Want to Know the Best Thing to Do at Watkins Glen State Park?

A group of friends hiking and smiling

A trip to the Finger Lakes region of New York wouldn’t be complete without an outdoor adventure! Our area is known for its scenic landscape that’s sprinkled with countless gorges and waterfalls. Take in the most enchanting views the Finger Lakes has to offer at Watkins Glen State Park! This New York state park offers visitors the chance to hike the Gorge Trail, which boasts 19 enchanting waterfalls along the two-mile route. Read on to learn everything you need to know about a visit to the park! 

When you’re ready to start planning your trip, download our Finger Lakes Vacation Guide. This free resource is filled with local insight on the best things to do in the Finger Lakes region! 

Access Local Insight 

Visit Gorge Trail at Watkins Glen State Park 

Where Is Watkins Glen, NY?  

It’s important to know a little background on the Watkins Glen area before you head out for a visit. The small village of Watkins Glen is in Schuyler County and is home to less than 2,000 permanent residents. Although small, there are many great things to do in Watkins Glen, NY, like the Gorge Trail!  

About Gorge Trail 

Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, Watkins Glen State Park is asking all Gorge Trail hikers to wear a face mask or covering while on the trail and follow social distancing guidelines where possible. 

11 narrow lakes make up the Finger Lakes’ unique geography. With so much flowing water in the area, it’s no surprise that it’s filled with stunning gorges. Watkins Glen State Park is one of the best places to explore a Finger Lakes gorge! The Gorge Trail is a stunning two-mile trek that highlights 19 waterfalls and several gorges. You can also enjoy the refreshing spray of Cavern Cascade along the way!  

Hiking the Gorge Trail is the most popular activity at this New York state park. There are more things to do for campers and day visitors alike, though! Enjoy an Olympic-sized swimming pool, picnic sights, and first-class fishing opportunities. 

Rest Your Legs at a Finger Lakes Premier Properties Rental 

Relax at your Finger Lakes Premier Properties Rental home after a long day of exploring Watkins Glen State Park. Our property management company boasts nearly 300 rental properties, so you’re sure to find a home that suits your needs. Our homes highlight premier amenities like private docks, hot tubs, game rooms, and so much more! Even better, we offer vacation rental homes across the Finger Lakes region. Browse a full inventory of our properties by location to select the one that’s right for you! Don’t forget to visit our Specials Page before you book to snag some of the hottest deals available! 

A Note to Our Guests: All our vacation homes include peace of mind knowing your check-in will be keyless. In addition, each rental receives professional housekeeping in between each reservation by our trained housekeeping team. The linens are professionally cleaned at our operations facility. Plus, we have a local manager on duty 24/7.

Celebrating July 4th in the Finger Lakes – 2020 Edition

Most of the annual July 4th celebrations including large events, parades, and firework displays have been canceled in the Finger Lakes region due to the COVID-19 restrictions. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate our pride for the USA.

For those seeking greater experiences, we’ve provided our recommendations for creating new patriotic traditions in the Finger Lakes.

Booking the Perfect Lake House

The dates surrounding the July 4th weekend are the most popular of the year for booking a lakefront vacation rental. With family travel plans being diverted this year because of COVID-19, you may still have a chance to secure the perfect home to enjoy a Finger Lakes Independence Day, but book soon!

The key to creating the perfect lakeside getaway is finding the home that checks all your boxes. Unlike hotels, vacation rental homes are not all created equal, but that is also part of the fun. Some families require open layouts with bedrooms on the first floor or level lakefronts for easy access for children. Many of our homes also offer virtual tours allowing you to tour the home before you book, ensuring it fits your vacation style. Identifying these needs will be key for an enjoyable getaway for everyone in your group and will also help our local vacation planners find the right home for you.

It’s all about the amenities

Get more out of your vacation by taking advantages of the additional amenities that come with most vacation homes. Many of our homes come with perks such as kayaks (non-motorized watercraft) and hot tubs. These are searchable features on our website. Some other key features include game rooms, lawn games, fire pits, and bonus lake houses. These amenities can be found in the property descriptions or the amenities section on the property pages.

More ways to get on the lake

Motorized boats are not included with any of our rentals. However, local marinas can help you get out on the lakes during your stay with rentals of boats, kayaks, and any accessory you need to enjoy the water during your stay. Like our rentals, these will also be reserved well in advance for the busy holiday weekend so please plan accordingly.

For expert help on creating the perfect Independence Day getaway, contact our local vacation planners who are familiar with all of our 280+ homes across the Finger Lakes.

Plan Ahead for Easy, Delicious, and Festive Meals

One of the best advantages of staying in a vacation home is you have a fully equipped kitchen and grill for making your favorite meals throughout your stay. But again, planning ahead is key especially with new COVID-19 guidelines in place for shopping.

In today’s digital world it is easier than ever to order groceries online and have them ready for curbside pick-up. Reduce the need to go into stores by using these methods to pick up all of the items you need for a delicious getaway. Search your route to your rental beforehand then see what options are offered or check out the list below:

  • Conesus Lake: West’s Surfine Food Mart,
  • Honeoye Lake: West Wise Honeoye
  • Canandaigua Lake: (North) Canandaigua Wegmans, Tops, Aldi’s, Walmart; (South) Rennoldson’s Market
  • Keuka Lake: (North) Tops, Morgan’s, Aldi’s, Oak Hill Bulk Goods; (East Lake) Olney Place; (South) Hammondsport Grocery
  • Seneca Lake: (North) Geneva Wegmans, Walmart, Sauder’s; (South) Top’s, Walmart
  • Cayuga Lake: (North) Waterloo Tops, Waterloo Walmart, Cayuga Corner, Sauder’s, Auburn Wegmans, Auburn Walmart; (East side) Union Springs Shurfine Supermarket, the Produce Place; (South) Ithaca Wegmans, Tops, Target, Aldi’s, Anabel’s Grocery, Green Star Food Co+op

Need some festive inspiration for what to serve through the July 4th weekend? Check out our Pinterest Board while you are creating your shopping list!

Creative Ways for a Memorable Lakeside Holiday

There is no doubt this will be one of the most memorable Independence Day’s in our Nation’s history. Make the most of social distancing by celebrating with a small group of your closest family and friends at your lake rental. Here are some of our guest’s favorite ways to celebrate at their lakefront vacation rentals:

  • Bring your favorite (most competitive) lawn game and plan a tournament
  • Create a Patriotic Picnic
  • Decorate your boat/kayak in red, white, and blue and create your own water parade
  • Patriotic Kid Crafts and Games
  • Watch a patriotic movie (Have a projector? Make an outdoor theater)
  • Create your own Finger Lakes wine/beer tasting by picking up similar styles from different tasting rooms (see below)
  • Spark up the sparklers at night
  • Lakeside campfire with s’mores

Explore the Finger Lakes Responsibly

If you choose to leave your lakeside rental this July 4th weekend and explore some of the natural wonders of our region, please plan ahead.

Parks, Trails and Waterfalls

Be aware that without the annual festivals and events, our popular parks will likely be busier than usual with locals and travelers all seeking a memorable holiday weekend. If you are staying through the week, planning on visiting these locations during a week day may be an option for less traffic. And although most parks have reopened, there are restrictions and new guidelines. Always research the venue prior to getting into the car to avoid closures.

For resources on finding trails and parks, visit:

Beverage Experience Seekers

Our region is hoping to be in Phase 3 of New York State’s reopening plan by July 4th, which includes tasting rooms across our wine trails and craft brew trail. However, each day is different and we cannot guarantee the availability of visiting tasting rooms. One thing is certain, tasting room policies, procedures and experiences will be much different this year with new protocols in place to keep staff and patrons safe.

As of right now, most tasting rooms are offering pick up and delivery options of your favorite craft drinks. While we understand it isn’t the same experience, perhaps picking up bottles of fresh vintages and enjoying them lake side may not be the worst way to savor the flavors of the Finger Lakes.

Below are links to the beverage trails for you to get the most current information on what will be available during your visit to the Finger Lakes.

Plan a Lakeside Celebration for Another Time

Without the organized parades and fireworks this year, who says you can’t create your own festive vacation on a different weekend of the summer. This will also provide you with more flexible dates with possible lower rates to get more out of your next vacation.

Don’t forget to take a peak at our specials page which includes Mini-week specials (stays of 6 days or less depending on the property) or deeper discounts on select lake homes.

If your reason for visiting the Finger Lakes includes must-have experiences such as wine tasting, museum touring, or sitting down at your favorite restaurant, stay up to date on the New York State’s Phases for reopening by visiting our COVID page.

Best Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day From Your (Vacation) Home

Each Memorial Day we recognize the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served our country in grand, festive ways.. This year will look different as we all sacrifice many of our traditions and find new ways to celebrate and remember the meaning of the holiday.

New York State’s Governor Cuomo continues to urge residents across the state to minimize gatherings to 10 people or less, and practice responsible social distancing. Keep the essence of Memorial Day alive this year with some of our recommended ways to celebrate from your Finger Lakes vacation home.

Plan Ahead for a Stocked Fridge

Any vacation and celebration is largely circled around delicious dishes, recipes, and sweet treats. There is no change there for this year, except to do a little more planning ahead.

In today’s digital world it is easier than ever to order groceries online and have them ready for curbside pick-up. Reduce the need to go into stores by using these methods to pick up all of the items you need for a delicious getaway. Search your route to your rental beforehand then see what options are offered. Or click here for some local Finger Lakes resources.

While you’re preparing your shopping list, take a list at our Memorial Day Pinterest board for some savory inspiration.

One great advantage of renting a vacation rental is that your accommodations come equipped with a kitchen. All of our rental home kitchens include dinnerware, silverware, bake ware, utensils, and even a grill to accommodate your meal serving needs. However, experiencing local fare when traveling is an expected vacation experience.

Don’t worry, even though you may not be able to sit down in your favorite local diner or pub, you can still order takeout from many restaurants throughout our region. Click the links below for the local resources by lake:

Don’t forget the beverages!

Seneca Lake wine trail vacation rentals
Guest photo by Sandy B.

Our local wine trails, breweries and distilleries are also offering curbside and delivery options. Click on the link below for their resources:

Exploring the Finger Lakes

If you choose to leave your lakeside rental this Memorial Day weekend and explore some of the natural wonders of our region, please plan ahead. Perhaps this trip you forego the popular parks and instead explore some of the paths less taken.

No matter where you choose to trek, contacting the park ahead of time is recommended. Some parks have not opened this year because the trails do not allow enough space for safe social distancing. Other parks have reduced access or sometimes closed mid-day in order to eliminate overcrowding in popular settings.

For more information on where to go and the precautions parks are taking, click below.

Just Relax Lakeside

Seneca Lake vacation rental campfire
Guest photo by Tarun R.

You rented a lakeside vacation home, enjoy it! The lake itself provides plenty of entertainment for days. Take a look at the description of the vacation rental you reserved, and you may find some additional perks for added entertainment through your stay.

Many of our vacation rentals come with non-motorized watercraft including kayaks, paddle boards, canoes, etc. There is no better way to social distance than by being on the water! Better yet, pack a fishing pole and make sure your NYS Fishing License is ready for catching dinner from the lake.

Games rooms and lawn games are another feature to add some fun to stay. However, not all rentals provide these. If your family has a favorite game for some friendly competition, make sure to bring it from home.

There is no better way to end each day then to gather around a campfire as the sun sets behind the rolling hills. Most of our rentals provide fire pits, but double check. You’ll also want to buy local wood way from either a roadside stand or grocery store. Remember that shopping list, don’t forget the s’mores!

You can always relax in one of our rentals knowing we have the most dependable cleaning standards. We are confident in our services and even provide a housekeeping guarantee to ensure all of our guests feel safe and comfortable throughout their Finger Lakes vacation.

Planning a Pet Friendly Vacation

Our pets are our family.  So when we take a vacation, why wouldn’t they come along? At Finger Lakes Premier Properties, we have over 90 pet friendly vacation rentals suited for your furry, four-legged friends to join in on the family fun! Click “Pet Friendly Rentals” to see our entire pet friendly inventory.

Does pet-friendly mean cats are welcome?

Typically, “pet-friendly” equates to “dog-friendly”. Unless a listing mentions cats by name, it should not be taken for granted that felines are welcome.

What sizes/quantity of dogs are allowed?

Make sure you read each property listing carefully before booking.  Call our Reservations Department (888) 414-5253 for information on the specific property you are interested in if you do not already see it listed on the property page.

Is everything my dog needs provided?

It is your responsibility to have all the essentials you will need for your pet. The property may or may not have pet items so come prepared. Some of the items we recommend when you visit include:

  • Bed/kennel
  • Food & treats
  • Bowls for food & water
  • Toys (including water toys/fetch toys)
  • Leash
  • Collar with proper and up to date ID tags
  • Waste pick-up bags
  • Bottled water or water from home
  • Extra flea & tick protection
  • Towels & shampoo

When you stay with Finger Lakes Premier Properties, your dog(s) will receive a welcome doggy bag with a few surprises for them to enjoy during their stay.

Are all of the Wineries and Breweries pet friendly?

No, but are large amount are! The best way to find out which ones are pet friendly is by visiting the wine trail websites below for details.

Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail

Keuka Lake Wine Trail

Seneca Lake Wine Trail

Cayuga Lake Wine Trail

Finger Lakes Beer Trail

Can we take our dogs on hiking trails?

We would love that and think they would too! Click here for a list of places to go hiking.

Are there any pet friendly attractions?

4 dogs enjoying their “puppy cone” at Seneca Farms

Before you vacation make sure your dog is ready to travel. Some dogs get anxious when they are out of their normal environment. This can lead to excessive barking, whining, chewing and other undesirable behaviors. When bringing a pet, keep in mind you are responsible for the manner in which they act and any damage your pet does to the rental property.

With a little forethought, you and your K-9 kid can have a fabulous time in one of the most gorgeous areas of New York. Browse our pet friendly inventory below.

*All of our vacation homes include the peace of mind knowing there are key less check-ins to your private rental, professional housekeeping in between each reservation by our trained housekeeping team, professionally cleaned linens at our operations facility, and the security of a local 24/7 manager on duty.

Quarantined in the Finger Lakes

Creating memorable experiences in the Finger Lakes isn’t only for the out-of-towners. Here at Finger Lakes Premier Properties, we strive to be a resource for everyone to enjoy their time in the our picturesque region. During this period of social distancing and limited travel, in order to #flattenthecurve, we’ve provided some inspiration for making the most of our time apart.

Take A Breath of Fresh Air

Local and New York State Parks are still open, but visit responsibly. As Spring weather welcomes warmer temperatures, you’re bound to see more people stretching their legs at public parks. Luckily for us, there is a plethora of parks with great trails for hikers of all levels.

The New York State Parks have only closed access to playgrounds, athletic courts, and sporting fields to reduce the spread of COVID-19. To explore a park near you, visit their website.

Another one of our favorite resources for creating new adventures is GoFingerLakes.org. You can download the app or visit their site to find the best spots for hiking, biking, paddling, and outdoor recreation across our 6,000-square-mile area. On this site, you can even use their advance search for the best locations for waterfalls, pet-friendly trails, bird watching, and more.

The Lake is Open!

It may be obvious, but the lakes offer great activities for responsible social distancing. Take advantage of the free entertainment they provide from paddling to fishing.

No matter what species of fresh water fish you’re looking for, the Finger Lakes has it. For family outings you can cast from most public and state parks for a lakeside activity. For the serious anglers, different lakes are better for certain types of fish. For example, Seneca Lake attracts fishermen for its Perch and Trout and hosts tournaments each year. In addition to the lakes, the ponds and streams throughout the region also offer plentiful opportunities for casting a line or net, which can be brought home for a fresh dinner. For more information about fishing in the Finger Lakes, click here. Before you grab your fishing pole, take a look at New York State regulations and licensing by clicking here.

If you own a kayak or canoe, take advantage of your extra time and get paddling. If you don’t live lakeside, you can launch from parks scattered along the shores of each lake. For fresh scenery and the chance to view wildlife, paddle an inlet where you can also find some great fishing spots. Click here for resources on where to launch.

Savor the Flavors

Just because you can’t sit down in your favorite restaurant doesn’t mean you have to fend for yourself at every meal. Create a special evening or make a picnic out of it by ordering take out from local restaurants. Below you can review menus of favored venues around our region offering to-go or delivery options.

Canandaigua Restaurants with Take Out:

Naples Restaurants with Take Out:

Penn Yan Restaurants with Take Out:

Hammondsport Restaurants with Take Out:

Geneva Restaurants with Take Out:

Watkins Glen Restaurants with Take Out:

Seneca Falls Restaurants with Take Out:

Ithaca Restaurants with Take Out:

(check back as we will be updating this page with more options)

Don’t forget the wine and beer!

You may not be able to do a tasting on site, but you can still purchase your favorite bottles and growlers while supporting our local beverage industry. Find complete lists by visiting the wine trail and beer trail links below.

We hope everyone stays healthy, safe, and connected during this unprecedented time. Join us on Facebook as we will be posting live photos, videos, and updates from our picturesque region.

Best Kept Secrets of Fishing in the Finger Lakes!

The fisheries of the Finger Lakes are stocked full of yellow perch, trout, northern pike, bass, panfish, rock bass and so much more! Read below the inside scoop on fishing the Finger Lakes from an award winning local angler. Finger Lakes fishing seasons, what bait to use, and where all the secret spots are.

Finger Lakes Fishing Seasons

Smelt runs from the beginning of March to the middle of April. Have a NYS fishing license and there’s a flowing creek by your lakefront rental? Head out there after dark with a dip net, bucket and flash light and start dipping for smelt. Smelt may be dipped in a net not exceeding 14 inches in diameter anytime between 7 pm to 2 am and the daily limit is 8 quarts per person. Smelt taste the best deep fried.

smelt dipping

Crappie fishing is open all year with a daily limit of 25 crappie per person. The colder the water the better they are to eat so fishing for these in the late fall, winter and spring is ideal. Considered a large crappie: 3-4 lbs.

crappies caught along sugar creek flowing into keuka lake in the spring

Yellow perch is a favorite fish to eat in the Finger Lakes. On the market they go for at least $15.00/ lb. Known for their tiger stripes with yellow bellies these feisty fish will put on a quick fight and taste delicious. Yellow perch season is open all year and the daily limit is 50 yellow perch per person. They are typically caught on minnows, worms or small plastics. Perch are great for fish chowder, fried, pan seared, and my favorite; blackened and made into fish tacos. Considered a large yellow perch: 2-3 lbs.

monster yellow perch caught on keuka lake with small plastic bait

Trout season in the Finger Lakes is open year around. Rainbow trout run the streams in April and a popular spot to get in on that action is at the base of Canandaigua Lake in Naples. Watch as anglers wade in the stream and hook on a trout, that runs their line nearly out of the reel. If you haven’t witnessed this its an amazing spectacle. If you prefer to fish in the lake you can jig and troll for lakers with flies, spoons, or stick baits. You can purchase locally made flies specific to the Finger Lakes from Cme Trolling and spoons from The Sutton Company. Considered a large trout: 10+ lbs.

lake trout caught on Cayuga lake with a fly by local business owner of cme trolling

Bass season opens the 3rd Saturday in June to November 31st. To catch these you are best using a top water bait or Rapalas. They gather in coves, under docks, around pilings and shoals. Bass are okay to eat and put up quite a fight but we encourage catch and release. Considered a large bass: 4-10 lbs.

Bait and Tackle

  • Fishy Business – Live bait and tackle, great resource for Keuka Lake. (Branchport, NY)
  • Cme Trolling – Hand tied fishing flies, meat rigs and handmade bullet heads. Great resource for fishing Cayuga, Owasco, and Skaneateles Lakes. (Virgil, NY)
  • Beverage Baron – Live bait supply , Fishing licenses, and snacks for boat. (Penn Yan, NY)
  • The Sutton Company – Home to the world famous Sutton Spoons. (Naples, NY)
  • Kleins Archery – Live bait Shop. (Dryden, NY)
  • Fuzzy Guppies – Fishing Tackle. (Waterloo, NY)
  • Bears Bait & Tackle Shop – Live bait shop. (Trumansburg, NY)
  • Ted’s Tackle – Bait and tackle. (Lakeville, NY)
  • The Bait Barn – Live bait and supply store. (Naples, NY)

Fishing Tournaments

NYS summer and winter classic fishing tournaments
  • NYS Summer Classic Fishing Tournament – 2 Month long Tournament where you can fish any body of water in NYS. 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place winners for the Rock Bass division and 1st & 2nd place for the Yellow Perch division were caught in the Finger Lakes for the 2019 summer tournament.
  • NYS Winter Classic Fishing Tournament – 2 Month long Tournament where you can fish any body of water in NYS. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for the Yellow Perch division were caught in the Finger Lakes for this past winters tournament.

Whether you are coming to the Finger Lakes for a month, a week or just one day you can participate in this state wide tournament. click here to find the perfect lakefront rental to stay at while fishing the Finger Lakes. Many homes come with docks and or boat hoist to keep your boat safe while you rest up for the next day of fishing.

Fishing Regulations

Before you head out on your day of fishing, be sure to check the regulations for the Finger Lakes fishing seasons. If you’re traveling in from out-of-state, make sure to purchase a fishing license ahead of time! Or you can take advantage of the state’s free fishing days, which allows anyone to fish the fresh waters of New York without a license.

For more information on fishing in the Finger Lakes click here!

What to Do When You Vacation From Pittsburgh to the Finger Lakes

Are you looking to escape the city lifestyle for a week of relaxation? Make the trip from Pittsburgh to the Finger Lakes for a week of fresh air, nature, boating, art, food, and so much more! The Finger Lakes region is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Pittsburgh and is just a five-hour road trip away! 

For more help when it comes to planning your relaxing FLX retreat, make sure to take a look at our free Vacation Guide! We’ve created this guide so that you can cut out the stress of trip-planning and focus on the best activities. Our handy guide includes the best restaurants, attractions, outdoor activities, and entertainment in New York state! 

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Things to Do During Your Pittsburgh to Finger Lakes Getaway

The Finger Lakes’ close distance to Pennsylvania, being only about five hours away, makes it the perfect lake destination for your relaxing or adventurous getaway. Below, you’ll find some of our favorite things to do around the lakes!

Wine Trails

The Finger Lakes region is known for its abundant wine production. There are so many spectacular wineries and vineyards to explore on several different wine trails. Some wine trails to discover, include Seneca Lake Wine Trail, Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, and Keuka Lake Wine Trail.

As if all of these wine trails weren’t enough, there’s also a Finger Lakes Cheese Trail, as well as a Chocolate Trail in Corning, NY! It doesn’t get any better than that! 

Corning Museum of Glass

Art lovers and science lovers alike can agree that the Corning Museum of Glass is a must while exploring upstate New York. You can choose from a variety of activities, including touring the museum or even creating your own glass sculptures!

Corning Museum of Glass offers in-depth glass blowing demos that allow you to make your own pendants, ornaments, and more! Plus, they make perfect gifts to bring back home!

Outdoor Recreation on the Finger Lakes

There are so many fun ways to spend a day out on any of the Finger Lakes. Thrill-seekers will love jet skiing or tubing down the wispy lakes, while those looking for a peaceful morning of serenity might want to try kayaking or canoeing.

Many of our lake rentals offer complimentary watercraft, such as kayaks, canoes, and rowboats! Plus, you’ll find some vacation homes also come with their own private docks. If not, you can always find kayak rentals, boat rentals, and more from local businesses!

Relax in the Best Finger Lakes Vacation Rentals

lake effect vacation rental exterior

Stretch your legs after a road trip from Pittsburgh to the Finger Lakes, and relax in a luxury vacation rental on the lake! Our vacation rentals at Finger Lakes Premier Properties feature premium amenities like private docks, complimentary watercraft, hot tubs, game rooms, full kitchens, and more!Reserve our Lake Effect rental on Canandaigua Lake for the full lake effect. Experience ultimate relaxation when you gather the family at this four-bedroom dream home. You’ll be near so many Finger Lakes attractions, and it’s only 20 minutes from Geneva, NY. So, what are you waiting for? Check our availability and book your Finger Lakes vacation today!

browse our full list of properties

6 of the Best Places to Hike a Finger Lakes Gorge

The Finger Lakes region of New York is known for its long, wispy lakes, but have you seen the gorge trails in our parks? Add ‘Finger Lakes gorge’ to your vacation itinerary because they are absolutely gorgeous! The many streams and creeks that funnel from our lakes have carved beautiful, deep valleys in the land. These gorge trails often lead to incredible views of massive waterfalls and hidden treasures. Find out everything you need to know about the hiking trails around a Finger Lakes gorge!

Once you’ve worked up an appetite from all the hiking, make sure to use our free Vacation Guide to find the best places to eat in the area! This useful tool also includes the best places for shopping, outdoor recreation, and other attractions in upstate New York!

Download our Free Vacation Guide

The Best Places to Hike a Finger Lakes Gorge

Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park waterfall canyon in Upstate New York

The most popular of the parks in this area, Watkins Glen State Park, features 19 waterfalls and plenty of stunning Finger Lakes gorges. During your tour of this park, you’ll wind through beautiful stone staircases, bridges, tunnels, and around trails leading to waterfalls.

Discover why USA Today nominated this pretty site as Best State Park in the U.S.

Grimes Glen Park

For dramatic falls and swirling pools in which visitors can soak, visit Grimes Glen Park! This site features two unbelievably beautiful 60-foot waterfalls. If you decide to explore this location, wear comfortable and waterproof shoes. This Finger Lakes gorge is a bit tricky to hike. Grimes Glen County Park is south of Canandaigua Lake.

Taughannock Falls State Park

Taughannock Falls State Park, west of Cayuga Lake, features the biggest gorge in Ithaca, NY! That’s not the only impressive thing you’ll see during your visit. The waterfall in the state park is the tallest in New York State! That’s right – even greater than Niagara Falls! 

taughannock falls state park waterfall frozen

There is an easy mile-long Gorge Trail within the park that leads to a stunning view of the falls. For a more difficult Finger Lakes trail, try hiking the Rim Trails!

Cascadilla Gorge Trail

If you’re visiting the campuses of Cornell University, stop by Cascadilla Gorge Trail. This trail runs just over a mile and features eight stunning waterfalls. The path runs along the south end of Cascadilla Creek. This trail is only open during daylight hours from early spring to November.

High Tor

You’ll find a little bit of everything at High Tor! There are ponds, waterfalls, rivers, gorges, forests, and open fields within this 22-mile trail. This area is in the town of Naples, NY, south of Canandaigua Lake.

Buttermilk Falls State Park

Autumn scene landscape of waterfalls at Buttermilk Falls State Park

Buttermilk Falls State Park is another popular attraction, and it’s no wonder why! It is one of the most photogenic parks in the Finger Lakes region. In total, this FLX trail runs a little over eight miles and is one of the more accessible trails just south of Cayuga Lake.

More Finger Lakes Gorges to Explore

  • Fillmore Glen State Park
  • Letchworth State Park

Stay with Finger Lakes Premier Properties

After a day exploring a Finger Lakes gorge, return to a luxurious vacation home with Finger Lakes Premier Properties. Consider booking one of our stunning properties with a hot tub, perfect for soothing any sore muscles after a day of hiking! 

hot tub with lake view

The Trottage is a gorgeous two-bedroom, one-bathroom resort-style cabin, nestled on the shores of Seneca Lake.

Take a look at the rest of our beautiful properties and book today! We look forward to having you.

browse our full list of properties

Top 5 Spring Activities in the Finger Lakes

Spring is often overlooked as a time to visit the Finger Lakes, but for many travelers it’s the perfect way to cure cabin fever lingering from the long winter months. These Finger Lakes spring activities are some of our favorite events of the year. Such as planning a wine tour, fishing excursion or weekend getaway with fewer crowds, lower rates, and taking advantage of our 3for2 Discounts. Our vacation rentals still feature the same great views and gorgeous sunsets, and are often equipped with cool weather activities, like game rooms and hot tubs.

In addition to spending quality time at your lakeside rental, here are some favorite Spring Activities the Finger Lakes is sought after for.

Immerse in the FLX Culture

Enjoy live music, cooking demonstrations, food, wine, and so much more from local vendors and artisans! Before you head out the door, make sure to check out our complimentary Vacation Guide. It’s jam-packed with fantastic restaurants, outdoor recreation, and things to do in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

Festivals

  • Keuka Arts Festival – June 13th & 14th. Stroll along the Outlet Trail in Penn Yan and browse the local artisans and vendors selling local handmade art from the Finger Lakes.

Wine Trail Events

The Finger Lakes Wine Trail’s hosts a number of unique food and wine pairing events throughout the year. This is a great way to “dip your toe in the water” and see what the Finger Lakes wine region is all about.

Keuka Lake Wine Trail

Taste of the Trail – April 4th. Each winery prepares a favorite food item to enjoy alongside their wines. Collect recipes for these creative wine and food pairings and recreate them at home with your family and friends.

Keuka in Bloom – May 2-3 and May 30-31. Flowers, herbs, wine and Keuka Lake! Treat yourself to a relaxing weekend around the lake. Each winery offers samples of their fine wines alongside herb-inspired foods. 

Seneca Lake Wine Trail

Spring wine and Cheese Weekend – April 17-19. Enjoy a self-guided tour around beautiful Seneca Lake while exploring the unique, delicious pairings of local wines paired with a variety of cheese-themed dishes at any of the 26 participating Seneca Lake Wine Trail wineries! 

NEW! Flights and Bites – May 2nd.Flights and Bites is an experience designed for those who are looking to truly immerse themselves in the wine, food, and people who represent Seneca Lake. If you love red carpet treatment, if you love great wine and great food – this event is for you!

Cayuga Lake Wine Trail

28th Annual Wine & Herb Event April 24-26 and May 1-3. Drink. Eat. Garden. Repeat. Get a head start on your herb garden. Collect the potted herbs and veggies featured in all 14 food samples along with the matching recipe collection.

Sips & Succulents: a breast cancer benefit May 30-31. A portion of each ticket sale will be presented to the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, which makes drinking wine all that much sweeter. Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s discuss the event itself: Succulents! They’re all the rage right now and even those with a “black thumb” are able to care for and enjoy these little cuties, so purchase your tickets and travel the trail while you collect a different potted succulent at each winery you visit.

Fishing

Finger Lakes Premier Properties Guest Photo

April and May offer the perfect conditions to fish for perch, walleye, rainbow trout, brown trout and northern pike on all of the Finger Lakes, our fisheries are stocked full.

Fishing Tournaments

Antiquing

If you’re looking for antique stores near the Finger Lakes, you’re in luck! There are plenty of great options from which to choose. Whether you’re looking for a souvenir for the antique-lover in your life or you’re on the hunt for a beautiful piece to adorn your home, you’re sure to find something interesting and beautiful. No matter which lake you’re staying near, you’ll be able to browse through some great Finger Lakes antiques!

Antique Shops

  • Shethar 57 – After lunch at the Timber Stone Grill walk across the street in Hammondsport to this quaint antique shop.
  • Wild Goose Chase Antiques – Perfectly positioned on the Keuka Lake Wine Trail, stop by on your way to your next winery and pick up a historic souvenir to display in your home.
  • Hayes Auction Barn – Hayes auction barn is open at 4:00 pm on Saturdays. This bidding war experience will show you the intense love of antiques and collectibles that the locals have for our region. From 100 year old wooden Finger Lakes grape boxes to a piece of Steuben ware all the way to gas memorabilia to wooden cane fishing poles. You will find everything you didn’t know you needed to have at this hole in the wall. $3 and you might just get the piece you bid on.

Hike to Secret Waterfalls

There is so much beauty to discover during your stay in the Finger Lakes region! It’s no wonder one of the favorite local activities is hiking! Discover our favorite parks where you can find some of the best Finger Lakes waterfalls!

Jaw Dropping Waterfalls

There’s nothing better after a day of visiting Finger Lakes waterfalls than returning to a gorgeous vacation home. When you book with Finger Lakes Premier Properties, you can rest assured that you’ll be staying in luxurious accommodations with 24/7 customer service.

8 of the Best Places to Find Finger Lakes Waterfalls

There is so much beauty to discover during your stay in the Finger Lakes region! From hiking trails along the Finger Lakes gorge to kayaking trips, there are plenty of opportunities to explore and enjoy. It’s no wonder one of the favorite local activities is hiking! Discover our favorite parks where you can find some of the best Finger Lakes waterfalls!

We’ve listed a couple of our favorite NY state parks with waterfalls, but there’s so much more to enjoy during your stay. Download our free Vacation Guide for a full list of the best state parks, hiking trails, watersport rentals, restaurants, and FLX attractions in the area. Find out for yourself why the Finger Lakes region of New York is the best place for your lake vacation.

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Visit the Best Finger Lakes Waterfalls

Taughannock Falls State Park

Enjoy over five miles of Finger Lakes trails when you visit the waterfall at Taughannock Falls State Park. Aside from having the biggest gorge in Ithaca, NY, the Taughannock waterfall is the tallest in New York State. 

You’ll be able to get the best views from the park’s rim trails, specifically the North Rim Trail and the Gorge Trail. The North Rim Trail is over a mile long and follows the gorge’s northern rim. This path leads to the main falls overlook. 

The Gorge Trail is very easy and is less than one mile long. It leads to a viewing area at the base of the main waterfall and is open all year-round.

2. Cascadilla Gorge Trail

If you’re in town to visit Cornell University, make sure to take advantage of the gorgeous Cascadilla Gorge Trail. This famous path, which you can access from downtown Ithaca, has been impeccably restored and preserved, making it one of the easier trails to hike. In total, the trail runs just over one mile and features eight stunning waterfalls.

3. Watkins Glen State Park

A blog about Finger Lakes waterfalls isn’t complete without featuring Watkins Glen State Park! In total, this site features 19 waterfalls. Wind through beautiful stone staircases, bridges, and tunnels while hiking the waterfall trails. If you only have time to visit one of these sites, be sure to see the Watkins Glen waterfalls!

More Finger Lakes Waterfalls to Check Out

4. Grimes Glen Park: You can see two amazing 60-foot falls in this park.

5. Letchworth State Park: This is known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” and it’s no wonder why! You must see it for yourself!

6. Robert H. Treman State Park: Admire the 115-foot Lucifer Falls along with 11 other stunning waterfalls.

7. Fillmore Glen State Park: Check out Fillmore Glen State Park’s fascinating geological formations!

8. Buttermilk Falls State Park: Find out how Buttermilk Falls got its name when you see the flowing and foaming cascade as it flows towards Cayuga Lake.

Stay with Finger Lakes Premier Properties

There’s nothing better after a day of visiting Finger Lakes waterfalls than returning to a gorgeous vacation home. When you book with Finger Lakes Premier Properties, you can rest assured that you’ll be staying in luxurious accommodations with 24/7 customer service.

Exterior of vacation rental

Consider booking Aurora Escape, a beautiful seven-bedroom, five-bathroom estate that is on the east side of Cayuga Lake. With Aurora Escape, you’ll be able to enjoy the proximity to Ithaca, NY, and the many wonderful nearby attractions while also resting peacefully with the quiet serenity of this lakeside retreat. This is a fantastic home for vacations with extended family or reunions with friends!

Take a look at our full selection of homes and book today! We look forward to having you!

browse our full list of properties