This is the second article in a series about The Roadster’s travels to New York’s Finger Lakes Region.
After two days in Niagara Falls, NY, we braved the potholes and traffic on I-90 E and then took 14 South to Watkins Glen, NY (which took about 3.5 hours in Bessie the RV). Once you get off I-90, it’s a gorgeous drive that took us through the historic town of Geneva, NY, and past wineries and farms along Seneca Lake.
Watkins Glen State Park
We settled into Watkins Glen State Park for two nights. Due to low availability of electric sites, we could only reserve our spot for one night, then had to move one site over the following night.
The first spot was one of the best camping sites that I have ever seen. It was situated on a corner with a generous campsite area. The “backyard” was a beautiful forest, with a big hill for the kids to run down.
When we finally parked, we opened Bessie’s slides for the first time in about 2 1/2 days and we all breathed a big, happy sigh of relief. We got situated, made dinner, and ended the night around a campfire (with the added benefit of foot rubs from my daughter). I love camping!
Our next morning began peacefully with coffee, a book, and a delicious breakfast while soaking up the gorgeous surroundings. Watkins Glen has a famous NASCAR racetrack, and we heard the buzzing and whining of race car engines in the distance. Since we weren’t returning to the same spot, we packed up our campsite, prepared the cabin for take-off, and zoomed down the big hill to visit “The Gorge,” a breathtakingly beautiful hiking trail in the State Park. It’s hard to describe the beauty of this natural wonder, but we tried to capture it in the photos (above).
Watkins Glen State Park’s Gorgeous Pool
After our long, beautiful hike, we cooled off and relaxed for the afternoon at the state park’s impressive Olympic-sized pool. The pool had a nice choice of amenities.
There was a wonderful snack house, a separate kiddie pool, lounge chairs and nice locker rooms. We were impressed by the two diving boards, a separate section for lap swimmers, and lots of area for play in deep and shallow water.
The main pool was clean and very accessible, with steps to get in and out of the water. Word of warning, they would not let kids wear swimming masks (scuba masks) in the pool. Only swimming goggles were allowed.
We returned to the campground at our new site just as the sky opened and rained for most of the night. We were grateful for a spot to plug-in, watch movies and stretch out for a comfortable night. At this point, we were about halfway through our trip, and starting to feel weary from the constant packing and unpacking of our campsite. We experienced “Go-Go-Go Fatigue” (a new medical term that I just made up). Here’s how we balanced adventure with leisure time.
About The Campground
The campground was somewhat rustic, with a mix of paved and gravel roads, some of them hilly with tight turns. There were lots of trees which provided ample shade around the campground. Some of the roadways and sites had lower branches to contend with. In fact, my husband had to use a broom to move branches aside as I backed into our spot on the second night. We were impressed to watch the bigger rigs whipping around tree branches and taking turns with confidence.
About The Finger Lakes Region
The Finger Lakes Region of New York is made up of 11 long, narrow lakes that look like fingers (hence the name). The same glacial phenomenon that created the Niagara Falls also carved the Finger Lakes, so the region is filled with stunning views, waterfalls and cliffs. The lakes are surrounded by gently rolling hills, many of which slope down to water level, creating a pretty picture, as well as the perfect micro-climate for growing grapes. The Finger Lakes Region, particularly Seneca Lake, is home to many wineries and grapes producers.
Have you visited Watkins Glen State Park or the Finger Lake Region? Tell us about your experiences.
More On The Finger Lakes Series