Watkins Glen State Park
When you travel to Watkins Glen on the weekend, especially on a holiday weekend, you best be at the park early if you plan to do any photography. I arrived at 7:30am and the parking lot had a handful of vehicles so I figured my chances were pretty good I would be able to get the images wanted with minimal time waiting. I was helped by the new “rules” for exploring the gorge trail. The gorge is supposed to be walked in one direction and to return to the trailhead you use one of the rim trails. For the most part, people observed this rule.
The water level in the creek was a little low and it did hinder the impact of a few of the views within the gorge. I’ve said this before, timing is everything when you set out to photograph waterfalls. The low water didn’t necessarily reduce the impact of the iconic Watkins Glen view, Rainbow Falls. Although I was in the park before the sun would produce the reason for the name, it is still a beautiful sight. There were a few groups right behind me on the trail so I did need to wait about ten minutes but once they had passed this location I had another ten minutes to explore before the next group arrived.
I should not have been surprised when I eventually returned to the entrance of the park… there were a lot of people! The empty parking lot was completely full. As I returned along the northern rim trail, “Indian Trail”, I stopped at a few of the overlook locations and the amount of people walking in the gorge was the most I have ever seen. Granted I had never been in the park on a holiday weekend, but holy cow, it was definitely time to go.