To me there is something mystical about taking a simple walk in the woods. No matter where you are in the world, the moment you step out on the trail, you are immediately transported to a different universe. All your “civilized” problems seem to melt away and are instead replaced with an appreciation for the simple beauty of the world around you. It’s a great way to clear the mind and it’s also cathartic for the soul. While in the Finger Lakes Region of NY, we found out that the Watkins Glen Gorge was the perfect place to get out and unwind.
We had the chance to hike the Watkins Glen Gorge with an expert guide named Chris from Ranger Outfitters. While we could have hiked this trail on our own, having someone on the trail with us that was familiar with the area, gave us the opportunity to really lose ourselves in our surroundings without having to worry about where we were going or the possibility of missing out on something.
Our trip began at the top of the gorge as we made our way towards the river. We almost immediately went from a clear wide trail, into the tighter and more dense brush that I prefer. It was early spring when we made the trip, so the forest was just waking from it’s winter slumber.
Soon though, we began to hear the sounds of rushing waters. We were hearing the river rush over one of the many waterfalls that have formed as the gorge cut it’s way into the rock. After a few more minutes, we came to a small clearing and were finally able to see the source of the sound. It was beautiful.
In the Summer, you can hike down to the bottom of the gorge and follow the river. At the time of our visit, the pathway was closed due to the remaining traces of winter leaving an icy and unsafe path. We chose to continue along the gorge’s ridge line, and were rewarded with more great views and sights.
One of my favorite spots along the trail we hiked, was the point where the railroad crosses over the gorge.
After this point, we continued on a downward slope and eventually came out to a flat area, where we were once again level with the river.
From here, it was a short hike to the end of the trail and back to civilization for us. It’s not often that we take guided hikes through and area. I must say I was pretty pleased with having Chris lead us through the woods. He kept us safe and on track which really allowed Lauren and I the opportunity to get lost in our surroundings. The other benefit of our guide was the fact that he was so familiar with the area, we were able to follow a series of trials, and have a hike that was custom designed for what we wanted to see. Chris was also very knowledgable about all the local flora and fauna of the area and quick to answer our many questions. The next time you are in the Finger Lakes area, pull yourself away from the B&B’s and wineries and get out into nature. You definitely won’t regret it.
Details for Ranger Outfitters
261 Baker Street
Corning, NY 14830
If you enjoyed this post about hiking in the Finger Lakes through Watkins Glen Gorge, you should connect with us to ensure you never miss a post. You can subscribe to our newsletter or connect with us via social media on Facebook, twitter, +Kenin, tumblr, Pinterest, and YouTube!