Watkins Glen, New York, USA by Roy Goldsberry

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Picture Story

In 2012 my wife and I took a trip through southern Ontario and Quebec, then came home through New York state. Our main target in New York was the Corning Glass Museum, but since we were so close we also visited Watkins Glen. The town is on the south end of Seneca Lake, but it is named for the pretty gorge that cuts into the local sandstone. The gorge is in a state park.

At the parking area by the entrance to the Glen, I started pulling together my photo gear: crop sensor camera, zoom lens down to 18 mm, tripod, etc. Somehow, I did not have the shoe to mount the camera on the tripod head. Since Watkins Glen is very much about waterfalls, I was going to have a lot of trouble doing long exposures. We went up the Glen anyway, of course, and I did the best I could by bracing the camera on top of the available stone walls. The results were fair, but I had been limited.

Fast forward to 2019. I am by then retired; our options to travel are a lot less restricted, and we returned to Watkins Glen in May. I made very sure to have all the photo gear that I needed, and also had a full frame camera with a 16-35 mm lens, so I could shoot a wider field of view. This time around was rather more satisfying. The Glen trail runs for about 1.5 miles through 200 ft cliff walls and the stream decends over 400 ft. There are multiple waterfalls and cascades along the way. One of the nicest is Rainbow Falls, which you see here. We arrived at the park right at opening time, so for the outbound leg of the hike, we had it pretty much to ourselves.


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