Although people often think of New York City when they think of New York, upstate NY contains many areas of scenic beauty, and numerous waterfalls. Besides the massive waterfalls at Niagara, there are substantial falls on the Genesee in Rochester and Letchworth Park, as well as numerous smaller falls in the Finger Lakes, Catskills, Adirondacks, and other parts of upstate New York.

Buttermilk Falls on the Raquette

One of the nicest waterfalls in the Adirondacks is Buttermilk Falls on the Raquette River, located near Long Lake in the central Adirondacks.

[Buttermilk Falls] [Buttermilk Falls2]

Genesee Falls in Letchworth State Park

The Genesee has three major waterfalls in Letchworth State Park, which stretches from Mt. Morris to Portageville. At right, Inspiration Point provides a beautiful view of both the Middle and Upper Falls. Below, we see the same falls from closer vantage points. [Inspiration Point]
[Middle Falls]
Side View of the Middle Falls
[Upper Falls and Trestle]
Upper Falls and Trestle
[Upper Falls, East View]
Upper Falls, from the east side
[Upper Falls, River Bed]
Upper Falls and Trestle,
from the river bed

I also have some pictures of Letchworth in the snow.

The Onondaga Chain

There are several nice waterfalls where streams cross the Onondaga Scarp. The closest ones to Rochester are in Honeoye Falls and LeRoy.

[Honeoye Falls]
Side view of Honeoye Falls
and old mill
[Buttermilk Falls at LeRoy]
Buttermilk Falls at LeRoy

Kaaterskill Falls

Kaaterskill Falls in the Catskills is often referred to as New York's tallest waterfall. According to the most recent measurements, it drops 230 feet in two segments, beating Taughannock Falls by 15 feet. However, there are several waterfalls in Letchworth Park that are much taller, up to 500 feet, so Kaaterskill Falls is not really the highest waterfall in New York.

A century ago, Kaaterskill Falls was a major tourist attraction, and even featured ropes and catwalks to help tourists view the falls. That was a long time ago, and the ropes and catwalks are long gone. Instead, there is only a rather primitive trail leading from NY 23A to the falls. The parking area is located about 1/4 mile west on 23A. The trail to the falls still gets substantial traffic (I saw about a dozen other people on the short trail when I visited it in late May 1997), but nothing near the crowds that once visited.

[Kaaterskill Falls]
Kaaterskill Falls
[Kaaterskill Falls (top portion)]
Top of Kaaterskill Falls

Other Falls

Eventually I will scan more photos (this may take a while!).

Waterfall Guides

I know of two books that give information on waterfalls in western New York. Derek Doeffinger's Waterfalls and Gorges of the Finger Lakes is a beautifully produced book containing pictures of over 30 waterfalls and gorges. It also contains directions to many of these falls, and gives hints on how to find more. Scott Ensminger and Douglas Bassett's A Waterfall Guide to Letchworth State Park is a guide to 24 of the waterfalls in Letchworth Park. If you want a web source, try Scott Ensminger's web site: Waterfalls of Western New York State. He also has a book: Waterfalls of New York State.