There are dozens of jaw-dropping waterfalls scattered throughout New York’s Finger Lakes. In fact, “waterfalling” is one of the most popular activities in this beautiful region aside from vineyard tours, grape pie tastings, and casual dining. We’ve compiled a handy list of our four favorite waterfalls in the Finger Lakes, based on personal experience and customer feedback. These Western New York waterfalls range in size, quantity, and accessibility. Occasionally, the scenic adventure to the waterfall is just as much fun as the final payoff. The ideal place to start and finish your adventurous day-trip is Belhurst Castle, a one-of-a-kind destination featuring three Seneca Lake hotels, two restaurants, spa services, and a winery.
The Top 4 Waterfalls in the Finger Lakes
Let us preface this list by stating that we haven’t visited every waterfall in the region. However, we guarantee that all four of these waterfalls in the Finger Lakes will wow you. Remember to pack a picnic, bring along a waterproof camera, and lace up a pair of trusty boots!
1. Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen may seem like a no-brainer if you’ve ever strolled along the Gorge Trail with your jaw open. But for those who haven’t visited this awe-inspiring marvel, you’re in for quite the treat. Pictures (as seen above) just don’t do it justice. The eroded Gorge Trail features a whopping 19 waterfalls and about 100 different photo opportunities.
2. Letchworth State Park
Letchworth is often labeled as the “Grand Canyon of the East” because of the gasp-inducing natural beauty of its broad, deep gorge which follows the Genesee River. The river appears minuscule compared to the gorge’s tall rock walls. Spending two to three hours inside Letchworth is a must, especially for families aiming to enjoy a peaceful picnic near a rushing waterfall. While there are several waterfalls scattered throughout this state park, the Middle Falls are bound to mesmerize. Watch the Genesee River spill over 100 feet below as a faint mist sprinkles into your hair. And keep your eyes peeled for a rainbow!
3. Buttermilk Falls
Yes, Buttermilk Falls can get quite crowded during the summer months, but that shouldn’t deter you from visiting yet another one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Finger Lakes. Buttermilk is approximately 35 minutes east of Watkins Glen near the city of Ithaca. Many travelers soak, splash, and swim in the wide “pool” near the 100-foot tall cascading falls, which can be exceptionally refreshing on a hot summer afternoon.
4. Tannery Creek Falls
Tannery Creek remains the best-kept secret in the region. This adventurous, out-and-back river walk is among our favorite waterfalls in New York because you’ll never bump into another group of hikers, and there are six unique falls along the journey. This trek is not for young children or those who’re afraid to get there “hands dirty.” If you’re looking for several more waterfalls in the Finger Lakes, GoWaterfalling.com is a fantastic resource. We also love Warsaw Falls, Eagle Cliff Falls, and Taughannock Falls.
Luxurious Finger Lakes Hotels
After a genuinely unforgettable day of hiking, exploration, and photography, retreat to Belhurst Castle for an evening of gourmet cuisine, award-winning vino, and Seneca Lake gazing at dusk inside your lavish suite. To book a well-deserved escape into the beautiful, relaxing Finger Lakes, please give us a call today at 315-781-0201, or visit us online at Belhurst.com.