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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!

Tinker Falls
Tinker Falls

Also known as Labrador Falls or Tully Falls, Tinker is located on Rt. 91 in Truxton, NY. Heading south you will pass Labrador Pond on the right. Tinker Falls will be shortly after that on the left. There is a small gravel parking lot on the right side of the road. Cross the road and head down into the creek. A short walk upstream will take you to the falls. This is a gorgeous waterfall to visit year-round.

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Fillmore Glen State Park
Fillmore Glen State Park

Hikers at Fillmore Glen State Park can enjoy five waterfalls of varying sizes, that are hidden within the lush woodland. The park is open year-round and can be accessed from Route 38A in Moravia, NY.

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Ithaca Falls
Ithaca Falls

To see this impressive and powerful cascade take Route 34 South (Lake Street) in Ithaca, NY. You will pass Ithaca High School on the right and then cross a small bridge with Ithaca Falls on the left side. Across from the bridge, at the corner of Lake Street and Falls Street, there is a small gravel lot in which you can park. The path on the right side of the falls leads down into the gorge. You can walk right to the base of the falls or even fish in parts of the plunge pool. 

For a scenic tour, follow Fall Creek Gorge as it leads to Ithaca Falls!

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Lucifer Falls
Lucifer Falls

Lucifer Falls, located in the Robert H. Treman State Park in Ithaca, NY, is not to be missed. If you enter from the lower entrance you can hike the gorge trail to reach the falls. If you enter from the upper entrance you only have a short walk until you reach this impressive cascade. All together there are twelve falls within the park. 

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Lick Brook Glen
Lick Brook Glen

Located just south of Ithaca, NY, this gorgeous glen is a part of the Sweedler Preserve, which is operated by the Finger Lakes Land Trust. Hike through mixed hardwood and Hemlock forests, along a brook on the Finger Lakes Trail, and past several beautiful cascading waterfalls.

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Taughannock Falls
Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls at Taughannock Falls State Park in Ulysses, NY, is located between the Village of Trumansburg and the City of Ithaca. Cascading 215 feet from the ledge above into the gorge below, Taughannock Falls is one of the highest single-drop waterfalls east of the Rocky Mountains. An easy 3/4 mile walk along the Gorge Trail will take you to the base of the falls. The Rim Trail is more challenging and offers spectacular views of Cayuga Lake and Taughannock Falls from above the rocky gorge. If you are short on time or prefer to drive to the falls for a quick look from above, visit the overlook for a picture perfect view of the falls, located near the Visitors Center in the upper parking lot of Taughannock Falls State Park.

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Driving Tours to Visit Finger Lakes Waterfalls

By: Sue Freeman

Honeoye Falls
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.

Seneca Lake
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.

Otisco 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.”