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  • Writer's pictureSara Aber

Why you should visit of Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park is a popular tourist attraction located in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. The park is famous for its picturesque gorge trail that winds through 19 waterfalls, with the highest waterfall reaching 60 feet in height.

The park is really a hike, so if you're having trouble convincing someone to go with you, here are 5 bulletproof reasons that you should go:

  1. Natural beauty: The park is located in the Finger Lakes region of New York and is home to a picturesque gorge that winds through 19 waterfalls, with the highest waterfall reaching 60 feet in height. The lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and natural rock formations make it a beautiful and scenic destination.

  2. Accessibility: The park is open year-round and offers several trails that vary in difficulty, making it accessible to hikers of all levels. The park is also wheelchair accessible, with paved walkways and ramps leading to the gorge trail.

  3. Unique geological features: The park's gorge was formed over thousands of years by glaciers, water, and erosion, creating unique geological formations such as potholes, caverns, and water-carved rock walls.

  4. Historical significance: The park has a rich history, with evidence of Native American settlements dating back thousands of years, and a history of industrial use before becoming a state park. The park also played a role in the women's suffrage movement, as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton spoke at the nearby Glen Mountain House in 1892.

  5. Recreational activities: In addition to hiking, the park offers opportunities for camping, fishing, swimming, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. The park also hosts events and programs throughout the year, such as guided hikes and nature workshops.

Here is a brief history of Watkins Glen State Park:

The area where the park now stands was originally inhabited by the Seneca people, who were members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (also known as the Iroquois Confederacy). The Seneca called the gorge "She-quaga," which means "valley of the stream."

In the early 19th century, settlers began to arrive in the area and started using the gorge for industrial purposes, such as logging and milling. In 1863, a local businessman named Morvalden Ells purchased the land and began developing it as a tourist attraction, building trails and staircases along the gorge.

In 1906, the land was acquired by the State of New York and became Watkins Glen State Park. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was involved in the construction and maintenance of the park during the Great Depression.

Over the years, Watkins Glen State Park has undergone many renovations and upgrades to improve accessibility and safety for visitors. In 2015, the park celebrated its 150th anniversary and continues to be a popular destination for hikers, nature enthusiasts, and tourists from around the world.

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