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Watkins Glen State Park Morvalden Ells

Watkins Glen State Park is a national park in New York state, in America. It is known for its iconic natural erosion features, gorges and continental rock features.

Beautiful waterfalls with the natural erosion gorge faces and waterfall
Beautiful waterfalls with the natural erosion gorge faces and waterfall.

Here, you can walk through trails with beautiful rock erosion formations on an easy to walk river creek. Let’s do a nature walk and catch the sights.

An easy walk via a creek and mini gorge
An easy walk via a creek and mini gorge.

Furthermore, Watkins Glen State Park is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks. It is located in a village of Watkins Glen, south of Seneca Lake in Schuyler County, in New York’s Finger Lakes region.

Continental natural wonder

On some history, Watkin Glen State Park has its history since 1794, where John Watkins and Roy Flint of New York City brought the land for industrial purposes. The area was established on 1906 as a state park. It is named for Samuel Watkins.

Morvalden Ells park entrance and visitor center into the park
Morvalden Ells park entrance and visitor center into the park.

Moreover, Watkins Glen State Park is a visible site to view the joints of the great continental collision. The event pushed up the Appalachian Mountains to Pennsylvania and the Allegheny plateau.

Glen creek and gorge

Moreover, the centerpiece of the 315 hectares park is a 120m deep narrow gorge cut through rock by a stream. It is tad a textbook example of river erosion which tells you alot of the rivers which through here.

Stream crossing over creek and bridge
Stream crossing over creek and bridge.

The prehistoric glaciers of the Ice which resided here crested with age and deepened the Seneca valley. It increased the tributary stream gradient to create rapids and waterfalls wherever there were layers of hard rock.

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Gorge below
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Gorge erosion
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Walkways

Also, the area’s rocks are sedimentary from the Devonian age. It forms part of a dissected plateau which was uplifted with little faulting or distortion. Also, Glen Creek consist mostly of soft shales, with some layers of harder sandstone and limestone.

Additionally, the slot canyon narrows in the section known as the Spiral Gorge. The swirling patterns here itself is a breathtaking sight to behold.

Resident Waterfalls

Furthermore, within 3 kilometers of trekking, the glen’s stream descends 140m feet past 60m cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course.

Down on the lake and creek, its a small slow flowing stream
Down on the lake and creek, its a small slow flowing stream.

Also, in the creekbed, freezing loosens underlying rock layers at joints. Floods eventually wash away the loose slabs, leaving ledges that form the various waterfalls here.

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Falls
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Falls
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Welcome sign

It is home to 19 waterfalls which can be found along the trail. Also, the number waterfalls is dependent on the season, with summer months tending to be drier with fewer waterfall.

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow falls is one of the highlight waterfalls here which flows all year long. It is flanked but steep gorge walls with a crossing bridge over the falls. Come during the late afternoon and you can see a rainbow formed over the fall spray.

Rainbow falls with passing walkway running behind the waterfall
Rainbow falls with passing walkway running behind the waterfall.

Cavern Cascade is one of two waterfalls you can walk behind. The Cavern Cascade waterfall flows over the trail. It is a stoney walkway area with a waterfall cascading over the walkway guardrails. It does give an impression of rain when viewed from within the walkway.

Additionally, this erosion was not a uniform process. The rock here includes shale, limestone, and sandstone, and these types of rock erode at different rates, leaving behind a staircase of waterfalls, cascades, plunge pools and potholes.

Admiring the gorge rock faces in your walk
Admiring the gorge rock faces in your walk.

Good for a half day visit

Moreover, you can explore the park via a single one-way walk or as a return journey through the two visitor entrances. You can start on the park westbound from the main entrance on the east towards the Upper Entrance in the west side.

Also, the return journey is more appropriate if you have a vehicle parked at any of the park visitor center entrances. It costs $8 to park at the park, and all park programs are free and open to the public with no registrations needed.

Notably, the Watkin Glen State Park trail connect to the 1,300 km long Finger Lakes Trail within New York state.

All in all, Watkins Glen State Park is a nice small park to check out in upstate New York.
The park is open daily from 5am to 9pm. It is a natural protected area in New York state.

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