Exploring Watkins Glen State Park | Waterfalls in the Finger Lakes | Seneca Lake Wine Trail Tour

A trip to New York’s Finger Lakes region isn’t complete with a visit to a winery…or two! Join us as we explore the very best of Seneca Lake and Watkins Glen State Park!

Seneca Lake is one of the largest lakes among New York’s famous lakes. As the deepest, it creates the perfect environment on its banks for grape growing and it is at the very core of the wine industry and culture in the Finger Lakes. There is a Native American legend that claims the hands of the Great Spirit blessed the land and when they laid their hands on the ground, their fingers left an imprint which filled with water.

One of the best ways to explore Seneca Lake is through the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. It is an association of 27 member wineries that are known for cool climate wines like Riesling, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc. Each vineyard offers a unique experience with wine tastings and snacks with an amazing view. It’s hard to choose which vineyards to visit, but we luckily to get some local recommendations in Corning!

There are lots of breweries and distilleries peppered throughout the lake’s shores so there is something for everyone. We start our adventure on the lakes eastern shore at Grist Iron Brewing Company for their beer, pizza, and you guessed it, the views! From there we headed a bit north to Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards for their famous wine slushies. It was the perfect drink for a warm day. Make sure you stop at Chateau LaFayette Reneau. Its restored barn is located at the top of a hill so its the perfect backdrop for photos. We end heading over to the lake’s westside to visit Lakewood Vineyards for a wine tasting before taking their walking path through the vineyards to a gazebo overlooking the Lake.

The next day we woke before dawn to head into Watkins Glen State Park to hike the famous Gorge Trail. If you have seen pictures of waterfalls in the Finger Lakes, they are probably from Watkins Glen. The trail boasts an impressive 19 waterfalls in 1.5 miles so there is something to see every step. The most famous of all the falls has to be Rainbow Falls. Named such because the sun hits the falls just right that rainbows dance along the water.

Watkins Glen is among the most visit state parks in New York so be prepared for crowds once the Gorge Trail opens in May. In fact, avoid crowds in the early morning or late afternoon. The trail has over 830 stone steps so be prepared, but don’t worry, there is a shuttle that travels between the 3 entrances. There is a fee to park, but if you arrive early enough, there should be plenty of free 2-hour street parking. Plus, since the park is located right in Watkins Glen village, after your hike, you can check out one of the local coffee shops or cafes for coffee.

▫️ Chateau LaFayette Reneau: https://www.clrwine.com/
▫️ Grist Iron Brewing Co.: https://www.gristironbrewing.com/
▫️ Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards: https://hazlitt1852.com/
▫️ Lakewood Vineyards: https://lakewoodvineyards.com/
▫️ Watkins Glen State Park: https://parks.ny.gov/parks/watkinsglen/maps.aspx
▫️ Seneca Lake Wine Trail: https://senecalakewine.com/
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#FingerLakesNY #SenecaLake #watkinsglenstatepark #watkinglen #senecalakewinetrail #winetours #winery #winerytour #brewery #waterfall #waterfallhike #upstatenewyork #rainbowfalls #thingstodo #traveltips #history #historyfacts
0:00 Coming Up!
0:42 Seneca Lake + Wine Trail
1:16 Grist Iron Brewing Co.
2:34 Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards | Wine Slushies!
3:56 Tips for Exploring the Wine Trail
4:41 Lakewood Vineyards | Wine Tasting + Lake Views
6:06 Watkins Glen State Park | No Crowds!
7:35 Tips for Visiting
8:42 Ancient Sea Floor + Glen Cathedral
10:07 Rainbow Falls!
11:28 Ending on Jacob’s Ladder
11:56 Final Thoughts
🎵 Music
▫️ Waterfall – Aakash Gandhi
▫️ Sunshine on Sand – Unicorn Heads
▫️ A Face in a Cloud – Nathan Moore
▫️ Summer Nights – The 126ers
🎞️Top Playlists
▫️ New York:

▫️ Pennsylvania: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnGzvwL30WU&list=PLgk1Cy0EvwqqyER-Ejary2eMq386VqZy1
Hello, fellow adventure seekers! We’re Jon and Andrea—part-time travelers and full-time adventurers. 🌎 Join us as we explore interesting places around the world. We are balancing full-time jobs so many of our adventures are East Coast based, but we’re always looking to get out of our backyard!

We love:
▪️ Travel tips: we love sharing the do’s and dont’s of travel so our mistakes aren’t yours!
▪️ New experiences: follow us if you ever thought “I wonder what _____ is like” because our goal is find out and share it with you!
▪️ Finding wonder and awe in the world: Cheesy? Absolutely! But no less true in how we visit and experience new places.

We look forward to exploring the world with you!


4 Replies to “Exploring Watkins Glen State Park | Waterfalls in the Finger Lakes | Seneca Lake Wine Trail Tour”

  1. hello, do you have any places to stay recommendations?

  2. Please tell me the nearly 200 year old suspension bridge isn’t open for public use😅

  3. JLew Travels says:

    Have you ever been to the finger lakes region? If yes, what is your favorite winery? Let us know below.

  4. Mark723 says:

    Another wonderful production. Thanks for the safety shout-out. Those fish certainly have their humans well trained. Great that you look for local recommendations when searching for things to do and places to visit. I grew up drinking Taylor wines (was I ever so young and naive), so have a soft spot for the Finger Lakes region. Thank you for highlighting this often overlooked wine region. 5:285:34 = "I feel like the wines are getting better or I'm getting more drunk – one of the two." I'd say that lusty laugh provides the answer. The hiking trail was gorges (pun intended) – and it's always a good thing to get an early start. Thanks for the hiking travel tips – it's a good thing to be prepared. The natural beauty of Glen State Park is stunning. Again, as always, thanks for sharing.

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