Taking a hike on our wedding anniversary has become a super cool tradition for Robin and I. Last year, we found ourselves exploring the waterfalls in Dupont State Forest, North Carolina. The year before that we explored Grand Bahama Island. Heck, I even proposed to her after hiking to the top of Tumbling Run in Michaux State Forest. I love that we both enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and that we take time to make life-long memories.
|With Rainbow Falls providing an excellent backdrop...Robin and I pose for a picture on our 4th anniversary -- July 21, 2017|
|Exploring High Falls in Dupont State Forest, N.C. on our 3rd anniversary -- July 21, 2016|
|Exploring Grand Bahama Island on our 2nd wedding anniversary -- July 21, 2015|
Last week, on our anniversary, Robin and I experienced the awe-inspiring sights of Watkins Glen State Park in New York. I've been to New York City a few times...Cooperstown with my son a few years ago...but, until last week, I had never been to the Finger Lakes region of the state. I had seen commercials on tv for the area...but what Robin and I saw while treking through the park was much more than either of us expected. Honestly...I expected a destination hike. You know...walk down a trail and check out a waterfall. What we experienced was nothing short of breathtaking.
|Robin and I began our hike in Watkins Glen State park by descending Couch's Staircase -- July 21, 2017|
|Merging onto Gorge Trail from Couch's Staircase -- July 21, 2017|
|Glen Creek in Watkins Glen State Park seen from Point Lookout -- July 21, 2017|
|Walking along Gorge Trail, Robin and I soon realized that this wasn't going to be an ordinary hike! -- July 21, 2017|
|Waking towards Cascade Cavern -- July 21, 2017|
|Inside the Spiral Tunnel -- July 21, 2017|
|The view of Glen Creek coming out of the Spiral Tunnel -- July 21, 2017|
|Passing under the Suspension Bridge. Robin and I crossed the bridge as we left Indian Trail and began making our way back to the parking area -- July 21, 2017|
|Glen Cathedral -- July 21, 2017|
|Making our way towards Rainbow Falls -- July 21, 2017|
|Reaching out to touch the water of Rainbow Falls -- July 21, 2017|
|Gorge Trail above Rainbow Falls -- July 21, 2017|
|The top of Jacob's Ladder. After a brief stop at the rest area, Robin and I took Indian Trail back to the parking area -- July 21, 2017|
|Indian Trail....because it runs the ridge above the creek it is less populated. The trail does get a little more rough towards the bottom -- July 21, 2017|
|David and Robin Raymond in Watkins Glen State Park -- July 21, 2017|
With a little guidance from a park ranger near the parking area, Robin and I, map in hand, headed towards Couch's Staircase which lead us straight to Gorge Trail. As Robin and I walked upstream on Gorge Trail it quickly became obvious to us both that this wouldn't be an ordinary hike and that we weren't just going to see one or two waterfalls. Over thousands of years, Glen Creek has eroded a nearly 2 mile gorge which descends 400 feet through the park winding us past nineteen waterfalls...each different and spectacular in its own unique way. The path cut by Glen Creek led us into a Spiral Tunnel, under waterfalls, and through Glen Cathedral...all of which seemingly transported us to some mystical place. I had never experienced anything like it. At the end of Gorge Trail we climbed the steps Jacob's Ladder and then back Indian Trail towards the parking area. The sounds and sights of the Glen Creek making it's way toward the town of Watkins Glenn provided the perfect backdrop for Robin and I as we celebrated our anniversary. To say that the trails in Watkins Glen State Park are gorgeous doesn't seem to do them justice....but I can't think of a more perfect adjective. So yeah...this year our anniversary hike was not just perfect...it was gorgeous.
|Yep...all trails do lead to ice cream. Robin and I stopped the Glen Dairy Bar near Watkins Glen State Park. The potions were huge...and I mean HUGE! Nothing like a triple layer orange sherbert and vanilla ice cream cone! -- July 21, 2017|
Life is a journey...not a destination.
David A. Raymond -- July 24, 2017
|Robin and I at the top of Tumbling Run in Michaux State Forest. I had just proposed and she had just made me the happiest man alive -- June 24, 2012|
Interested in hiking Watkins Glenn or other parks I've been to? Check out the TRAIL MAPS and TRAIL HEADS tabs on the ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM website.
Also, be sure to check out HIGHPEAKSHIKING.COM!
Here are the GARMIN maps and data from a few of the hikes featured in this post: