Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Watkins Glen and other New York Places

 Get ready for picture overload.  

Last week we spent a week camping in New York.  We started out at Four Mile Creek State Park, then travelled to Watkins Glen in the Finger Lakes and ended up at a little private campground called Adventure Bound which is minutes from Letchworth State Park.  We also travelled to Buttermilk Falls State Park for a hike.  Needless to say, we now love New York State Parks!  Who knew that there were so many beautiful things to see within 5 hours of home!

First up we have Watkins Glen.  Watkins Glen is right at the bottom of Seneca Lake.  Within the park, there are 19 waterfalls and a gorgeous gorge.  The first time we hiked it we went up.  We went without my mom because she wasn't feeling great that day.  It was a tough hike and had a lot of stairs, plus it was crazy hot out, but it was worth it.  Watkins Glen isn't even so much about the waterfalls as it is the gorge.  It's hard to describe, but it's just beautiful.


Later in the week, when my mom was feeling better, we hiked it again.  This time we hiked down the gorge.  Much easier!  You get a completely different view point, and although I found I had to make a conscious effort to turn around and see the waterfalls, I felt like I enjoyed the gorge itself much more on this hike.

Another day we went to Buttermilk Falls State Park just outside of Ithaca.  There are 12 waterfalls in this park.  The hike started with us climbing about 500 feet straight up.  (Well that's what it felt like).  What a workout!  Then it evened out a bit.  These waterfalls were beautiful as well.  There were kids playing at the bottom of some of them and it was really fun to see.  There were lots of people, but nothing like Watkins Glen, it's more of a hidden gem.  And those are the types of waterfalls that I love, the ones that aren't over saturated with tourists.
At the end of the week we started back home and stayed in a park called Adventure Bound for one night because Letchworth State Park was booked.  However it was super close to the park.  We didn't spend a ton of time in the park since we only had the one day but what an amazing place!  They call it the Grand Canyon of the east.  It had 3 waterfalls in it and luckily for our tired legs they were all easily accessible.  Parker was also waterfalled out by this point and was a bit grumpy.



Middle Falls
High Falls
On our way out of the park, at the top of high falls there were some cops and a ton of people.  We asked someone what was going on and he said the train was coming in 4 minutes.  So we decided to park and see what all the fuss was about.  Apparently they are tearing down the bridge over the river this year and rebuilding.  They had a special passenger sightseeing train travelling over the bridge that day and so tons of people had come to see it.  

It was an old steam engine and it was pretty neat to see!  There were 800 passengers on board all waving at us.  
Just some of the peole up on the hill taking pictures of the train
 We had a fantastic trip and saw some amazing things.  It was a great year to do this trip with Parker because he could literally be strapped onto one of us and just go.  Next year we might need to come up with a few more baby friendly vacation ideas!

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