My first attempt to hike Watkins Glen was in March of this year. The snow and ice prevented me from getting into the canyon, but the beauty from above was certainly something to behold.
A couple of months later I returned, but the spring runoff was out of control, and the canyon was closed due to intense flooding.
Fingers crossed for good luck, I was hoping that my third trip would be successful, and it seemed that Autumn was my lucky season.
Over more than a millenia, water and ice have fractured the earth to create this marvel. Stone steps lead you into the bowels of the earth and the water below that continues to shape Watkins Glen.
Stone bridges get you from one side to the other, waterfalls of various strength and intensity cascade down from above. I chose to not avoid the droplets, letting them shower me with happiness.
The colors of Fall are everywhere, most predominately in the trees that line the brim of the canyon walls. Protectors of the inhabitants that walk below, they drop their leaves in twinkling fashion to the slow moving river, saying goodbye as they swirl down.
Hiking up the stone steps to the South Rim trail above, I find the solitude one craves when hiking. Empty shelters and moss covered spools are found in between the shafts of light that make their way to the ground.
Back down I eventually go, further into the Glen where you see deeper chasms that hold bigger waterfalls and glacially carved circular pools.
As Nature always seem to do, my mood and spirit is lifted to pure ecstasy by the time I’m done hiking through the beautiful trails of Watkins Glen.