Watkins Glen Tour Guide

by Gordon D. Cooper

Get the full Watkins Glen, N.Y., experience with this history-rich guide that includes five self-guided tours in and around the village. The book starts with an extensive, photo-rich history of the village of Watkins Glen and surrounding area. The history starts about 350 million years ago when the rocks in Watkins Glen State Park were being formed. Learn about the fierce and proud Seneca warriors who lived in the area and about the first settlers who came to Watkins Glen. The history section also includes the birth of road racing in Watkins Glen as well as the creation of the first wineries.

Tour Guy

Five self-guided tours follow. Each tour includes a detailed map and highlights of what to see along your route. Hike the Finger Lakes Trail through Watkins Glen State Park. Pass under waterfalls along the gorge trail. Drive the original road race course that brought racing to the village. Look for historical landmarks as you walk along the village streets. Visit the local wineries that are just a short drive from the village.

Grab this book and head to Watkins Glen or enjoy the trip from the comfort of your armchair.

Author’s Note:

Gordon Cooper

I grew up in Watkins Glen but moved away after high school for college and career. During the years that followed, I returned as often as I could. About eight years ago, I walked through the glen -- probably the first time since high school. As I walked along, I became more interested to learn of its history (thanks to middle age I suppose). When I asked the bookstore in town for a book on the history of Watkins Glen and the gorge, the answer was "It doesn't exist, but someone should write it." I guess that convinced me. Eight years later -- I had a slow start -- I finished Watkins Glen Tour Guide.

During those eight years, park workers installed helpful interpretive panels in many places and a couple of shorter books have come out just on the glen. However, Watkins Glen Tour Guide is really the book that I wanted to buy eight years ago. It gives you an overview of the history of the village -- including the glen, the wineries, racing and more -- and then provides you with five self-guided tours and other useful information. It is like having a tour guide in your pocket -- which is why I created the Tour Guy image (see above). With book in hand, you can follow a tour in the book and learn about what you're seeing along the way.

I'm particularly fond of pictures and maps so I put a lot of effort into taking pictures, tracking down old photos and creating maps to help illustrate the history and the tours. It was fun to find a photo of something from almost 150 years ago and then to take a picture of what it looks like now. Choosing to make it full color really helped with the maps and the photos.

paperback, 8.5 x 5.5, 320 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9725571-2-2

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