Watkins Glen 

There’s a running joke in my family that whenever we go on a trip, it’s required that we go hiking, especially when we’re visiting my grandparents in Ithaca, New York. Ithaca is a small town with some of the most beautiful wooded trails, gorge trails, and outdoor environments imaginable. Watkins Glen is definitely one of my favorites. We’ve been hiking this gorge since I was little, struggling up the hundreds of steps and worrying that we’d fall over the edge into the water below. We’ve taken countless photos under the same waterfalls, letting the water soak through our sneakers and cool our skin. If it’s a sunny day, the gorge glows dark green and yellow and it feels like you’ve stepped into another world, a dense rainforest in South America or any setting of an Indiana Jones movie. The bedrock has been worn down by streams of water, making caverns and canyons where pools or blue swirl and little fish dart around. The walls of the gorge climb high above your head and only slivers of sky are shown through the trees. Wooden bridges hang, seemingly suspended in the air and aside from any other people hiking the trail, everything is quiet. It’s a beautiful place to experience and I know my family will be returning to hike the same trails for years to come.

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