Finger Lakes Waterfalls
From small cascades to hundred-foot high drops–the Finger Lakes region of New York State is dotted with waterfalls across its landscape. Many of these waterfalls are located within state parks, while others are found as gems across the region, along roadsides, beside trails, and tucked away in the middle of a city like stunning Ithaca Falls.
Whether you are looking for a beautiful gorge hike, a pleasant park walk, or an opportunity to catch a glimpse of a geological masterpiece out of your car window, you are sure to find a waterfall in the Finger Lakes! Bring a camera, and start exploring!
Driving Tours to Visit Finger Lakes Waterfalls
By: Sue Freeman
In the northwestern section of the Finger Lakes Region head to the town of Honeoye Falls. Along the main drag (West Main Street), you can park at the town hall to view the crest of Upper Falls. Then, turn south at the main town crossroads to head south on East Street (Route 65). From the bridge over Honeoye Creek you will get a good view of 30-foot-high Upper Falls. The red building near the crest of the waterfall began as a sawmill.
Continue south on Route 65 for one mile and turn right (west) on Martin Road. From the bridge over Honeoye Creek you can view The Ledges of Honeoye Creek, both upstream and downstream. The ledges are a series of small drops as Honeoye Creek falls 40 feet in a distance of 1,500 feet.
In Montour Falls, at the south end of Seneca Lake, turn off Route 14 onto Genesee Street. South of the Main Street intersection you will be able to see Shequaga Falls tumble 156 feet down a cliff face to your right. Turn around and head north on Genesee Street, and then turn left onto Route 14, heading north. Shortly, on your left will be Aunt Sarah’s Falls. You can pull off to a parking area on the right side of the road to enjoy it. This 90-foot-high cascade changes dramatically throughout the year, from a spring torrent of water to a wall of sculptured ice in winter.
Continue north on Route 14, and turn right onto Route 414 in Watkins Glen. In two miles, look right as you cross a bridge to see the upper portion of Hector Falls. Since the highway splits Hector Falls, the only way to see it in its entirety is from a boat on Seneca Lake.
At the north end of Otisco Lake along Otisco Valley Road, you can view the 15-foot cascade formed by a dam. Then, head to the south end of Otisco Lake following Route 174 south. As you pass through the town of Marcellus Falls you can view two 10-foot cascades in Ninemile Creek to the west of the highway.
Maps to these and many other waterfalls can be found in the guidebook “200 Waterfalls in Central & Western New York – A Finders’ Guide.”