Watkins Glen State Park, NYS OPRHP, Watkins Glen, New York
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation contracted Saratoga Associates to prepare a strategic plan to redesign the lower entrance to the historic Watkins Glen State Park. The Park is one of the most popular sites in the State Park System and provides visitors access to a steep, spellbinding gorge comprised of nineteen dramatic waterfalls.
The project created an entrance that visually expresses the unique natural features of the gorge. 1930’s-era Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) design themes were maintained with continued use of natural materials and an architectural style consistent with this important period of growth for New York State Parks.
The conceptual design improves the park gateway by relocating existing parking along Glen Creek to a less conspicuous location and replacing it with a new great lawn and day use area. The project also rehabilitated an early 20th-century pavilion as a visitor center and central arrival feature. A new creek walk provides an interpretive promenade leading to the mouth of the gorge and its first dramatic waterfall.