Upstate New York Trip, 2015: Watkins Glen State Park

The photos below are from my hike through Watkins Glen State Park, a hidden gem located right on the main street running through the town of Watkins Glen. It’s hard to imagine that such a serene and gorgeous oasis of nature could be located so close to a bustling town (it was really bustling when I was there thanks to a car parade), but this park is such a place. It does not take long as you venture into the park for civilization to completely fall away to the point where you feel like you’re hiking through sublime wilderness.

The park has frequently been likened to Rivendell (of Lord of the Rings fame)—and with its myriad waterfalls, cascades, and stone bridges, it’s easy to see why. It is well worth the visit, and if you pair it with a visit to Letchworth (as we did), you will see two of the most beautiful state parks this country has to offer.

Click on any photo to open a gallery.

View More Photos From This Trip

Upstate New York: The Movie

I finally got around to editing the videos from our September 2015 trip to Upstate New York. This movie features visits to the beautiful state parks of Letchworth and Watkins Glen, as well as a day trip to Niagara Falls.

The movie is accompanied by Neptune, the Mystic, the sublime 7th movement of Holst’s The Planets. You can view it in 1080p via the video quality settings.

Related Posts:

Watkins Glen in HDR

A sunny day at Watkins Glen State Park in New York is the perfect opportunity to practice HDR photography because the high contrast of the dark areas of the gorge versus the areas that catch rays of sun can make it difficult to properly expose a scene with a single shot. Here are a few of the HDR photos I took during my hike in September, 2015. They were all done handheld, three exposures each. You can click on any image for a larger view.

I think I like this one the best.
Similar to the “Rivendell” shot I shared in an earlier post.
I like the feature of the log across the gorge in this one.
Looking down from a ridge into the gorge, with also a glimpse of the outside world near the top center.
This is such a beautiful place to visit.

You can view more featured photos at my Photo of the Day Collection.


cover3bAlso, don’t forget that the eBook version of my novel, The Eyes of Mictlan, is available for free during the entire month of November, and, if you download it through Story Cartel and write a review, you will be entered into their monthly drawing to win prizes such as Kindle eReaders, Amazon and Barnes & Noble gift cards, and bestselling print books.

There are three ways in which you can obtain a free copy:

  1. Story Cartel – There are two days left to download a FREE copy of my ‪novel from Story Cartel (registration is free) and, if you leave an honest review on your favorite book site or your blog, you will be entered into a monthly drawing to win a prize.
  2. Smashwords – You can download a free copy of my novel from Smashwords using the following coupon code: GH76V. The coupon is good until the end of the month.
  3. If you do not have a Smashwords account (or do not wish to create one), you can message me on Twitter at @njrappa and I will send you a link to download a free copy in either mobi, epub, or PDF format.

There are no strings attached and the book is yours to keep, but I would be most grateful if you could take a few minutes to leave a review on your favorite book site (such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads). And as always, I thank you for your support!

Photo of the Day: Another World

A hike through Watkins Glen State Park is like a visit to another world, where scenes like this await around every corner. It’s hard to believe that this oasis of pristine beauty is tucked inside a small town in Upstate New York.

Date: 9/11/2015
Camera: Nikon D5100
Click for larger view

You can view more featured photos at my Photo of the Day Collection.


cover3bAlso, don’t forget that the eBook version of my novel, The Eyes of Mictlan, is available for free during the entire month of November, and, if you download it through Story Cartel and write a review, you will be entered into their monthly drawing to win prizes such as Kindle eReaders, Amazon and Barnes & Noble gift cards, and bestselling print books.

There are three ways in which you can obtain a free copy:

  1. Story Cartel – For the next three weeks, you can download a FREE copy of my ‪novel from Story Cartel (registration is free) and, if you leave an honest review on your favorite book site or your blog, you will be entered into a monthly drawing to win a prize.
  2. Smashwords – You can download a free copy of my novel from Smashwords using the following coupon code: GH76V.
  3. If you do not have a Smashwords account (or do not wish to create one), you can message me on Twitter at @njrappa and I will send you a link to download a free copy in either mobi, epub, or PDF format.

There are no strings attached and the book is yours to keep, but I would be most grateful if you could take a few minutes to leave a review on your favorite book site (such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads). And as always, I thank you for your support!

Photo of the Day: A Glimpse of Rivendell

This shot is from our hike along the gorge trail in Watkins Glen State Park last month. A walk through this park has been compared to a stroll through Tolkien’s Rivendell, and it’s easy to see why.

Date: 9/11/2015
Camera: Nikon D5100
Click for larger view

The park is located in the middle of the town of Watkins Glen, which sits on Seneca Lake in New York. Watkins Glen is more famous for its car racing, and the Finger Lakes area is more known for its wineries, but this beautiful park is clearly the jewel of the town and you’d think they do a better job of advertising it (you could easily drive right past it and I didn’t see any references to it around the town or in the “attractions” flyers in the hotel).

For this photo I attempted one of those long exposure shots commonly used when photographing waterfalls. However, I do not have the filter that photographers normally use for these shots to prevent overexposure, so I stopped my aperture all the way down to f/22, put my camera on a mini tripod, and took a two-second exposure. The small aperture resulted in a lack of sharpness but I still think the pic turned out pretty well considering.


You can view more featured photos at my Photo of the Day Collection.