Gorge Tranquility-Rainbow Falls in Watkins Glen, New York

Glen Creek cascades down Rainbow Falls and spills into a calm pool surrounded by fallen autumn leaves in a narrow gorge in Watkins Glen State Park outside of Watkins Glen, New York.
Glen Creek cascades down Rainbow Falls and spills into a calm pool surrounded by fallen autumn leaves in a narrow gorge in Watkins Glen State Park outside of Watkins Glen, New York.

I just returned from a month-long trip out east after fall color season ended here in Colorado. I was interested in visiting some new areas and was hopeful that I might time it right to have some good color as well.

Four days of the trip were spent around the Finger Lakes region of New York. You know that I love waterfalls, so tops on my list of places to visit in the area was Watkins Glen State Park. I had seen many pictures of Rainbow Falls in the park and wanted to see it for myself. I was not disappointed.

Located right outside of the village of Watkins Glen, the state park gets a lot of traffic. There is a stone walkway that travels a mile and a half beside Glen Creek as it flows through a narrow gorge that is the popular attraction. There are several hand-cut tunnels and over 800 stone steps along the way.

I arrived late in the afternoon to hopefully miss out on any direct sunlight in the gorge and have a better chance of seeing fewer people. The first part held true, but the second, not so much! When I arrived at Rainbow Falls, there were plenty of people in the gorge. Looking at the picture, you can see that the trail passes behind the water coming down the left wall and then climbs a series of stairs before crossing the stone bridge above the falls. I set up beside one other photographer and waited to take shots in between people passing along the trail. I tried shooting from a few other angles, but this turned out to be my favorite.

Click on the image to view it larger in the galleries. Fine art prints are available.

2 thoughts on “Gorge Tranquility-Rainbow Falls in Watkins Glen, New York”

  1. It’s very difficult to shiot at Watkins Glen due to the crowds. I hiked the gorge and shot in an absolutely deluge one day and there were atill crowds.

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