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New York Waterfalls

New York boasts some of the most breathtaking natural waterfalls in the world. Whether they’re cascading after a rainstorm or frozen with ice, these falls will add some flair to your Instagram feed!

Upstate NY is an excellent destination to view waterfalls. Here are our top picks you won’t want to miss on your next visit.

Chittenango Falls

Chittenango Falls is one of New York’s tallest waterfalls, consisting of two tiers that cascade over Onondaga Limestone escarpment. The upper tier drops 74 feet vertically and averages 50 to 75 feet wide, while its lower counterpart cascades an additional 56 feet in stairstep formation.

Chittenango Falls State Park, situated 193 acres east of Cazenovia Lake, boasts this picturesque waterfall. It provides visitors with picnic tables with pavilions, a playground, nature trail, hiking and fishing opportunities.

Hike up to the top of Chittenango Falls for breathtaking views of the gorge. The trail is short but steep, featuring many stairs. Alternatively, you can descend through a pedestrian bridge across Chittenango Creek into the bottom of the gorge. Returning back up the steep ascent with occasional scrambling over rocks will provide ample exercise.

Another great feature of this park is its seclusion. The parking area is right by the waterfall itself, making for a peaceful respite from your sightseeing explorations.

This park is home to the endangered Chittenango ovate amber snail and rare species such as roseroot (Sedum rosea) and American hart’s tongue fern. It’s a popular hiking spot where visitors can observe these fascinating creatures up close.

Other great activities in the area include beer, wine, cider and spirit tasting at Owera Vineyards, Critz Farms, Meier’s Creek Brewing Company and Madison County Distillery; seasonal berry picking and corn maze are other local attractions. Don’t forget to check out our Fall Events guide for even more great things to do this season in upstate NY!

Middle Falls

Middle Falls is one of the biggest and most beloved waterfalls in Letchworth State Park. At 107 feet high, this block waterfall should not be missed by any waterfall enthusiast visiting New York!

Photographers will enjoy this spot as there are several walkways around the falls for creative shots. Additionally, two paved vantage points – Inspiration Point and Glen Iris Inn lookout – are wheelchair/stroller accessible.

We visited this stunning New York waterfall shortly after sunset and had the unique opportunity to photograph it from various viewpoints along a paved walking path that ran alongside the Genesee River. The views were truly stunning, and we thoroughly enjoyed taking in its stunning natural splendor!

To maximize your experience at a waterfall, it’s essential to plan ahead. Most falls are best viewed when they’re in full flow so it’s wise to check the weather forecast before heading out.

High Falls, situated in Rochester’s historic district close to downtown, should not be missed during your journey. This impressive 100-foot waterfall can be viewed from many spots throughout the city center – including from Pont de Rennes Bridge that overlooks it.

Letchworth State Park is home to stunning waterfalls along the Genesee River Gorge, making it one of the best places in Upstate New York to experience them firsthand. Nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the East”, this area has many hiking trails and stunning natural scenery to admire, including three breathtaking waterfalls: Upper Falls, Middle Falls and Lower Falls.

Cohoes Falls

Cohoes Falls is a picturesque waterfall located in upstate New York’s Capital Region. It’s perfect for families and outdoor adventurers alike to take a leisurely hike around these breathtaking falls.

Although not as large as Niagara Falls, these falls still offer an impressive spectacle and plenty of water flow. At times, they can reach 90,000 cubic feet per second! For best viewing conditions, come during spring or after a heavy downpour.

Another great thing about this waterfall is its accessibility; there are a couple of parking spots right along the road. While you will have to hike a short distance from the park to reach it, it’s an easy and quick hike that won’t take up too much time.

This park is ideal for a picnic and offers some lovely spots to sit and take in the view. Each year, thousands of visitors come here to enjoy this tranquil space.

Cohoes Falls has undergone some significant improvements over the years. A new park along the gorge where it falls offers breathtaking views of the falls, while a staircase leads down to rocky beaches along the river below for those wanting closer up views of this natural landmark.

Cohoes Falls stands out among other waterfalls in Upstate New York by being open all year long. If you’re interested in visiting, take a look at their website for more information.

Ok Slip Falls

Ok Slip Falls, with its 250 foot drop and stunning beauty, is the highest waterfall in the Adirondacks and an easy place to visit due to its location near Indian Lake in Hudson Gorge Wilderness Area.

Reaching the top of the falls is as easy as following a well-maintained trail that leads to the best view in all, located at the crest. As with any tourist destination, timing your visit can make or break your experience at this gushing waterway; peak season usually occurs between March and April but you can still take in this stunning spectacle during fall months.

Generally, the best way to experience this New York waterfall is to head over to its nearby state park. There’s a small fee to enter the park, but you can save some cash by visiting this gem during your next trip nearby. It’s definitely worth seeing if you’re nearby and want to check off some of New York’s most renowned waterfalls; unfortunately, you won’t get to witness them at their most impressive; however, you can always return for another visit in the future!

Shale Creek Falls

Are you searching for an incredible New York waterfall that will leave you in awe? Look no further than Shale Creek Falls in Western New York. Not only is this waterfall one of the most stunning in all of New York State, but it also contains one of the most impressive features you will ever witness – Shale Creek Gorge.

It’s no wonder why so many people flock to this waterfall when they are nearby — it truly is stunning. The cascading falls tumble over a gorge of shale and limestone rock, providing viewers with an awe-inspiring sight to behold.

From a parking lot, the falls themselves can be seen. But for an even closer experience, you can hike up to the base of them for some stunning photos and stunning views from afar!

On the way to these falls, take some time to explore two other waterfalls along the way. These smaller falls offer less water flow than their bigger counterparts and should not be missed.

Like any waterfall, this one is dependent on the weather. Dry seasons may make it difficult to get a great view of the cascading waters, so plan your visit accordingly.

While you’re there, be sure to take a dip in Lower Falls! Whether you sit on a rock and let the waters rush over you or jump off the diving board and splash into the waters, this is one of Upstate New York’s most memorable swimming spots!

This list of waterfalls is just a taste of the stunning beauty that awaits you in Upstate NY. For even more breathtaking sights, take a drive to Watkins Glen – home to some of New York’s most stunning waterfalls!

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