When it comes to waterfalls in New York Sate, Niagara Falls gets all of the credit. It’s touristy, there’s lots to do, and it can handle the huge crowds. But for those of us that don’t like our cascades dressed up as amusement parks, there are plenty of other places to go. Upstate New York is home to countless amounts of waterfalls and it seems that you don’t have to drive more than 15 minutes to find one.
Some are a little well known and others or literally off the side of the road. Now I haven’t seen every waterfall in New York State, but I do have my favorites. Here are five that you should check out.
Letchworth State Park
Billed as the Grand Canyon of the east (I think every state has a Grand Canyon) Letchworth State Park has been carved out over the years by the Genesee River. As it flows north to Rochester the river spills over three magnificent water falls inside the park.
Letchworth is a short 45 minute drive from Rochester and an hour from Buffalo.
There are few things in my life that have taken my breath away. Aside from my wife (wink, wink) Taughannock Falls is one of them. With a drop of 215 feet, the falls is one of the highest east of the Rocky Mountains. It can be accessed by a short walk along a 400 foot high gorge or by a scenic overlook high above the falls.
Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen is one of the places that I visit yearly. Inside the park the stream descends over 400 feet over the course of two miles generating 19 waterfalls.
Watkins Glen is located on the south shore of Seneca Lake a half hour north of Elmira.
Stony Brook State Park
I grew up only 20 minutes from this park, but didn’t really know it existed until just recently. I decided to take the kids on a recent visit to my parents house, not knowing what to expect, and it didn’t disappoint. Home to numerous waterfalls the thing that I liked about this park was that you could walk through the water; something that you couldn’t do in the others (even though you technically are’t allowed to do so.
Stony Brook is located outside of Dansville, about 45 minutes south of Rochester
High Falls, Downtown Rochester
Rochester, NY has seen better days. A short while ago the city was home to three of the biggest names in imaging: Kodak, Xerox, and Bausch & Lomb. The companies for the most part left and with them went thousands of jobs. Years ago the city built a new minor league baseball stadium and with it came new bars, new restaurants, new shopping, new apartments, and a new life to downtown. The baseball stadium is still there but sadly, most of the shops and restaurants have vanished. It’s sad really, especially when this is your view.
There is a pedestrian foot bridge that spans the Genesee River between the Genesee Brewing Company and Frontier Field, the home of the Rochester Red Wings.
Now that you know where to find a few waterfalls that aren’t named Niagara, let’s get out and explore. Tell me where to find your favorite waterfalls in the comments.