These are some of my repeat favorites that are within easy reach of Syracuse. Most are easy access state run waterfalls that don’t require much in the way of technical hiking. Care is still needed though. I broke my leg at one of these waterfalls a few years ago. I’ve added links for more info and directions should you feel like checking these out. Feel free to let me know your favorites. I’m always up for new places to explore and photograph.
1. Taughannock Falls- 215′ drop makes this the highest single drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains.
2. Chittenango Falls- 167′ drop. High flows create a wall of spray that make it difficult to photograph in Spring.
3.Salmon River Falls- 110′ drop. The trail to the base is rather steep. Access to the top of the falls is much easier. Use caution on top, as there’s no fencing to stop people from getting too close to the edge. Yes, people have died here. Ice climbing is popular downstream where the trickle builds up nicely in winter. See second photo.
4. Tinker Falls- 30′-50′ drop. There’s a lot to do here. Hike behind the waterfall, head 2 miles to the top of Jones Hill where a hang gliding clearing is that overlooks Labrador Pond. There’s also a good amount of connecting trails (North Country Trail and Skyline). This is where I broke my leg a few winters ago.
5. Watkins Glen Gorge- Schuyler County. One of the coolest places to be at sunrise. I’ve photographed this place twice a year for the past 3. If only they would let me in during winter. If you want to photograph it and don’t care much for people, don’t go any other time than very early. Just watch out for the crazy runners.
6.Eagle Cliff Falls (Havana Glen)- 40′ drop. Down the road from Watkins Glen in the town of Montour- Schuyler County
7.Niagara Falls- 70′ to 188′ drops- the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world.
8. Hector Falls- 50′ upper section. Schuyler County. I haven’t photographed the lower section that drains into the lake yet.
9. Letchworth State Park- Multiple drops with cliffs reaching 600 feet. Livingston & Wyoming Counties. This giant park is 17 miles long. You could spend 3 days here and not see everything.
10. Buttermilk Falls- various drops. The largest is at the entrance. Located in Ithaca- Tompkins County.
If you’re interested in a timelapse that has several of these falls in it-