Waterfall Hole

Finger Lake Wine Country is known for more than just its award-winning wineries and farm-to-table lifestyle. We created this Finger Lakes Wine Country Waterfall Guide because the region has a reputation for being GORGE-ous and having over 50 waterfalls! 

It can be such a letdown to arrive at a waterfall just to be underwhelmed by the lack of water. We created this Finger Lakes Wine Country Waterfall Guide to help you plan your waterfall visits while they’re gushing. From picturesque potholes to breathtaking cascades visiting the region’s iconic gorges is a quintessential part of the Finger Lakes Wine Country experience. 

In this guide, we share the best time to visit, where to park, wheelchair accessibility, and more. The stunning waterfalls in the region are a visual delight waiting to be explored. Let this be your guide to visiting the gorgeous waterscapes of Finger Lakes Wine Country. 

 

Seneca Mills Falls and Cascade Mills Falls

Seneca Mills Falls in the summer on the Keuka Outlet Trail in Penn Yan New York

The 7-mile Keuka Outlet Trail connects Keuka Lake to Seneca Lake. Most popular for hiking, biking, and horseback riding the trail follows the old train and canal route from Penn Yan to Dresden. It also has two trails that lead to two different waterfalls! 

One leads to Seneca Mills Falls, a 40-foot waterfall located in the ruins of a former mill. This impressive waterfall is a combination of a man-made dam and a natural waterfall. The quickest way to get to Seneca Mills Falls is to find the small parking area on Outlet Road which is about three miles from Penn Yan. From here you can enjoy the quick walk along the trail for about .3 miles before arriving at Seneca Mills Falls.

The second waterfall on the Keuka Outlet Trail is Cascade Mills Falls. Seneca Mills Falls and Cascade Mills Falls are about 1.3 miles apart on the Keuka Outlet Trail. While you could park on Outlet Road and visit both, you can also use two different parking areas. The second parking area is at the intersection of Outlet Road and Ridge Road. However, it’s quite small and can only accommodate 4-5 cars.

If you prefer to hike Cascade Mills Falls is about a mile walk along a relatively flat trail from the first parking area on Outlet Road. Which will give you a total hike of 2.6 miles roundtrip. Along the way to Cascade Mills Falls, the trail opens to reveal several old buildings that showcase the industries that thrived in this area in years past. As you approach the 20-foot Cascade Mills Falls you’ll also see the ruins of the Seneca Paper Mill. 

Best Time to Visit: For the waterfalls, spring and fall give you the best flow. The Keuka Lake Outlet Trail is wonderful year-round.

GPS Locations: Parking off of Ridge Rd: (N 42.66724, W 76.99413) 

Seneca Mills Falls: (N 42.66051, W 77.00421) 

Cascade Mills Falls: (N 42.66397, W 76.98489)

Wheelchair Accessibility: No

Pet Policy: Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.

 

Aunt Sarah Falls

Another roadside waterfall that’s worth the stop is Aunt Sarah's Falls. Located on State Route 414, just north of the village of Montour Falls, this seasonal waterfall only flows well when water levels are high. While Aunt Sarah’s Falls is well over several hundred feet tall only 90-feet are visible from the road. 

There is parking directly across from Aunt Sarah's Falls making it a very quick and convenient stop.

Best Time to Visit: Spring and after heavy rain.

GPS Location: N 42.35185, W 76.85597

Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes.

Pet Policy: Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.

 

Hector Falls 

aerial view of Hector Falls on Route 414 along Seneca Lake

When visiting Hector Falls, you have two choices: catch a glimpse while driving by or enjoy it from a boat on Seneca lake. One of the most well-known waterfalls in the region is stunning every season of the year. This gorgeous roadside waterfall is said to be 165 feet in height, but only about 50 feet can be seen from the road.

The rest falls in two more drops as the water makes its way into Seneca lake below. In warmer months, we recommend taking a sunset schooner ride or renting a boat to see the lower waterfalls from the lake. 

Best Time to Visit: This waterfall flows all year long but is best just after rainfall. 

GPS Location: N 42.41802, W 76.86677

Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes. You can view it from the car or paved roadside. 

Pet Policy: Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.

 

She-Qua-Ga Falls

She-Qua-Ga Falls in Montour Falls in Finger Lakes Wine Country

Only  half a mile away is She-Qua-Ga Falls, a 156-foot waterfall that’s easily visible from the road. Located behind someone’s backyard, it’s probably the most accessible Finger Lakes waterfall. You can drive by and see the falls, or park and walk to the falls in under 5 minutes. Park in a tiny lot in front of the park or find street parking in the neighborhood.

This neighborhood waterfall has a unique story. Not only was it featured in the opening sequence of “A Bone To Pick: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery“. You can also find a sketch of it on display in The Louvre in Paris completed by King Louis Philippe d’ Orleans of France, who eventually became king. 

Best Time to Visit: Year-round. Consistent. Rarely completely dry.

GPS Location: N 42.34453,  W 76.85136

Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes, there is a paved walkway from the street to the end of the park.

Pet Policy: Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.

 

Deckertown Falls 

Deckertown Falls is one of the lesser-known waterfalls in the area, but definitely a gem! Located on the outskirts of the village of Montour Falls, Deckertown Falls is a series of three drops that are easily seen from a small path that leads from the parking area to the creek. The falls start out as a 30-foot long cascade into a shallow pool on a ledge, which then drops a few feet down into a very deep pool.

Although it only takes an average of 8 minutes to complete this 0.5-km out-and-back trail is considered a moderately challenging hike. This waterfall is a great hike not commonly known to tourists and it's unlikely you'll encounter many other people while exploring. Please keep in mind the surrounding land is posted private property so stay on the public path.

Park at the end of East Catharine Street. There’s a dirt/grass spot for about 3 cars. It is a short walk from the parking area to see the falls from here.

Best Time to Visit: Spring through fall.

GPS Location: (N 42.34377, W 76.82997)

Wheelchair Accessibility: No.

Pet Policy: Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.

 

Havana Glen Park/Eagle Cliff Falls

Havana Glen Park waterfalls in the summer near Watkins Glen in Finger Lakes Wine Country

Head to Havana Glen Park in the village of Montour Falls to see Eagle Cliff Falls. The park contains various species of rare native New York State plants, and has been classified as an important area for birding, over 100 species have been documented here. McClure Creek, the source of Eagle Cliff Falls, is designated a trout stream and protected to allow for migratory fish from Seneca Lake to safely spawn.

Eagle Cliff Falls is interesting in that it pours down from a deep gorge cut by the stream halfway into the gorge. Currently, it sits in a hanging valley at least 60 feet below the towering cliffs on each side. The narrow notch cut by the creek above the falls propels the water at a formidable speed, keeping this falls strong year-round. The crest spans 15 feet across, and more than half the water that passes it rebounds off a smaller ledge a few feet below. The water then plunges out into the creek bed 40 feet below.

The Glen Trail is short with 5 modest flights of stairs. It starts from the parking area, passes numerous small falls, and ends at the entrance to the Eagle Cliff amphitheater. Once there, you can creek walk closer to the falls. Please do not scale any walls.

Parking for roughly 15 cars is available in the lot near the trailhead at the far end of the park. Additional parking is available along the park loop. Please keep your vehicle speed low as there are always children playing.

Best Time to Visit: Spring, summer, fall. The park is closed after mid-October, so visit early in the fall. 

GPS Location:  Park entrance: (N 42.33709, W 76.83316)

Trailhead: (N 42.33578, W 76.82941)

Eagle Cliff Falls: (N 42.33467, W 76.82588)

Wheelchair Accessibility: The main park and facilities are. The view of the first set of falls is. The glen trail is not.

Pet Policy: Dogs are allowed in the park on leash but not on the gorge trail for safety reasons.

 

Waverly Glen Falls

Waverly Glen Waterfall in Tioga County

Located in the small village of Waverly in Tioga County is Waverly Glen Falls. This 40-foot waterfall is tucked away in Waverly Glen Park and although it’s easily accessible it can be difficult to find. However, it’s an impressive waterfall that’s worth the walk.

Enter Waverly Glen Park from the entrance at the intersection of West Pine Street and Moore Street to reach Waverly Glen Falls. Drive until the road ends near a pavilion and park in the lot at the end of the road. Follow the well-worn path that heads away from the road through the park until you come to a chain-link fence. If the gate is open, you are allowed to continue beyond it.

Less than 5 minutes of walking on this wide trail will bring you to Waverly Glen Falls. While this waterfall is incredibly easy to reach, since it can’t be seen from the main spots in the park, people often have no idea that there is a waterfall just steps away.

Best Time to Visit: Springtime and during periods of high water. During the dry months, this waterfall can dry up to a trickle. 

GPS Location: Parking area: (N 42.009312, W 76.555359)

Waverly Glen Falls: (N 42.010837, W 76.557151)

Pet Policy: Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.

 

Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park Fall

Home to nearly 20 waterfalls in a span of less than 2 miles, Watkins Glen State Park is the easiest place to see the most waterfalls at once. On the southern point of Seneca Lake, Watkins Glen State Park is home to a publicly accessible 832-stone step trail overlooking a gorge carved out by the waterfalls in the park. Here you will see a variety of falls from small staircases, and cascades to dripping curtains, plunges, and chutes up to 60 feet high.

Throughout its course, the glen’s stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs. The most notable waterfalls on the trail are Rainbow Falls and Cavern Cascade. You’ll have to walk behind part of each of these falls and you will definitely get sprayed. Be careful on the trail, especially in these locations which can be slippery and wet.

There are three entrances to Watkins Glen State Park; Main, North, and South. If you’re hiking it’s best to use the Main Entrance. Here you will take the Gorge Trail up and take the Indian Trail back down to the village and parking area (unless their one-way system is not required at the time, then you can retrace your steps back down). Watkins Glen State Park is a must-see for waterfall lovers and anyone seeking a gorgeous Finger Lakes Wine Country experience.

Best Time to Visit: Spring and fall mornings, during the week. Spring has low visitor traffic, high flow, and bright yellow color palette in the surrounding foliage. Fall brings back mild weather and beautiful orange and yellow leaves. The Gorge Trail is closed in winter and often reopens in stages. Call them to find out.

GPS Location: (N 42.380592, W 76.872932)

Upper Park Entrance: (N 42.37038, W 76.87483)

Rainbow Falls: (N 42.37264, W 76.88239)

Cave entrance: (N 42.37514, W 76.87386)

Wheelchair Accessibility: The gift shop, restrooms, swimming area, most pavilions, and the view of Sentry Falls from the main parking lot are accessible. The gorge and rim trails are not.

Pet Policy: Pets are not allowed on the Gorge Trail or within the swimming area. Pets are allowed elsewhere within the park if on a leash. 

Waterfalling is just one of the many adventures you can experience while visiting the Finger Lakes Wine Country. Just make sure to check park websites before exploring for updates, closings, and restrictions. If you plan on visiting in the winter be sure to check out these 5 Magical Waterfalls to Visit in Winter in Finger Lakes Wine Country