explore more than you could on a crowded day. This was one of my favorite spots from the entire Glen. The fall leaves and the waterfalls were beautiful everywhere, but this bridge gave the spot a different feel that the rest of the space. The waterfall also had more layers and depth than the rest of the waterfalls we had seen along the way. Another great aspect of this spot was the running water down the side of the pathway. If you stand under it or walk under it you will get hit with the splash of the water, but it was such a beautiful aspect that we didn't see anywhere else in the Glen. We hope to be able to visit the Finger Lakes and Watkins Glen again in the winter this year. The snow and ice would give these areas a whole different feel that would also be breathtakingly beautiful. 

Letchworth State Park


Letchworth was also beautiful, and we spent a good amount of time at the overlooks. Letchworth was different from Watkins Glen in the fact that it was a straight forward set up where you good drive from the start to the end and stop at every look out spot in between. After the crazy, tiring weekend we had this was a perfect end to our trip. The beginning of Letchworth has crazy valleys and cliffs showcasing the beautiful hills and water running through the park. It is also insanely windy because of the mountains and valleys. This photo was taken from one of the lookout spots at the start of the park. This was before we got to the water that runs through the majority of the park. Each look out had a ton of beautiful trees, and the fall colors made the areas so colorful. All of the spaces stretched as far as you could see; it is a very large state park. Towards the end of the park, the water becomes more of a part of the scenery, and there are even a few waterfalls. At this point, we had to do a bit of a hike although there were steps to make the hike easier. It was tiring going back up all of the steps, and some people there had trouble. At the bottom, it was pretty muddy from all of the water being splashed onto the paths from the waterfall. The path to the last waterfall on the right was closed off so this was the closest we could get to it. The rock formations and trees along them were beautiful by the waterfalls. I think this was my favorite part of the park.

I would highly recommend visiting bot of these park at some point in your life. They were both so beautiful and a truly amazing experience. I love traveling and exploring these places, and I especially love sharing my stories. I hope that my stories will inspire everyone to see the beautiful wonders in the world and enjoy the nature we see every day. 

All photos taken by the awesome Nick Koehler