We day-tripped around Central New York on Tuesday. Starting south on
I-81, wound onto state highways through
Ithaca and Watkins Glen,
then north on Hwy. 14 before coming back to Syracuse on I-90.
considered heading over to Watkins Glen for biking when D. and Ph. were in
Kenya, but lo and behold, I was rained out. It was a whim to check out
Watkins Glen, but it’s honestly it’s home to of the most amazing state parks
I’ve ever seen. The park features a 1.5 mile trail graded over 600 vertical feet
of shale (thin and flaky, right?) cliffs, pools and waterfalls. We hiked down
the gorge and back in about three hours: longer on the way down for ogling
and photos and about 30 minutes on the return trip.
At Watkins Glen, we took 409 off of Hwy. 14 and started the walk from the north
entrance (this was suggested by the helpful attendant at the south entrance).
By entering this way, our down-and-back was against the intermittant walking
traffic of those who parked in town and started up the gorge. There are a
couple of ways to come in, but I think we did it well (although ending with the
upward climb might not suit some). Incidents on the day-long tour included a non-turn in Dryden (and an accidental
but not alarming alt. route to Ithaca as a result), photos at
Montour Falls and
Glen, and ice cream in Dresden. We also passed by the thousand tiny wineries
along Hwy. 14. Might be nice to return to the area with a better plan to
stop in for the wine tastings or something on or next to one of the Finger Lakes.