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long exposure shot of a waterfall at a state park near Corning, NY

If you’re looking for a picturesque getaway, Corning in New York is a fantastic option. Within a short driving distance of the city are five fantastic state parks that offer outdoor activities, scenic vistas and memorable experiences that can make your vacation unforgettable. Whether you’re a hiking enthusiast, a fishing aficionado, or just want to sit and take in the scenery, these state parks have something for everyone. In this article, we will explore the top five state parks in Corning, NY, that you simply cannot miss.

Map of State Parks Near Corning, NY

Here is a map of the state parks in New York covered by this post:

List of State Parks Near Corning

1. Watkins Glen State Park

Location: 1009 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891

If you’re a nature lover, then Watkins Glen State Park is a must-visit destination. This park boasts a network of scenic hiking trails that meander through lush forests and misty gorges. The highlight of the park is the magnificent waterfalls that you’ll encounter along the way. Watkins Glen State Park is home to nineteen waterfalls, each with its unique beauty. Among them, the 60-foot Cavern Cascade stands out for its impressive height and the romantic atmosphere it creates.

As you hike through the park, you’ll be surrounded by stunning scenery at every turn. The trails wind through towering rock formations, past tranquil pools of water, and under canopies of vibrant green foliage. The sound of rushing water is a constant companion, as the waterfalls cascade down the rocky cliffs and into the gorges below.

Aside from hiking, the park has plenty of other recreational activities that visitors can engage in. If you’re looking for a place to camp, Watkins Glen State Park has over 300 campsites available, ranging from primitive tent sites to RV hookups. The park also offers excellent fishing opportunities, with a variety of fish species available in the park’s streams and ponds. And if you’re just looking for a relaxing day out, the park has plenty of picnic areas where you can enjoy a meal surrounded by nature’s beauty.

For those who want to learn more about the park’s history and geology, guided tours are available. These tours provide visitors with an opportunity to explore the park’s hidden gems and learn about the unique features that make Watkins Glen State Park such a special place.

2. Robert H. Treman State Park

Location: 105 Enfield Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850

Robert H. Treman State Park is a must-visit for hiking enthusiasts looking for a challenge. Located in the heart of New York, this park boasts of a breathtaking Enfield Glen gorge that features multiple waterfalls, including the 115-foot Lucifer Falls. The gorge is a natural wonder, with steep slopes and a rugged terrain that will test your stamina and endurance.

As you hike through the gorge, you will be treated to stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The lush greenery, the sound of the waterfalls, and the fresh air make for a truly invigorating experience. Along the way, you can take a break at one of the many swimming and recreation areas, perfect for a refreshing dip on a hot day.

The park is also a haven for bird enthusiasts, with various bird species to spot. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the rare and elusive Pileated Woodpecker, a bird that is known for its distinctive red crest and loud drumming sound.

For those who want to explore the park further, there are several camping sites available. You can spend the night under the stars, surrounded by nature’s beauty. Wake up to the sound of birds chirping and the smell of fresh pine, and start your day with a hike through the gorge.

In addition to hiking and camping, Robert H. Treman State Park also offers various recreational activities such as fishing, picnicking, and even sledding in the winter. With so much to see and do, this park is a must-visit for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in nature’s wonders.

3. Taughannock Falls State Park

Location: 1740 Taughannock Blvd, Trumansburg, NY 14886

If you’re looking for a breathtaking natural wonder, Taughannock Falls State Park is the place to be. This park, located in upstate New York, is home to the highest single-drop waterfall in the Eastern United States. Taughannock Falls plunges an impressive 215 feet from the top, creating a stunning display of nature’s power and beauty.

But the waterfall is just the beginning of what this park has to offer. Hikers will love exploring the park’s many trails, which wind through forests, meadows, and along the edge of the gorge.

In the winter, cross-country skiing is a popular activity, with miles of trails to explore. And for those who love to fish, the park’s creeks and streams are home to a variety of trout and other fish.

One of the best things about Taughannock Falls State Park is the many picnic areas scattered throughout the park. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to enjoy a romantic meal or a place to gather with family and friends, you’re sure to find the perfect spot. And with the stunning view of the falls as a backdrop, every meal is a feast for the senses.

But the park isn’t just a place for outdoor enthusiasts. History buffs will love exploring the park’s historic buildings and learning about the area’s rich history. And for those who just want to relax and take in the beauty of nature, there are plenty of scenic overlooks and quiet spots to sit and enjoy the view.

So whether you’re looking for adventure, history, or just a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Taughannock Falls State Park has something for everyone.

4. Stony Brook State Park

Location: 10820 NY-36, Dansville, NY 14437

Stony Brook State Park is a hidden gem located in the heart of New York State. Established in 1928, this park is known for its picturesque gorge trail and scenic waterfalls that attract visitors from all over the world. The park is spread over 577 acres and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna.

One of the main attractions of Stony Brook State Park is the breathtaking view of the Stony Brook gorge and its seven mesmerizing waterfalls. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the gorge trail and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The trail is well-maintained and offers a range of hiking options for visitors of all skill levels. From the easy, flat paths to the more challenging slopes, there is something for everyone at Stony Brook State Park.

In addition to hiking, the park also offers camping and picnic areas, making it the perfect family getaway location. The camping area is equipped with all the necessary amenities, including restrooms, showers, and fire pits. Visitors can also rent cabins or cottages for a comfortable and convenient stay.

If you’re traveling with children, the park has a playground and a sports complex where they can enjoy various outdoor activities. The playground is equipped with swings, slides, and climbing structures, while the sports complex has basketball and volleyball courts, as well as a soccer field.

Overall, Stony Brook State Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With its stunning waterfalls, diverse hiking trails, and family-friendly amenities, it offers something for everyone.

5. Letchworth State Park

Location: New York

Although Letchworth State Park is somewhat further away from Corning than the others on this list, it is an experience that you would not want to miss. Dubbed the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth State Park boasts of over 14,000 acres of natural beauty. At the park, visitors get to enjoy scenic overlooks, picturesque viewpoints of the Genesee River, and various waterfalls, including the 107-foot tall Middle Falls. Additionally, the park has multiple hiking trails, picnic areas, and camping facilities that provide ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. The park is also home to the famous Upper and Lower Falls restaurants, which offer visitors a taste of the local cuisine.

Conclusion

The state parks in Corning are a testament to the natural beauty that New York State has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing swim, a relaxing picnic, or testing your endurance on the hiking trails, these parks have got it all. So, pack your bags and prepare to experience the magic that awaits you at these five fantastic state parks near Corning, NY.