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11 Stunning New York Waterfalls

by Ohio Digital News

Flow into spring in New York State by exploring gorge-ous waterfalls! With snowmelt and spring showers, the waterfalls come to life with roaring cascades. Whether you’re a nature lover, photographer, adventure seeker, or all of the above there’s a waterfall waiting for you, from iconic Niagara Falls to hidden streams in New York City. Photo Courtesy of Beautiful Destinations.

Aerial view of Niagara Falls on a sunny dayCredit: @portcityheights and @niagarafallsusa on Instagram

Venture to the largest (by volume and width) waterfall in North America, Niagara Falls! Made up of three distinct falls: American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls, 3,160 tons of water flow over Niagara Falls every second. You can marvel at the falls from the overlook, numerous hiking trails, or elevate your experience with a ticket to Cave of the Winds or Maid of the Mist. experience. Every night of the year Niagara Falls is illuminated in a spectacular light show, and on select nights you can even see fireworks over the falls!

Cohoes Falls surrounded by green vegetationCredit: @tall_timberz on Instagram

The second largest waterfall in New York State sits on the Mohawk River, nestled right in the heart of the small city of Cohoes. Measuring about 1,000 feet across and up to 90 feet high, spring is the optimal time to check out this waterfall, as snowmelt and ample rain keep the falls roaring! A 192-foot-long pedestrian bridge will take you from the parking lot to the Falls Views Park overlook area where you’ll find several scenic viewing points, access to nearby trails, and ADA-compliant facilities such as fishing platforms and an 80-person amphitheater.

Waters rush down High Falls GorgeCredit: @mrnmrstraveler on Instagram

In the rugged beauty and vastness of the Adirondacks you’ll find High Falls Gorge, a 22-acre privately owned park, just 10 minutes from Lake Placid. Get up close to four majestic waterfalls via bridges, walkways, and see-through viewing platforms. Revel in the energy of the AuSable River as you walk alongside it. There are multiple trails to view the falls; The Easy Path Trail is a half-mile round trip, suitable-for-anyone walk on gravel and deck surface. For more adventure, opt for the half-mile loop around the waterfalls which will take you over wood-decked walkways, stairs, and glass platforms suspended over the raging river. Views from either trail will allow you to witness history at “The Ancient Valley of Foaming Water”, named for its mesmerizing, deep crevice carved by the AuSable River a billion years ago. 

Chittenango Falls State Park

A staircase cascade of roaring water flowing over 400-million-year-old bedrock creates a cool mist surrounding Chittenango Falls. In the creek below the 167-foot waterfall, the water twists and turns around rocks and small outcroppings of plants and grasses. While you’re roaming the 194-acre park, keep an eye out for the Chittenango ovate amber snail, an endangered species that is found nowhere else on earth!

View of High Falls Conservations from belowCredit: @wadamczakphoto on Instagram

Standing at 150-feet tall, High Falls is a powerful stream in a secluded oasis. A well-maintained one-mile trail winds you through hemlock ravines alongside a creek, ultimately bringing you to an open vantage point of the waterfall which tumbles down rocks and ends in an aqua-colored pool.

A rainbow stretching across the falls at Letchworth State ParkCredit: @gjallarhorn_photography on Instagram

See for yourself why it’s called the “Grand Canyon of the East.” This 14,350-acre scenic park features year-round recreation and scenery, notably featuring three large waterfalls (Lower, Middle, and Upper) between cliffs. The falls reach 600 feet high in places, each carved by the Genesee River and surrounded by lush forests. There are countless spots to sit back, relax and marvel at the falls. Hikers can wander 66 miles of hiking trails, which are also available for horseback riding and biking, level up and soak in the falls from a birds-eye view as you soar in a hot air balloon over Letchworth, or feast your eyes on Middle Falls while feeding your belly at Glen Iris Inn.

A small rainbow stretching in front of salmon river fallsCredit: @tylertbowles on Instagram

112 acres of natural beauty, known as the Salmon River Falls Unique Area, surround Salmon River Falls. A quarter-mile, accessible stroll will bring you to viewing areas for the 110-foot-tall waterfall which plunges over a steep cliff of shale and limestone, making its way to Lake Ontario. The falls flow into three distinct ribbons, each with uniquely beautiful characteristics.

Croton DamPhoto courtesy of Thompson & Bender

At the base of the Croton Dam is Croton Gorge Park, a 97-acre property ideal for unwinding and taking in the views, fishing, picnicking, and hiking with direct trail access to New York State’s Old Croton Aqueduct. The dam showcases a spectacular waterfall tumbling down the rocks beside it, and a footbridge that spans the Croton River offers magnificent views of the falls and the spillway that feeds them. 

View of Awosting Falls from belowCredit: @mattkremkau on Instagram

Within the enchanting Minnewaska State Park, a 60-foot waterfall flows down Peters Kill creek. Awosting Falls is located in close proximity to the park’s lower parking area entrance, and it’s only a .6-mile easy hike from there to the base of the falls. As you walk along, enjoy the natural beauty of this forested area and the stream that runs alongside it.

A man looks out at Taughannock Falls from the upper overlookCredit: @andrewgriesmann on Instagram

Taughannock Falls carves a 400-foot gorge through layers of rock that were once the bed of an ancient sea. Plunging 215-feet past rocky cliffs, the waterfall stands three stories taller than Niagara Falls! Choose from the Gorge Trail, South Rim Trail, or North Rim Trail for stunning views of the falls and gorge.

A waterfall cascading among towering rocks at Watkins Glen State Park

Roaring waterfalls, dramatic flumes, and picturesque gorges combine to make a wondrous waterscape at Watkins Glen State Park. 19 waterfalls await you within two miles, as the glen’s stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs. See them all as you climb up, down and in between rocks that are more than 300 million years old on the easy stone pathways, arched bridges, and winding tunnels of the 1.5-mile famous Gorge Trail.

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