When I told my mom that we were staying in a cabin in Watkins Glen State Park, she asked what we were gonna do while there. I said, ‘hiking,’ to which she replied with, “y o u are going hiking?” First I don’t seem like I go camping, and now I don’t seem like I hike? Why?! I really don’t get it. I do a lot of stuff, why is it unbelievable that camping and hiking might just be part of activities I do? Anywayyyy……… We went hiking in Watkins Glen State Park!

gorge trail hike

We hiked the Gorge Trail, and it’s beautiful. I’d say it’s a bit on the difficult side because there are apparently around 800 stair steps in total. It’s 1.5 miles one way, which is approximately 2.4 kilometers. It took Jerome and I about an hour and fifteen minutes and that included mannyy photo breaks. Parking is $8 at the start of the trail unless you’re camping on the property which would include a parking fee. There’s also a shuttle you can take back for $5 if you choose not to hike back. There are 19 waterfalls, so prepare to get a little wet - especially if you pose near one and stick your arms out under the stream haha.

Something to keep in mind is that dogs are not allowed along the Gorge Trail. There are also a lot of wet places, puddles and stairs on the trail, so mind your step!

I thought I’d include a bit of a hiking essentials list for newbies. I say newbies because I don’t wear (or have money for) hiking boots or poles or other fancy stuff.

newbie hiking essentials

  • comfortable shoes

  • socks

  • sports bra

  • athletic leggings or shorts

  • sweat proof t-shirt or tank top

  • bandaids

  • bug spray

  • spf

  • lip balm

  • hair tie

  • cap/hat

  • sunglasses

  • camera

  • fanny pack

  • water bottle

  • protein bar

  • walking stick


There are a couple other hiking trails to choose from, but the Gorge Trail is a popular choice. There were a lot of other people hiking, but it’s understandable because it really is a nice hike along the gorge. If you’re wondering how I got photos with no tourists, honestly, I either framed my shot and waited until no one was in it, framed it high enough to not get humans or straight up edited people out haha.

Are you into hiking? If you are, what places do you suggest I should check out?!
I totally recommend this hike if you’re ever around Finger Lakes or Watkins State Park!

x Melissa