Chasing Waterfalls? Hike 14 of Most Stunning in New York This Summer
There's nothing like walking by waterfalls and feeling the rush of water on your face, especially on a hot day in the middle of summer. Here are 13 fantastic places you need to visit in New York.
There's nothing like Niagara Falls in any season. Experience the falls up close and personal at Cave of the Winds, a journey under the Falls.
Taughannock Falls, the highest single-drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains, is located in Ulysses, New York in the Finger Lakes region. Water plunges 215 feet past rocky cliffs that tower nearly 400 feet above the gorge. There are several gorge and rim hiking trails to take in the spectacular views from above the falls or below.
Middle Falls is one of three major waterfalls on the Genessee River in Letchworth State Park. It was said to be known as “Ska-ga-dee” by the local Native Americans. The 107-foot-high Middle Falls comprised the lower drop of the nearly back-to-back series of waterfalls with the Upper Falls.
High Falls Gorge
High Falls Gorge is a 22-acre, privately owned nature park with four spectacular waterfalls in Wilmington, New York. The half-mile, round-trip trail is called "the Adirondack's most breathtaking 30-minute walk." A small admission fee is required to walk the trails, but it's totally worth it, in any season.
Location: 4761 NYS Route 86, Wilmington, NY 12997
Chittenango Falls State Park
Chittenango Falls isn't as high as Taughannock Falls but it's still spectacular. The 167-foot waterfall is the main attraction of Chittenango Falls State Park with glacial sculpting over 400 million-year-old bedrock. You can view the falls from the top, walk the winding trail into the gorge to view the falls from the footbridge and return to the top along the small trail on the opposite side.
Rainbow Falls is a 91-foot waterfall at the head of the Ausable Chasm and is one of the most photographed falls in the Adirondacks. You can get a great view of the falls from the bridge on Route 9 just outside of Keeseville, New York. Or you can hike one of the three trails for a small admission fee.
Eternal Flames Falls
Eternal Flames Falls is in Shale Creek Preserve at Chestnut Ridge Park. In a small cave at the bottom of a 35-foot waterfall, there's an 8-inch flame that defies all scientific explanation. Despite water all around it, the flame stays lit 'almost' year-round.
If you plan on making a trip to see the Eternal Flame Falls in Orchard Park, New York, remember to respect the trails that can be slippery and dangerous. You'll need to wear proper hiking shoes. And don't forget a lighter. The flame sometimes goes out if it gets too windy. But hikers always have a lighter on hand to keep it going.
Salmon River Falls
Salmon River Falls is a 110-foot waterfall on the Salmon River in Oswego County, New York. It provides stunning photos.
Location: Town of Orwell, Oswego County
Buttermilk Falls is at the end of a 0.1-mile trail in Buttermilk Falls State Park. You can hike or snowshoe to the falls in the winter months.
Ludlowville Falls is on Salmon Creek in Lansing, New York. Water pours over a hard limestone cap to form the beautiful Falls. The soft shale underneath has eroded away, creating a unique overhang cave and deep plunge pool. It is said Ludlowville Falls was a filming location for several movies during the silent movie era.
Kaaterskill Falls is a two-stage waterfall on Spruce Creek in the eastern Catskill Mountains. The two cascades total 260 feet, making Kaaterskill Falls one of the highest waterfalls in New York. The hike is a short 1.4 miles roundtrip.
Poets, painters, filmmakers, and photographers have used Kaaterskill Falls as inspiration in literature, art, and movies.
Location: Route 23A Haines Falls, New York 12436
Stony Kills Falls
Stony Kill Falls lies within Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Wawarsing, New York. It was a secret gem for decades but has become more well-known. The 87-foot drop is hidden in the southwest part of the Preserve, with no official access route. The 1.5-mile round-trip hike includes two footbridges, stone steps, and a trail up a steep slope to the upper falls.
Location: 5281 Route 44-55, Kerhonkson, NY 12446
Lucifer Falls is in the Enfield Glen gorge at Robert H. Treman State Park. It's 115 feet and one of 12 waterfalls in the park. Winding trails follow the gorge to a place where visitors can see a mile-and-a-half down the wooded gorge as it winds its way to the lower park.
Location: 105 Enfield Falls Road, Ithaca, NY 14850
High Falls is located along the Genesee River in Rochester, New York, and drops nearly 100 feet into a large circular area at the base of the falls. The area was Rochester's early industrial development when companies were powered by falling water.
You can only view the falls from above and the best spot is on the Pont de Rennes bridge, a modern landmark recreated in 1982 from the former 1891 Platt Street Bridge.
Location: Pont de Rennes, Rochester, NY 14614