Near the southern end of Seneca Lake, Watkins Glen State Park is a treasure. There are several trails, but be sure to walk the trail through the gorge. You will see numerous waterfalls, stone-crafted bridges and calm pools carved by rushing waters.
For a different view of the park, explore the rim trails up at the top of the gorge. A section of the Finger Lakes Trail passes through the park. Be sure to visit in late spring, summer or fall, as the park is closed during winter when the trails are icy and unpassable.
Buttermilk Falls State Park
Buttermilk Falls is a park that is very easy to reach by driving north on Route 13 and looking to your right just as you enter Ithaca. You will find a beautiful trail through the gorge where you can view several waterfalls. In summer, bring a swimsuit and enjoy a dip in the pool. There is also a nature trail through wetlands in the park.
Finger Lakes Trail
The Finger Lakes Trail stretches 562 miles and connects the Finger Lakes, going from west to east. Parts of the trail are just a short drive from Corning. Be sure to enjoy the view from the fire tower at Sugar Hill and don't miss the sight of both Lamoka and Waneta Lakes from Kelly Hill (as shown). While the trail is well-blazed, maps are recommended and are available on the web site.
This trail is slated to become part of the North Country National Scenic Trail that will, in future, span the entire northern U.S. from eastern New York to central North Dakota.