Upstate New York is known for many things, beautiful waterways being one natural feature. With 2000 waterfalls in the state, it’s easy to spend an afternoon or weekend taking a tour.
Niagara Falls lies between New York State and Canada, and it’s impossible to forget. Aside from this natural wonder, there are breathtaking waterfalls to see at almost every turn of the road.
T Lake Falls, at double the height of Niagara Falls, is located in the mountainous Adirondack Region. There are tiny creek side waterfalls and waterfalls in massive gorges which make this state unforgettable in all its beauty!
1. Tinker Falls
These falls are located in the Labrador Hollow Unique Area. This area is controlled by the Department of Environmental Conservation. This location consists of various trails that take hikers through mixed woodland terrain.
There is a pond for hikers to enjoy as well as Tinker Falls. The hike to Tinker Falls is easy and smooth. The beautiful waterfalls and hikers can walk behind for a different vantage point.
Hikers can enjoy other activities in this area like boating, fishing, and cross-country skiing in winter. The area is rich in wildlife and birds, including grouse and turkey.
There is a boardwalk area for those with physical limitations and benches along the trails for hikers to relax. Hikers should have some experience and proper equipment as it’s easy to get lost. The trails of this area can go for miles in one direction or another.
2. Kaaterskill Falls
These waterfalls are located on a trailhead with the same name in the Kaaterskill State Forest in the Catskills. The waterfalls are located less than a mile from the parking lot at the base of the trailhead.
The hike is moderate, with a steady climb that follows along the creek to the 260-foot waterfall. There is a viewing platform for hikers, and those not experienced might enjoy this vantage point.
Hikers who have experience and endurance will enjoy hiking to the lower falls. Those who have less experience with hiking or physical limitations should stick with the upper falls. The lower fall hike can be very challenging due to the steep hike down and back.
Those who can hike down will get a stunning view of this multi-leveled waterfall with a breathtaking pool of water below.
3. Cohoes Falls
These falls are located in the small 4-acre Cohoes Falls View Park. They are located on the Mohawk River between Cohoes and Waterford. There are two waterfalls, the upper and lower falls that offer breathtaking views.
This newly renovated park offers many other activities besides the waterfall. These include a 192-foot pedestrian walking bridge, trails, fishing platform, and amphitheater. The stunning waterfalls can be viewed from various vantage points including two overlook platforms.
The powerful waterfalls are exceptionally beautiful, with easy access to view them for this a quick stop. Located in a quaint town with much for visitors to do, including shopping and dining. The park is primitive, lacking bathrooms and a visitor center, but the views make up for that.
4. Rexford Falls
These waterfalls are on a less than 1-mile hike roundtrip near the town of Shelburne. The small gorge hides this hidden gem of a waterfall that is 75 feet high. The Rexford waterfall is located beneath a historic footbridge and boasts a lovely pool at its base.
Pets can enjoy this short hike as long as they are on a leash. While the trails are not handicapped accessible, the hike isn’t too difficult. There are two access point trails for hikers, with the one above being easier to walk.
Hikers looking for a bit more challenge can enjoy the hike from the south side. This hike takes them through the gorge, along a creek, and to the pool at the waterfall’s base.
5. T Lake Falls
This waterfall is the tallest in New York State and the Adirondacks. At double the size of Niagara Falls, T Lake Falls will leave an impression. The hike leading to these gorgeous waterfalls is lengthy at 10 miles round trip.
Depending on the speed, hikers should be prepared for a long hike, at 5 hours or more. The hike is moderately challenging through dense forest. Hikers should have some outdoor experience before undertaking this trek.
The hike can be challenging due to trail hazards, muddy spots, and downed trees at any time. The trail takes hikers to the top of the T Lake Waterfalls. Other trails lead to the base of the falls and other unique spots.
The pool below provides a lovely spot to cool off, a lake, and spots for rough overnight camping. The T Lake Falls is beautiful and well worth the extensive hiking for those who can manage it.
6. Vernooy Falls
The Vernooy Falls is a 4-mile hike out and back over moderate terrain. Hikers will find diverse terrain leading out to the waterfalls. In approximately 2 hours, hikers can complete the journey or take longer as desired.
The trail leading to the Vernooy Falls is rocky and ascends upwards. Dogs are allowed on this hike as long as they are on a leash. This is a popular hiking spot, so finding peace might be a bit more challenging than in other spots.
Many hikers take advantage of the beautiful pooling water at the base of the falls for swimming and diving. Hikers should wear durable shoes and carry water and bug spray. During Spring, skilled and knowledgeable hikers can enjoy picking wild blueberries along the trip.
Vernooy is a 4-tier waterfall with a ragged appearance, and rattlesnakes are sometimes found. The journey has a footbridge, and the waterfalls are large and breathtaking.
7. Red Falls
This less than 2-mile hike in and out to Red Falls is beautiful. The hike is moderate and takes 1 – 2 hours, depending on the speed of the hike. The trail is popular with hikers who enjoy bird watching and a bit of tranquility.
The waterfalls are located in Prat Rock Park. The hike to the falls is a bit challenging over steep and rocky terrain. Dogs on leashes are welcome, but it may not be an easy hike for children. The inclined hike rises through beautiful cliffs to its final stunning view.
The park and area are rich in history with a storied past as “America’s First Mt. Rushmore.” A beautiful rock-faced sculpture and views of the Schoharie River round out this lovely hike. The falls are gorgeous, and hikers can enjoy picnicking.
8. Chittenango Falls State Park
This multitiered waterfall is located in a beautiful state park not far from the road. The waterfall is located just beneath the road, and those with physical limitations can view it from above. The parking lot is close to the 167-foot waterfall.
Hikers can enjoy a short walk to the lower part of the falls, where there’s a footbridge. The hike is moderate but short, with wood and stone stairs to and from the bottom. The trail is manicured and well maintained but slippery at times.
Once hikers have enjoyed the waterfalls, other amenities like fishing, picnicking, and a playground for kids. The area is popular but usually uncrowded and peaceful.
9. Salmon River Falls
The 110-foot waterfall is located in the Salmon River Falls Unique Area. The falls are isolated, offering a tranquil spot for hikers to reflect and enjoy nature. The rustic parking area offers a simple and quick walk to the top of the falls.
Another hiking trail leads down to the bottom of the falls for a different vantage point. This takes hikers over more difficult terrain with stairs. Hikers can walk from the upper trail to enjoy wadding through the rock-laden stream.
Hikers can enjoy splashing around amidst the rock-laden pooling water and look over the falls’ edge. The area can be slippery and durable shoes should be worn. The waterfalls are larger than they appear from a distance, and hikers will enjoy this secluded spot.
10. Bastion Waterfall
This small but mighty 70-foot waterfall is a perfect spot for a quick break and impressive views. This waterfall is hidden but close to other waterfalls along the trail through Catskill Park. The parking area takes hikers to the Kaaterskill Falls, which is equally impressive, but this waterfall is also a gem.
Hikers will walk down a path from Kaaterskill to Bastion. The terrain is rough and rocky, but the view of this single waterfall with 2 tiers is stunning. The waterfall can be seen from the road when driving by, but accessing it on foot is much more rewarding.
There is much hiking in this area for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy. Hikers will want to leave ample time to enjoy both waterfalls. Pets are allowed, but it’s a good idea to leave them behind due to the hike’s difficulty.
11. Mine Lot Falls and Thacher State Park
The Mine Lot Falls is one of many located in Thacher State Park. The state park is home to many activities, including hiking along the various trails. The park offers a beautiful overlook to enjoy the stunning views as well.
The falls are off Indian Ladder Trail, with Mine Lot Falls being the largest and most beautiful. There are nearly 25 miles of hiking trails, mountain biking, and other seasonal activities. The park also offers a visitors center with educational programs focusing on the area’s geology.
Hikers should have some experience when hiking this area as the terrain can sometimes be challenging. Appropriate gear and hiking trail maps are necessary.
12. Ithaca Falls
Located in the Ithaca Falls Natural Area, these falls are breathtaking. There are more than a few waterfalls in the area, with this waterfall located in the heart of town. When visiting, hikers will find a parking lot across the street.
An easy trail leads to the base of this waterfall. The trail offers unobstructed views and various vantage points for photo opportunities. The Ithaca Waterfall is 150 feet in height, and there is an opportunity to see wildlife during the walk.
The waterfalls are stunning in their power and beauty. Hikers can find a mixture of peace and connection when visiting this busy area. The town of Ithaca is rich in other activities once waterfall trekking is done.
13. Bucktail Falls
This small but remarkable waterfall is exceptional in its location. Located just off a small trail on private property, it’s a beautiful sight. The owner is kind enough to allow hikers to visit as long as they respect the lands and ownership. The trails are located just off Moon Hill Road.
The waterfall offers a secluded, and peaceful spot for quiet reflection away from the stress of life. The waterfall drops a mere 35 feet off a V-shaped cliff and lands in a gentle flowing pool at the base.
The property and hike are not designed for hikers with physical limitations. Pets are acceptable as long as they are well behaved and the owners are respectful.
The most important thing to remember is respect regarding this waterfall hike. Not for everyone, this hike is a rare experience, thanks to the kindness of others.
14. High Falls Gorge
This beautiful gorge park is small at 22 acres but offers an intimate experience within proximity to 4 waterfalls. The park offers hiking, glass-bottom walkways, and other outdoor features. The park is privately owned in a richly dense forest area.
The walk is easy at under a mile long and takes about an hour or less. Part of the trail is handicapped accessible, and there is a lovely gift shop to explore after the adventure. An on-site café offers a great place to grab a snack before or after the walk.
The park is for people only; no pets are allowed. The walking is easy; the atmosphere can be a mixture of busy and peaceful at various times as this is a popular stop.
The waterfalls are powerful and stunning, each in its own way. Shady spots in this well-maintained private park offer spots to take a quick break and enjoy the surroundings.
15. Bash Bish Falls
This waterfall is located in its namesake Bash Bish Falls State Park, across the border from New York. The hike leading across from New York to the falls is a challenge. Hikers with some experience should be fine, but inexperienced hikers should proceed with caution.
The hike leading to these falls can rocky, with difficult uphill travel and diverse terrain like roots sticking out. The hike on the New York side is less than a mile and begins at the free parking lot. The walk takes about 15 -30 minutes, depending on the hiker’s abilities.
The 60-foot waterfall is stunning with its multi-tiered cascading drop. Recently the area leading down to the pool at the base has been blocked for safety. The trail can get crowded during peak season, so hikers should plan accordingly.
16. Rainbow and Awosting Falls
These beautiful falls are located in the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Hikers will also see the Awosting Falls and other magical sights along this hike. The massive nature preserve provides outdoor enthusiasts a chance to reconnect with wildlife.
The Rainbow Falls, stunning views, and nature trails are spectacular at any time of the year. Hikers will enjoy the various trails offered for different skill levels and capabilities. Captivating vistas for enjoying views will be a must-see after visiting Rainbow Falls.
Other activities, including rock climbing, are offered for individuals to enjoy. The area comprises 3 lakes, a densely seeded hardwood forest, and campgrounds for spending the night.
17. Lampson’s Falls
This shallow pooled waterfall that reaches 40 feet high and 100 feet wide is impressive in its width and power. The trail leading to the waterfall is approximately one mile. The area is popular with hikers and those who love nature.
Walking to and from the falls is easy and takes less than an hour to complete. The walk is easy, and well-behaved dogs are welcome. The waterfall can be surprising with massive amounts of water bursting over its edge during the peak summer season.
Hikers can enjoy the beach and swimming hole at the base, where they can share a picnic. While handicapped accessible, the trail is gravel with a wide width. There are some challenging spots where wheelchairs and strollers may have difficulty.
18. Auger Falls
A quick under 2-mile hike will take less than an hour for hikers to complete when headed for these falls. Located in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness, getting to the Auger Falls is easy for almost everyone.
Dogs are welcome as long as they are well-behaved. The hiking trail and waterfall are popular, but it’s still possible to find some peace during a visit.
The hike to the waterfall is smooth, flat, and great for families because of its diverse nature and wildlife. Beautiful wildflowers dot the area, along with secluded fishing spots along the way.
There is a beautiful fall overlook and other trails to explore during the visit. When close to the falls, hikers want to be aware of the slippery rocks and dangers. Comfortable but sturdy shoes are a must, as is water and bug repellent during hot weather.
19. Baker Falls
This lovely waterfall is located along the Hudson in the town of Moreau. The falls, also known as the Hudson Falls, reach almost 150 feet when included with the dam. It’s a great spot for a picnic or short walk.
Hikers with physical limitations or those in wheelchairs can enjoy the waterfall and some outdoor adventures. Dogs are welcome as long as they are well behaved, and it’s a great photography spot. Due to its in-town location, It can be a bit busy, but it’s still possible to find a quiet place to relax.
20. Roaring Brook Falls
The hike to these falls is under 2 miles out and back. Depending on how good the hikers are, it can take about 1-2 hours. The hike travels through the heart of the Adirondacks with 2 different hikes leading to the falls.
The upper falls hike is a bit more treacherous and steeper, designed for those who have experience. The lower falls hike is easier and designed for hikers with less experience. The upper trail offers amazing views of the high peaks, while the lower trail takes hikers to the base of the falls.
The trails are marked well and maintained with some boulders and diverse terrain. The lower trail leading to the base of the falls is much shorter and offers beautiful views of the waterfall.
21. Artists Falls and Winter Clove Inn
This little waterfall is in a cute hamlet town near the Winter Clove Inn on the Winter Clove Brook. The waterfall sits beneath a bridge and has a lovely pool for padding barefoot through. The waterfall and bridge are accessed from a parking lot not far from the Inn.
One path takes hikers to the bridge and top of the waterfall, the other to the bottom and pool of water beneath. The area has pine trees, the path to the bottom is dirt, and the path to the bridge has a railing.
This waterfall is for those looking to spend a cozy weekend or overnight stay at the Winter Clove Inn and enjoy a relaxing break.
22. Jamestown Falls
This lovely waterfall is located along Tupper Lake’s short hiking trail and old forest road. The falls are not that easy to locate but can be found off the East side of NY 56 at Sevey Corners. After crossing a stream, you will follow a dirt road on the right.
The river with boat launch and parking is about a half mile down this road. The falls are located to the right, a couple hundred yards away. This waterfall is on public land but surrounded by private. What makes this waterfall so special is outdoor enthusiasts can decide to hike or boat to the waterfall.
Hikers can take a short walk along the trail to the small waterfall, under 20 feet, or they can add a canoe or kayak trip to the day and see it by water. Either way, it is beautiful on a smaller scale.
23. Allen Falls
Parking for this waterfall is located directly in town. Across the street from parking is a path that leads hikers downstream less than half a mile. At this point, you will be at the crest of the falls. If you continue, you can continue down to the river.
There will be spots along the way that are difficult to manage but offer stunning views of the falls. There is also an island in the river where you can get a better view of the falls. After a bunch of rapids, the waterfall makes its final descent.
The dirt trail is a moderate but a quick hike to where land meets the river. The waterfall is a modest 35 feet in height, making it small but no less stunning. This is a great spot to find some peace and enjoy nature.
24. Split Rock Falls
Located on a short loop with the same name, this waterfall is a beautiful destination at the end of a hike. The hike is short, at about a mile, and takes less than an hour, depending on skill. The hike begins at the fee based parking lot.
This area is popular, and hikers can bring their dogs. The hike is a bit challenging but not too difficult for most. There are numerous waterfalls along the hike, including the Split Rock Falls. The hike is along a creek, and a pond is nearby for hikers to explore.
The area is rocky with forests and beautiful views. The waterfall is stunning for its size, along with a lovely dam and water rapids. This hike is great for kids or families. The waterfall is an amazing spot to take a dip in the pool. Comfortable but sturdy shoes should be worn.
25. Eternal Flame Falls
This 1 ½ mile-in and out hike is challenging but well worth the trip for hikers that have experience. The Eternal Flame Falls are magnificent in all their multitiered beauty. The flame is a beautiful reward after a short 15–20-minute hike on the trail.
The hike is acceptable for children and pets on a leash, but hikers must be careful as the rocky area is slippery. Appropriate shoes and perhaps a walking stick would be wise, depending on the season. The flame is beautiful in any season, and hikers will enjoy this tranquil setting when it’s not crowded.
There are various trails in this area, some more rustic and narrow than others. This area is popular and can get crowded. Hike early and on less popular weekdays for the best viewing of the flame and enjoyment.
26. Death Brook Falls
These small falls with the eerie name are on a short hike near Raquette Lake. The hike is simple and easy, making it a good choice for inexperienced hikers or those with kids and pets. Depending on the hiking speed, it takes approximately 5-10 minutes each way.
The trail and surrounding area are popular for bird watchers and those that enjoy winter activities. The falls make a great spot to sit back and enjoy peace or hop around on the rocks between trickling water.
The falls are very high and, while not as powerful as some, no less lovely for those who can’t hike far or don’t have a lot of time. Parking is tight and tricky, but parking on the same side as the trailhead makes things easier. Appropriate shoes should be worn.
27. Shelving Rock Falls
These falls are on a longer hike down a trail of the same name. The loop trail takes hikers just over 6 miles of easy terrain. This hike is good for individuals who have trouble with challenging terrain. Some hikers may still find the it too challenging depending on physical limitations.
The loop hike, which passes across Shelving Rock Mountain and Falls, can take anywhere from 3 hours to longer. The beautiful hike will travel up the mountain and then down again, where hikers will see from the falls to the shoreline.
The waterfall, tiered rock shelves, and gently trickling water are magnificent any time of year. The falls and this trail are located in the stunning Lake Gorge region. The area can get muddy and suffer weather damage at certain times of the year, so hikers should be prepared.
28. Beaver Meadow Falls
This stunning 60-foot horsetail cascade waterfall is lovely in all its powerful beauty. The hike is moderate to challenging in difficulty depending on the route chosen. Once they arrive, hikers are rewarded with the beauty of this tall waterfall.
The trail that leads to this waterfall is popular with hikers of experience and those who enjoy running. Taking young children on this hike isn’t advised; pets are not allowed. Certain times of the year require a parking fee and reservation.
The waterfall and surrounding area are stunning. It’s a great spot to enjoy a moment of peace and reflection or for photography.
29. Christine Falls
The hike to this lovely miniature paradise is quick at under 5 minutes and less than a quarter mile. The falls are practically located right off the roadway, making it convenient. Individuals with physical limitations or children and pets may find it an easy and quick stop.
The hike is short, but caution must be used as it can be a challenging hike for some individuals. The small falls are beautiful due to their atmosphere. The tiny paradise of falls tumble from a dam into a swimming hole at the base.
30. Potter’s Falls
This waterfall is on a very easy trail hike, just over 3 miles each way. It’s a great hike for kids and people with pets on a leash and is located in Ithaca. Towards the end of the hike, it can be a bit more challenging but manageable for most hikers.
Along the way, there are numerous small waterfalls, including Potter’s Falls, for hikers to view. There are other trails to enjoy and beautiful scenery beyond the waterfalls. Hikers can descend to the bottom of the falls for a different vantage point but should use caution.
Above the falls is a service road which can make for an easier trek back to the vehicle for those who struggle. The falls are stunning in their size and cascading beauty, with a large swimming hole beneath.