Did you know that New York State has hundreds of waterfalls? There is no denying that New York is known for its sparkling lakes and stunning mountains such as the Catskills and the Adirondacks. And of course, who can forget New York City? It’s hard not to be inspired by the sight of these natural wonders. So if you love nature, then you’ll definitely enjoy going waterfall exploring in New York.
We’ve got the scoop on the best waterfalls in New York and where you can find them. Get ready for an unforgettable experience!
1. Letchworth State Park Upper & Middle Falls
|Nearby Attractions:||Letchworth State Park|
|Animals to See:||Henslow’s Sparrows, Red Fox|
Letchworth State Park covers 14,350 acres and is located about an hour from Buffalo. There are 66 miles of hiking trails in the park and some of the most beautiful waterfalls in New York.
Overall, the Upper and Middle Falls are the park’s crown jewels. There is an old railroad bridge under which the upper falls of the Gennessee River flow. Because the bridge is arched, the view is spectacular. The nicest thing is that it just takes a few minutes to walk from the parking lot to these falls.
2. Ithaca Falls
|Location:||Ithaca, New York|
|Nearby Attractions:||Finger Lakes|
|Animals to See:||Skunks, Woodchuck|
Ithaca Falls can be viewed from a bridge over Fall Creek on Lake Street, or you can hike a short distance to the falls’ base. This is one of the most impressive waterfalls in New York, with a height of over 100 feet and a width that exceeds its height. Located in the Finger Lakes region of New York, the falls are about four hours from New York City. To fully experience everything this region offers, you’ll want to book a hotel or Airbnb nearby.
3. Niagara Falls
|Location:||Niagara Falls, NY|
|Nearby Attractions:||Niagara Falls State Park|
|Animals to See:||Weasels, Rabbits|
Niagara Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the world and the largest waterfall in New York. People often consider this magnificent monument to be a must-see during their lifetime. Niagara Falls’ Horseshoe Falls is the largest of its three cascades. With a height of 173 feet and a width of 2,600 feet, it measures approximately 24,600 square feet. This incredible scene is flooded with about 150,000 gallons of water every second. It’s no surprise that this is one of North America’s Seven Natural Wonders.
Niagara Falls is believed to be close to extinction. Read more about it in this article.
4. Buttermilk Falls
|Nearby Attractions:||Buttermilk Falls State Park|
|Animals to See:||Flying Squirrels, Grey Petaltail Dragonfly|
The two sections of falls, which plummet from 165 feet, curve around a canyon before reaching their final, most exciting destination, a lake with a swimming hole. Swimming and enjoying yourself in Buttermilk Falls State Park is one of the best things to do. Buttermilk Falls, unlike many of the cascades on our list, is near the parking lot so you’ll be able to see it without having to walk far.
5. Taughannock Falls
|Location:||Ithaca, New York|
|Nearby Attractions:||Taughannock Falls State Park|
|Animals to See:||Lake Trout, Atlantic Salmon|
At 215 feet, Taughannock Falls is the highest single-drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. Around this Ithaca waterfall are 300-foot-tall rocks that form an incredible valley. The best views of the waterfall can be found along the park’s Gorge and Rim paths, which offer both above- and below-ground views.
6. Eternal Flames Falls
|Location:||Orchard Park, NY|
|Nearby Attractions:||Chestnut Ridge Park|
|Animals to See:||Squirrels, Hawks|
In comparison to some of the other waterfalls on our list, Eternal Flames Falls is a small waterfall, measuring only 30 feet tall. However, Eternal Flames Falls features one of New York’s most bizarre occurrences. A small cave lies behind the waves of this waterfall in Orchard Park. Natural gas is released from the sandstone there. As a result, a flame four to eight inches high may result from the ignition of the gas.
7. Kaaterskill Falls
|Nearby Attractions:||Catskill Mountains|
|Animals to See:||Black Bears, White-tailed Deer|
Kaaterskill Falls rises over the Great Northern Catskills at 260 feet over two enormous plunges. To get here, you’ll have to hike. However, you won’t have a problem getting there since it’s only 1.4 miles one way. As you sit back and take in the natural beauty of the Catskills, you will see why hiking here is one of the best things to do in the Catskills. Keep in mind, however, that it gets so crowded at times at Kaaterskill Falls that the road is blocked.
8. Rainbow Falls
|Location:||Watkins Glen, NY|
|Nearby Attractions:||Watkins Glen State Park|
|Animals to See:||Waterfowl, Reptiles|
Watkins Glen State Park is barely two miles long, yet it has so much spectacular natural beauty that you’ll find it difficult to leave. A visit to this western New York destination is unmissable because of its jagged cliffs, deep valley, and green forest. Rainbow Falls, however, is among the most appealing attractions in the area and one of the prettiest waterfalls in New York.
9. Chittenango Falls
|Nearby Attractions:||Chittenango Falls State Park|
|Animals to See:||Ovate Amber Snail, Eastern Meadowlarks|
Chittenango Falls is a spectacular 167-foot waterfall in Cazenovia Lake. This glacier cascade is particularly interesting because its bedrock dates back more than 400 million years. The cascade can be found within Chittenango Falls State Park (about 30 minutes southwest of Syracuse) and is surrounded by paths, so visitors can enjoy it from all angles.
10. Salmon River Falls
|Location:||Oswego County, New York|
|Nearby Attractions:||Salmon River Falls Unique Area|
|Animals to See:||Green Frog, American Robin|
Salmon River Falls is part of Oswego County’s 112-acre Salmon River Falls Unique Area. In this area, the 110-foot falls are among the most prominent features. Easily accessed from the parking lot via a nice trail, the falls are approximately a quarter-mile away. If you want a better view, you should try the Gorge Trail. But be warned, as it’s a steep and treacherous hike!
Summary of the 10 Best Waterfalls in New York
Here’s a summary of the 10 best waterfalls in New York and where they are located.
|1||Letchworth State Park Upper & Middle Falls||Hunt, NY|
|2||Ithaca Falls||Ithaca, NY|
|3||Niagara Falls||Niagara Falls, NY|
|4||Buttermilk Falls||Ithaca, NY|
|5||Taughannock Falls||Ithaca, NY|
|6||Eternal Flames Falls||Orchard Park, NY|
|7||Kaaterskill Falls||Hunter, NY|
|8||Rainbow Falls||Watkins Glen, NY|
|9||Chittenango Falls||Cazenovia, NY|
|10||Salmon River Falls||Oswego County, New York|
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