10 New York Waterfalls You Should See

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.

Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls on Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

Taughannock Falls photography

Taughannock Falls overlook in Trumansburg, NY


taughannock falls-stu gallagher b



2. Chittenango Falls- 167′ drop. High flows create a wall of spray that make it difficult to photograph in Spring.

Chittenango Falls

Chittenango Falls- Madison County


Chittenango Falls Winter

Chittenango Falls after a December warm up


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.

Salmon River Falls

Salmon River Falls- Oswego County


salmon river new york

Below Salmon River Falls in upstate New York. Site of winter ice climbing.



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.

tinker falls after rain

tinker falls

Tinker Falls near Tully, NY- Cortland County


Tinker Falls (broken leg day)

Tinker Falls (broken leg day)




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.

The Gorgeunder watkins glen gorge

Watkins Glen State Park Waterfalls

Cavern Cascade at Watkins Glen Gorge



6.Eagle Cliff Falls (Havana Glen)- 40′ drop. Down the road from Watkins Glen in the town of Montour- Schuyler County

Eagle Cliff Falls photography

Eagle Cliff Falls

Eagle Cliff Falls

Note the eagle impression in the rock face.



7.Niagara Falls- 70′ to 188′ drops- the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world.

Niagara Falls image from a helicopter

Niagara Falls -American & Bridal

Niagara Falls Aerial

Horseshoe Falls with American Falls in background

Niagara Falls print



8. Hector Falls- 50′ upper section. Schuyler County. I haven’t photographed the lower section that drains into the lake yet.

Hector Falls

Hector Falls alongside Seneca Lake in winter mode.

Frozen Hector Falls

Frozen Hector Falls



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.

upper falls

Upper Falls with the old trestle bridge.

Lower Letchworth

Lower Falls- Letchworth State Park

Letchworth State Park

Letchworth State Park



10. Buttermilk Falls- various drops. The largest is at the entrance. Located in Ithaca- Tompkins County.

ButtermilK fALLS

Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca NY

Buttermilk Falls

One of many smaller falls at Buttermilk.


If you’re interested in a timelapse that has several of these falls in it-


56 thoughts on “10 New York Waterfalls You Should See

  1. Pingback: Val Ferdico
  2. Eternal Flame Falls in Chestnut Ridge Park belongs on the list. It’s not a large falls, but certainly one of the rarest water fall formations in the world (given that a natural gas, methane flame sits in a grotto behind the falls).


  3. This is great!! So glad I saw it, even though I had grown up in upstate NY and my last name is Tinker, I’d never heard of Tinkers Falls! Definitely going to check it out when I go up to visit next!


  4. Must check out Katrina Falls off katrina falls rd. In Rock Hill, NY! It is amazing, someone bought the property but the owner is really nice and let’s you back. There’s also another large falls at the end of katrina falls rd. Hidden within the hiking trails of wolf creek


    1. Hi Tim,
      I’ve been curious about Katrina Falls for ten years but never had to nerve to trespass. How’d you access it? Thanks!


  5. Check out Pixley Falls State Park in Booonville NY on Route 46. It’s a lovely little falls, a nice picnic spot, and a nice walking trail. A great local spot that should not be forgotten..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I grew up with the Salmon River falls. My brothers and they’re friends have foolishly jumped off of them too. They are dangerous if not proceeded with caution. I am glad though that the falls are recognized for the beauty that they hold. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I live in GA now, but when people ask where I’m from and I reply, ” Upstate NY ” ,I can see the glazed over look in their eye, because I know they’re thinking of ‘NYC’……this my friends, IS upstate NY! !!
    Thanks again Stu, for the trip down memory lane 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Absolutely breathtaking!!!! I’ve been to 5 of these, plus ‘our’ ( I grew up in LaFayette, NY) smaller Pratts Falls & Ithaca Falls. Would love to revisit them and see the others one day. Awesome photography!!!! Upstate NY at its finest. Thanks so much for sharing these !!!!!


  9. Beautiful,thanks for sharing some of God’s beauty. I have been to some,need to visit the others,thank you for the ideas for places for me and the family to visit.


  10. If you have not seen Talcott Falls , your missing another beautiful one, up on Rte 11 after Adams Center but before Watertown, somewhat hidden behind trees off the road , but there is a small sign to bring attention to it . You pretty much the last time i was there was park close to the high way and walk a short ways to be able to see it. Absolutely well worth the time


  11. I believe you can see Niagara from near the bottom – a tunnel walk ( mandatory rain gear), takes you nearly behind and under – maybe not what you totally hoped for, but worth doing…


    1. Your last picture of Niagara Falls is mislabeled. It is the American Falls in the foreground, the Horseshoe (or Canadian Falls) are in the background. The photo is taken from the Prospect Observation Tower on the American side of the Niagara River.


  12. Love your photos but how could you omit our spectacular Kaaterskill Falls ! Highest in the state – higher than Niagra Falls. We have a new observation deck. Come see! Haines Falls too!


  13. Thank you so very much for posting these photos and video. I grew up in Upstate – but have been away for many years and due to health problems couldn’t do much hiking even if I could get back there. These photos effectively recreate the beauty I so enjoyed there. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Gotta love NY wilderness. I’m from the Chauatauqua area, so i’ve never been to any of these but Niagara Falls, and i’ve moved out of the area. but i love things about home 🙂 can’t wait for next summer so i can look into exploring south western Missouri (where i moved to)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Stu, they somehow let photographer Dewey Neild into Watkins Glen in the winter for photos for his calendar. I don’t know how he gets in. Dewey is from Ithaca.


    1. I definitely understand about convenience. While I am grateful to have a Penzey's near me, I sometimes grumble about how it is on the side of town farthest away from me and it is quite a drive to get there. I keep a list of spice needs in my kitchen and only go about once every 2 or 3 months. Then I stock up!


    1. Hey Marissa, I think one of the coolest views is when you turn the corner in Montour and see the falls at the end of the road. I unfortunately don’t have any worthy photos from that point of view.


  16. There is a way to get into Watkins Glen gorge in the winter if you don’t mind a long walk in. Drive up rte 329, turn right onto whites holllow rd, take immediate sharp right turn onto unmarked road that was paved once upon a time, since as far as it will let you, then walk the road until you get to an old entrance to the hiking trails. You can then follow trail from there down into the gorge.


  17. Stu, I have been meaning to thank you for taking the pictures of Letchworth. As you probably already know Johanna had one framed for me for Christmas. It is amazing, as all of your pictures are, and thank you for this memory for all the Teller’s. Carole


    1. Carole, I’m so happy that you like it. I found out yesterday that the trestle will stay up until the new bridge is completed some 75′ away. They estimate it taking three years so maybe I’ll get some new photos of it. Thanks again.


  18. Beautiful photos! These are some of my favorite spots in NY! Some of them I still need to visit – thanks for the inspiration!


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