During all the years that I lived in NY, I never quite made it to Watkins Glen, but this time, passing through, we stopped and hiked the gorge. It's an absolutely lovely place, with waterfall after waterfall. The hike is not difficult, although there are several sets of stairs along the trail. The path is plenty wide, and you can go as far as you want and at your own pace. It was fall during our visit and there was good water flow, but I'd like to see it in the spring too. There were pools, tall falls and short ones. There were waterfalls on their own and series of falls. Crossing the water were stone bridges and one high suspension bridge (the main trail does not go to the suspension bridge but we walked under it.) It was raining when we arrived and the trail, mostly rock, was wet with some mud. It did not seem slippery but I imagine it could be. The gorge trail went behind a couple of the falls and, of course, it was wetter passing through these spaces, but not like getting drenched, just that there were puddles and some mist. We hoped to camp at the park, but the campground was already closed for the season. It was too bad because the rain was replaced by brilliantly warm sunshine by the time we got back to the parking lot. Oh, and pets are not allowed on the trail. The parking lot was full when we arrived at m id-afternoon, with Asian tourists, but was almost empty when we left a few hours later.If you go to Watkins Glen, I recommend bringing a tripod to slow the motion of the falls. I did not bring mine with me on the trail but wish I had. I would have gotten more photos that I just couldn't get without the tripod. The high walls of the gorge (way, way high) meant that there wasn't a ton of sunlight where I might have wanted it, so it was already an adjustment to shoot without trying to slow down the shots even more to smooth the water.
Of course, if you are in the area, you will want to spend time exploring the Finger Lakes--the shops and wineries, the scenery, and the food and culture. Plan your trip accordingly.
Enjoy the photos!