Our Top 10 Waterfalls in the Finger Lakes

We fell in love with this region of New York for its natural beauty, and one of its most captivating features is the abundance of stunning waterfalls you’ll find around the area. From cascading streams to thundering falls, the Finger Lakes offer a variety of breathtaking waterfalls that are sure to leave you in awe.

Here, we've compiled a list of some of the best waterfalls in the region for you to explore: 

    1. Rainbow Falls:

      Watkins Glen State Park is not only close to our Finger Lakes vacation properties, but it’s also home to stunning gorges and enchanting waterfalls. The park's main attraction, Rainbow Falls, is a must-see. As water cascades over the rocky ledges, it creates a beautiful display of colors in the mist. Explore the park's trails, bridges, and tunnels to fully appreciate the magic of one of our favorite FLX spots. 

        2. Taughannock Falls:

          Taughannock Falls, located in Taughannock Falls State Park near Trumansburg, is truly a sight to see! With a height of 215 feet, it is one of the tallest single-drop waterfalls east of the Rocky Mountains. The cascading water against the towering cliffs is positively mesmerizing. 

            3. Lucifer Falls: 

              This scenic waterfall, located in Robert H. Treman State Park in Ithaca, drops down from a gorge into a large pool. It’s surrounded by the most incredible staircases and rock formations with plenty of opportunity for great photos. Simply magical. 

                4. Hector Falls: 

                  Hector Falls is a great drive-by waterfall stop as you make your way around Seneca Lake. It’s best seen from a bridge along Route 414, about 3.5 miles from Watkins Glen State Park. There’s a shoulder pull off so you can take a few minutes to see it in all its glory (over 150 feet!).

                    5. Aunt Sarah’s Falls: 

                      Located along Route 14, between Montour Falls and Watkins Glen, Aunt Sarah’s Falls is about 90 feet in height. It’s more seasonal than some of our other picks, so it may be dry in the summer months, but the rest of the time, it’s enchanting.

                        6. Shequaga Falls:

                          Located in Montour Falls, Shequaga Falls is a hidden gem that shouldn't be missed. This picturesque waterfall drops about 156 feet, creating a dramatic scene that is truly captivating. Take a stroll along the Gorge Trail to get a closer look at this natural wonder.

                            7. Grimes Glen: 

                              For those seeking a more off-the-beaten-path adventure about an hour’s drive from Watkins Glen, Grimes Glen in Naples offers a unique waterfall experience. This exciting spot features multiple waterfalls along a short hike, surrounded by lush greenery and moss-covered rocks. The Glen is a tranquil oasis where you can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

                                8. Buttermilk Falls:

                                  Nestled in Buttermilk Falls State Park near Ithaca, Buttermilk Falls is a serene stop on your Finger Lakes tour. This picturesque waterfall flows over multiple layers of rock, creating a series of cascades and pools. The park offers trails that allow you to hike alongside the falls, giving you an up-close and personal experience with the beauty of nature.

                                    9. Great Gully Falls

                                      Great Gully Falls is a hidden gem nestled within the Finger Lakes region and it offers a unique and captivating experience for visitors. The whole of the Great Gully runs about 4 miles, dropping over 460 feet into Cayuga Lake. There are upper and lower falls to enjoy -- both are wide and powerful -- as well as a refreshing swimming hole at the base of the upper falls. 

                                        10. Eagle Cliff Falls

                                          Located within Havana Glen Park in Montour Falls, Eagle Cliff Falls may not be the tallest waterfall, but it has one of the most unique settings. It’s almost like a natural amphitheater with the falls bursting out of the side of a rock wall before they cascade into nearby Seneca Lake.

                                          Each waterfall -- no matter how wide or how tall -- has its own unique charm and beauty, making the Finger Lakes region a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. It’s best to visit the falls from mid-May through mid-October when the trails are most accessible. So, grab your camera, put on your hiking boots, and get ready to discover the natural wonders of our backyard!