Top 10 Waterfalls in New York

Published on October 27th, 2021

New York has its share of incredible waterfalls. With plenty of mountains, lakes, and rivers throughout the state that lend themselves to waterfall friendly terrain, New York makes the perfect place to spend a vacation chasing waterfalls. From thundering plunges to flowing cascades, these waterfall destinations are impressive! Here are just a few of our favorites to visit.

Waterfalls in New York

1. Niagara Falls

2. Letchworth State Park

3. Taughannock Falls

4. Buttermilk Falls State Park

5. Ithaca Falls

6. Lower Falls, Rochester

7. Watkins Glen State Park

8. Chittenango Falls

9. Kaaterskill Falls

10. Ok Slip Fall

Visiting Waterfalls in New York

Here are 10 popular waterfalls to visit the next time you take an RV trip to New York.

1. Niagara Falls

We can’t mention waterfalls in New York without starting with the awe inspiring Niagara Falls. This impressive display is actually a set of three waterfalls that span the border of the United States and Canada; Horseshoe Falls (or Canadian Falls), Bridal Veil Falls, and American Falls. It’s no surprise that Niagara Falls is an incredibly popular tourist destination. You can visit the falls on both the States and Canadian sides and both offer multiple ways to view them, including observation decks, boat rides, trolley tours, and helicopter rides.

Things to do near Niagara Falls: If you’re on the New York side of the falls, visit Niagara State Park for excellent hiking, biking, boating, and fishing. You can also explore the town of Niagara for great shopping, dining, and attractions like the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, Cave of the Winds, Old Fort Niagara, and the Erie Canal.

2. Letchworth State Park

Located in Letchworth State Park, there are three impressive waterfalls on the Genesee River called Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls. At 107 feet high Middle Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls on the river and is easy to view. The paved walking path goes right past the waterfall giving you a series of fantastic vantage points. It’s also adjacent to a parking area, making it very accessible. And as a bonus, the Upper Falls is just upstream. Hike or drive the short distance to Inspiration Point for a great view of both of the waterfalls at once. You can also hike to Lower Falls, the third waterfall on the Genesee River, which is situated north of Middle and Upper Falls.

Things to do near Letchworth State Park: Explore the rest of Letchworth State Park and see why it’s called the “Grand Canyon of the East”. Looking to head into town? Rochester is 60 miles to the north and Buffalo is 60 miles to the northwest. We have a guide to the park to help you find the best things to do, and have a great selection of local RV rentals.

3. Taughannock Falls

The tall, plunging waterfall of Taughannock Falls is not to be missed! This 215-foot tall waterfall is located in Taughannock Falls State Park and is one of the highest waterfalls east of the Rocky Mountains. There are several trails throughout the park that will take you to view the falls, including several along the rim and one to the base of the falls which lets you see the falls from different vantage points.

Things to do near Taughannock Falls: There’s plenty to do besides hiking in Taughannock Falls State Park, including fishing, swimming and boating at Cayuga Lake. There’s also camping at the park so you can stay a few days to enjoy the local attractions. Looking to explore a bit farther out? Buttermilk Falls State Park is next on our list and it’s only a short drive away. And if you’re a fan of wine, you’re right in New York’s Finger Lakes region which has over 50 local wineries to explore.

4. Buttermilk Falls State Park

Another park named after its waterfall is Buttermilk Falls State Park. This state park in Ithaca is home to the 165-foot tall Buttermilk Falls as well as nine other waterfalls inside the park! The main falls can be seen from the parking lot and it’s an easy walk to the base of the falls for an impressive view. You can also hike the trail from spring to fall to see the other waterfalls along Buttermilk Creek. While the trail closes during the winter months, the main falls can still be seen from the viewing area near the parking lot.

Things to do near Buttermilk Falls State Park: Explore the city of Ithaca, spend some time swimming or boating on Cayuga Lake, or head out to explore the Finger Lakes Region. There are several other great waterfalls to visit nearby, like Taughannock Falls and our next waterfall Ithaca Falls.

5. Ithaca Falls

Since you’re already in Ithaca, be sure to check out Ithaca Falls! This impressive cascade waterfall is 175 feet wide and 150 feet high, making this a popular and photogenic waterfall. It’s also close to downtown and can be seen from the road, so don’t skip it if you’re in the area! While you’ll catch a glimpse just by driving by, to get the best view of the waterfall you’ll park in the parking areas and make an easy 15 minute hike down the path to the falls.

Things to do near Ithaca Falls: Ithaca and the surrounding area is home to over 150 waterfalls, making this a favorite spot for waterfall chasers. You’ll just need to decide which ones to visit! Buttermilk Falls State Park and Taughannock Falls State Park are both great options to visit. We’ve got guides to both parks, and have you covered with local RV rentals.

6. Lower Falls, Rochester

Situated along the Genesee River in Rochester is another set of waterfalls named High Falls, Lower Falls, and Middle Falls. Not to be confused with the set of waterfalls on the Genesee River in Letchworth State Park, these waterfalls are in Rochester and are also worth a stop. Lower Falls is an impressive 110 foot tall U-shaped cascading waterfall and the tallest waterfall on the river. You can see the falls from several spots, including Driving Park Avenue Bridge. If you want to park and take a good look at the falls, Maplewood Park and Lower Falls Park are good options.

Things to do near Lower Falls, Rochester: Be sure to stop by High Falls as well, which are located about two miles upstream. Looking to explore the city of Rochester? We have a local’s guide to help you find the best things to eat, see, and do. We also have a great selection of local RV rentals for you to choose from if you need a way to get here.

7. Watkins Glen State Park

If you’re a waterfall lover (and we assume you are since you’re reading this article) Watkins Glen State Park is a must see. The trails throughout the park will take you past 19 waterfalls, including several that you can walk behind like Rainbow Falls pictured above. Take the 1.5-mile Gorge Trail to walk past the waterfalls, or the Rim trail to see them from above. There’s even camping at the park so you can stay for a while and soak in waterfalls in all their glory.

Things to do near Watkins Glen State Park: Once you’re done viewing all the waterfalls, be sure to explore the town of Watkins Glen. And if you love outdoor activities, you’re in the right place! Finger Lake National Forest is just to the north, as is Seneca Lake. You’re also near the Seneca Lake Wine Trail if you want to try some of the local wine. And there are several other local waterfalls to visit like Eagle’s Cliff Falls and Montour Falls.

8. Chittenango Falls

Another great waterfall to visit in a state park is Chittenango Falls in Chittenango Falls State Park. This waterfall is 167 feet tall and cascades over several rock ledges before it continues to flow downstream. There are two great spots to view the falls, one from the lookout platform near the parking lot, and the other is to take the half mile trail and steps down to the base of the waterfall. The park also has restrooms, pavilions, a playground, and hiking trails if you want to spend an entire afternoon exploring.

Things to do near Chittenango Falls: If you’re looking to spend some time on the water instead of just watching it rush by, there are several fantastic lakes in the area like Cazenovia Lake and Oneida Lake. And Syracuse is only 20 miles away If you prefer exploring cities.

9. Kaaterskill Falls

Kaaterskill Falls in the Catskill Mountains is both a popular and historic waterfall. This two-tier waterfall is over 260 feet high and is one of the tallest waterfalls in New York. It’s been a tourist destination since the 1800s as people sought out the impressive deluge. You can see it for yourself via the viewing platform near the upper parking area or follow several trails to the falls. It’s a very popular spot and parking fills up fast, so come early or during the week if you can to avoid the crowds. And as with all the waterfalls on the list, be sure to practice Leave No Trace principles when you visit, so these beautiful places can stay clean and preserved for years to come.

Things to do near Kaaterskill Falls: This waterfall is located in the Kaaterskill Wild Forest which is full of amazing outdoor recreation year round. Aside from this waterfall hike, there are several other great hiking trails that run through the area. And if you’re visiting in winter, cross country skiing and snowmobiling are popular

10. Ok Slip Fall

The last waterfall on our list takes a bit of hiking to see, but it’s worth the trek! Ok Slip Falls is located in the Hudson George Wilderness Area and is one of the highest waterfalls in the Adirondacks. From the parking area you’ll have to hike 3.2 miles one way to reach the waterfall, but once you’re at the overlook you’ll be able to see the water dropping 200 feet into the gorge. It’s a great view of the falls and the perfect place to snap a photo before heading back up the trail.

Things to do near Ok Slip Falls: Enjoy the beauty of northeastern New York! The Hudson George Wilderness Area and the Siamese Ponds Wilderness just to the south offer many fantastic hiking trails for those looking to explore a rugged wilderness. Looking to visit a city instead? Albany, New York is about 100 miles to the south and Burlington, Vermont is 100 miles to the northeast.

Planning an RV Trip to New York

An RV trip is an excellent way to see the amazing waterfalls in New York, and we’ve got all the resources you need to plan a perfect vacation.

Here are guides to some of the best state parks in New York, as well as all the national parks in the country. We also have local guides to several cities in New York to help you figure out exactly what to see. And as always, we’re here to help when it comes to finding the best campgrounds and RV rentals.

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