A Day in Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen Sailing Seneca Lake

Watkins Glen is the main town at the southern tip of Seneca Lake. If there’s one thing you learn about the Finger Lakes, everyone is mighty proud of their body of water. Ask anyone in the area, which lake is biggest and you’ll never receive a straight answer.


“Well, if you mean by shoreline, since Keuka is shaped like a Y, then Keuka Lake is biggest,” said a Keuka Lake local.


“Well, if you mean by volume, then it’s Seneca Lake,” said, you guessed it, a Seneca Lake resident.


Regardless, each lake is unique in their offerings. Keuka’s vineyard views and sleepy Hammondsport village were more peaceful than the busier scene in Watkins Glen, but that’s because Seneca Lake has more on offer, including vineyards, breweries, and farm stands. (I didn’t get to check out the other nine lakes. Next time.)


Watkins Glen Seneca Lake


Sailing Watkins Glen


If you’re looking to sail Seneca Lake, you can hire a boat or jump on a ship in Watkins Glen. We took a ninety minute cruise on True Love with Schooner Excursions, which was truly more lovely than one of our last boat rides.


Watkins Glen State Park Waterfall


Hiking Watkins Glen

Afterward, pregnant and all, Marissa and I hiked the seven-hundred-plus steps through Watkins Glen State Park. The trail winds along nineteen waterfalls that flow for almost two miles. If you’re not much of a hiker, and don’t want to do the return leg, you can pay $3.00 for a van to take you back to the other end. If this is the case, head to the lot farthest from Watkins Glen so you can hike down the steps instead of climbing up.


Watkins Glen State Park Waterfall


We capped off our day with some incredible ice cream at the Colonial Creamery, where, besides the dairy, the owners sell beautiful pottery and have an indoor bee farm. They don’t bottle their honey, but they use it in some of their flavors.


Watkins Glen Ice Cream Shop Bees


Try to line up a visit to Watkins Glen when they have one of their many festivals, some of which include cardboard boat racing, car racing, a wine fest, and even a gathering of fiddlers.




Posted on by Noah Lederman in New York, Or Bust

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