New York is famous for its glistening lakes, rocky mountains, and large, busy metropolises. The most sumptuous and magnificent features of this East Coast state, however, are frequently hidden. We’re talking about its breathtaking waterfalls, which are so beautiful that you won’t be able to stop yourself from taking a hundred selfies. If you are living in New York and looking for waterfalls near me then this post will help you.
Visitors will go through verdant forests, conquer steep terrain, climb jagged cliffs, and meander along motorways only to marvel at the beauty of New York’s best waterfalls. You’ll understand why so many visitors rush to these natural wonders once you feel the soft, cool mist on your face, hear the water’s tremendous roar, and see the stunning plunge up close.
Plan your vacation properly if you want to view the waterfalls at their most beautiful. Early spring is the ideal time to observe waterfalls in NYC, since they are full of water from melting. Other times of the year, particularly from late spring to late fall, you’ll frequently see trickles when there should be gushes due to dry weather. This is not to say that the falls aren’t worth watching during these periods. They certainly are! It just means that you may miss the most stunning rush of their cascades.
The best waterfalls in New York range in size from trickling cataracts to gushing chutes and are well worth a visit. Better yet, return to them again and again. Not sure where to begin? With our list of the best waterfalls in New York, you can pick the ideal places to visit.
1: Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is unquestionably the best waterfall in New York. This amazing masterpiece, the largest in the state and one of the largest in the world, is a must-see.
Horseshoe Falls is the largest of Niagara Falls’ three cascades. It is a massive 173 feet tall and spans approximately 2,600 feet. Every second, approximately 150,000 gallons of water pour over this incredible scene. It’s no surprise that this is one of North America’s Seven Natural Wonders.
The Canadian side is regarded to provide the best view of the falls. Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, as well as several wax museums, may be found in Niagara Falls, Canada. However, the amazing Journey Behind the Falls, which allows guests to explore tunnels 125 feet beneath the falls, is a must-see. Take a ride on the Maid of the Mist on the American side to get up close and personal with the falls. Wear one of the offered ponchos because you will undoubtedly get wet! The American Niagara Falls is more peaceful and serene. It’s no surprise that it’s been dubbed the “World’s Honeymoon Capital.”
2: Buttermilk Falls
Buttermilk Falls is a great place to have some old-fashioned fun. These stunning falls, located in Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca, are the most magnificent of ten cascades. The falls, which are divided into two sections, plunge from more than 165 feet, curving around a gorge as they go towards their last, ultra-fun destination: a swimming hole.
Buttermilk Falls, unlike many of the cascades on our list, may be seen without a trek. You won’t have to walk for miles to see this spectacular location, which is close to the parking lot, which is convenient because you’ll need towels to dry off after a refreshing dip in the pool.
3: Middle Falls, Letchworth State Park
The Genesee River rushes majestically through a massive gorge in Letchworth State Park, cascading over three stunning waterfalls along the way. The 107-foot Middle Falls is the most intriguing of these cascades.
This watery beauty is more than twice as wide as it is tall. This is also a vista you’ll want to record in a billion shots, which is easy to do from almost any vantage point thanks to the comfy walking pathways that wind around the area. You’re not a huge walker? For a quick and easy path to this stunning splendour, take Trail 1 from the Falls Area parking lot.
Insider tip: For a more unforgettable experience, go on a summer evening when the falls are illuminated.
Letchworth State Park, also known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” is a natural wonder at its most awe-inspiring. Standing close to its towering trees, cliffs, and falls will make you feel small and insignificant. It also has 66 miles of hiking trails, a pool, white water rafting, and hot air ballooning.
4: Eternal Flames Falls
Eternal Flames Falls, at barely 30 feet tall, pales in comparison to the huge Niagara Falls. The majestic cascade’s heart will illuminate your visit in a manner that no other waterfall in the country, if not the globe, can. It might even blow your mind.
A little flame known as the eternal flame can be seen in a small cave to the right of the main area of the falls. This one-of-a-kind wonder is thought to be generated by natural gas discharged from a spring inside the cave. Although it is normally lit, providing visitors with an amazing photo opportunity, hikers can relight the flame with a lighter if it has gone out.
The journey to Eternal Flame Falls, which falls from Shale Creek in western New York’s Chestnut Ridge Park, is arduous. Visitors must climb a hard 1.5-mile trek to see this amazing, fiery phenomenon, so bring suitable shoes and water.
5: Taughannock Falls
At Taughannock Falls, it’s impossible to feel enormous. This thundering beauty is magnificent and incredibly tall, and it is one of the most dramatic cascades on this list, as well as the tallest in the eastern United States. The falls, located in Taughannock Falls State Park, thunder down 215 feet from the 400-foot cliffs above.
You’ll hear these beauties before you see them, and what a loud sound they make. The greatest views are accessible along the park’s Gorge and Rim paths, which allow visitors to see the waterfall from both above and below. Make a reservation for a campsite so you can experience the falls again the next day. While you’re here, rent a canoe or kayak from the park to explore dazzling Cayuga Lake, one of New York’s best lakes.
6: Rainbow Falls, Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park is barely two miles long, but it contains so much spectacular natural beauty that you’ll find it difficult to leave. This western New York destination is unmissable because to its towering, rocky cliffs, deep valley, and verdant forest, but Rainbow Falls is one of the area’s most captivating characteristics.
Expect to get soaked as you walk behind the cascading waterfalls to cross the lovely stone bridge.
Insider knowledge: A visit in the afternoon is often rewarded with a rainbow, which is how the falls received their name.
As it flows through the huge cliffs, the park’s mainstream forms a total of 19 waterfalls. The Gorge Path, which runs alongside it, is a simple trail that leads tourists over, under, and behind waterfalls. The Rim Trail offers the best views of the gorge. The historic stone steps and bridges add to the area’s uniqueness and increase its charm factor tenfold.
7: Kaaterskill Falls
Kaaterskill Falls, a landmark of the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York, knows how to put people at rest. The sight of the water cascading over the two tiers, the sound of it crashing along its path, and the sensation of the cool mist on your face all enough to melt any worries away.
This incredible beauty descends approximately 260 feet to the pool below between its two cascades, making it one of New York’s tallest waterfalls. It’s also one of the most beautiful, especially in the autumn, when the surrounding palette is brushed with vibrant red, orange, and yellow hues. You’ll have to hike to get here. Don’t worry, it’s only approximately 1.4 miles one way.
8: Lower Falls
Lower Falls, located in Robert H. Treman State Park, is undoubtedly the most beautiful of the park’s 12 major waterfalls. This gorgeous waterfall, also known as Enfield Falls, provides tourists with a fun-filled location brimming with adventure.
A diving board stands to the right of the falls, near the beautiful pool at its foot. As you plunge yourself into the refreshing water below, this fantastic feature truly puts a spring to your step. After you’ve dried yourself, take a trek down one of the park’s nine miles of trails to see the other falls and breathtaking views.
Insider tip: Don’t miss neighboring Lucifer Falls, a 115-foot waterfall featured in the park as well. It, too, has a natural pool at its base to enjoy.
9: Rainbow Falls, Ausable Chasm
Rainbow Falls is yet another addition to our list of the top waterfalls in New York. This one can be found in the Adirondacks’ Ausable Chasm. These stunning falls flow from the Ausable River and are frequently the location of rainbows, hence the name.
The river’s flow, and hence the severity of these falls, is controlled by a hydroelectric power company, so you never know what you’ll witness when you go. You may be lucky enough to see the falls in all their majesty, or you may see them in a more subdued light. In any case, they are a beautiful sight to witness.
Insider knowledge: Do you want to witness the falls without crossing the chasm? Take a drive to the bridge on Route 9, just outside of Keeseville, for a picture-perfect view. Indeed, many would argue that this is the greatest way to view the falls as a whole. Having said that, a trip into the chasm is unforgettable, with a view so close you’ll feel moisture on your skin.
10: Chittenango Falls
While walking around Chittenango Falls, it’s easy to lose track of which century you’re in. This 167-foot glacier cascade is located among bedrocks dating back up to 400 million years. Being in its presence is both peaceful and stimulating – the rushing water makes it nearly impossible to resist the impulse to cool yourself in the stream below.
This lovely waterfall is located within Chittenango Falls State Park and is surrounded by pathways, making it possible to appreciate its beauty from all aspects. A charming footbridge adds to the lovely setting. However, some of the terrains can be rather steep, so use caution and wear hiking shoes.
11: Ithaca Falls
You’ll see a lot of bumper stickers and signs proclaiming Ithaca’s tourist motto, “Ithaca is gorges,” a play on words to showcase the area’s extraordinary natural beauty. The city’s main waterfall unquestionably comes within this category.
Ithaca Falls takes the top rank on our list of more than 150 waterfalls spread across 10 miles in the Finger Lakes region. This magnificent cascade spans approximately 175 feet, tumbling down 150 feet to the popular plunge pool below. It’s simple to get here. Simply cross the Lake Street bridge. Spend at least a few minutes here because you will be rewarded with an unrivaled view of the falls. A tiny trail goes beside the creek, making it easy to get a closer look at this watery wonder.
12: High Falls in Rochester
When visiting Rochester, it’s impossible to overlook High Falls. This massive thunderous mass, one of several that come from the Genesee River, lends a magnificent addition to the city’s skyline. It’s the most visible of Rochester’s three falls (the other two are the Middle and Lower Falls), and it’s located in the historic district near the downtown core.
For the greatest views of the falls and the rail bridge that runs behind them, cross the pedestrian Pont de Rennes Bridge. You’ll need to charge your camera, especially if you’re taking shots at sunset. When it comes to taking shots, the High Falls Terrace Platform on the river’s east side offers a particularly excellent vantage point. You may take a beautiful panoramic view of the city from a location further away from and to the side of the falls.