10 Tallest Waterfalls In New York To Check Out

Chittenango Falls, Cazenovia, New York

Waterfalls are a great source of natural energy and beauty. They have formed over millions of years and have been used for many purposes like power, irrigation, and spirituality. There are many waterfalls in New York that are well-worth exploring. In total, the state of New York is home to more than 2,000 waterfalls. If you’re looking for the tallest waterfalls in New York to visit, this blog is for you! 

Looking to explore more of New York? Be sure to check out the GoXplr New York Map at goxplr.com/map/new-york

#1 Taughannock Falls – 215 feet

Taughannock Falls Overlook, Trumansburg, New York
Photo by user: @tom
  • Address: 2381 Taughannock Park Rd, Trumansburg, NY
  • Directions: HERE

Taughannock Falls is a waterfall with a height of 215 feet and a crest width of 45 feet. It is the highest waterfall in New York.

Taughannock Falls is located in the Taughannock Creek Gorge in the town of Trumansburg, New York. Taughannock Creek drops over 215 feet at this point, making it the tallest waterfall in New York state. The falls are also one of three major waterfalls on Taughannock Creek and are located about 10 miles from Ithaca, NY.

The falls were originally called “Oquaga”, which means “great waters” in the Iroquois language. Oquaga was used as a name for many years until it was changed to “Taughannock” by John Brown.

#2 Kaaterskill Falls – 180 feet tallest drop (350 feet total over its two drops)

Kaaterskills Falls, Palenville, New York
Photo by user: @haydenshots
  • Address: 103 Laurel House Rd, Palenville, NY
  • Directions: HERE

Kaaterskill Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in the United States. It is located in the Catskill Mountains in New York. The waterfall has a height of about 350 feet and a width of about 100 feet. The waterfall drops in two distinct sections, with the tallest drop measuring about 180 feet.

In 1835, Thomas Cole painted the falls as seen from a distance. He titled it Kaaterskill Clove with Kaaterskill Falls in the Distance and he used it as part of his famous series called “The Course of Empire.”

#3 Verkeerder Kill Falls – 187 feet

  • Address: Cragsmoor, NY
  • Directions: HERE

Verkeerder Kill Falls is a waterfall in upstate New York. It is a popular tourist destination because of its proximity to the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains.

It is located in the town of Verkeerderkill Falls, New York and it is named for the Dutch word for “wrong” or “evil”. The falls are on private property that was once owned by William H. Verkerk, who was also known as “Bill the Butcher”.

The falls are approximately 100 feet high and have a horseshoe shape that makes them easy to spot from afar. They are not considered challenging to climb but they can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing or if you’re not wearing suitable footwear or clothing.

Tied #4 Niagara Falls Horshoe Falls – 167 feet

  • Address: 30 Goat Island Rd, Niagara Falls, NY (also viewable from Ontario, Canada)
  • Directions: HERE

Niagara Falls is a waterfall on the Niagara River in eastern North America, on the border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York.

The falls are 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York, and 75 miles (120 km) south-southeast of Toronto, Ontario. The falls form part of the international boundary between Canada and the United States; both countries share a common border along this stretch of water with each country occupying half of that boundary.

Niagara Falls is composed of three major sections: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls, separated by Goat Island. Horseshoe Falls lies on the Canadian side while Bridal Veil Fall lies on the American side; both have their own distinct characteristics. Horseshoe Falls is the tallest Niagara Falls waterfall as it drops 167 feet.

Tied #4 – Chittenango Falls – 167 feet

Photo by user: @tom
  • Address: 2300 Rathbun Rd, Cazenovia, NY
  • Directions: HERE

Chittenango Falls is a stunning waterfall in Chittenango Falls State Park in Madison County, New York. It’s one of the tallest waterfalls in the state as it stands 167 feet tall. The falls are approximately 3 miles from downtown Syracuse and they make up one of the most popular attractions in Central New York.

#6 Buttermilk Falls – 165 feet

Buttermilk Falls, East Buttermilk Falls Road, Ithaca, NY - GoXplr
Photo by user: @tom
  • Address: 112 E Buttermilk Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY
  • Directions: HERE

Buttermilk Falls is a popular tourist destination in Ithaca, New York. It is a waterfall that spans across an 80-foot gorge and has a drop of about 165 feet.

Buttermilk Falls was created by the retreating glaciers during the last ice age. The falls were discovered in 1796 by a surveyor named John Johnston who was surveying the area for Sir William Johnson.

The falls are named after their milky white appearance, which can be attributed to the limestone rocks that line the creek bed and whitewater foam.

#7 Shequaga Falls – 156 feet

  • Address: 109 S Genesee St, Montour Falls, NY
  • Directions: HERE

The Shequaga Falls is a beautiful waterfall located in Montour Falls, New York. The waterfall stands just off Genesee Street in the very small Shequaga Falls Park. The 156-foot waterfall is fueled by the Shequaga Creek which is most powerful in the spring. Shequaga Falls Park is well-maintained and features paved walkways to the base of the waterfall, information kiosks, and benches. 

#8 High Falls (Hudson, New York) – 150 feet

High Falls, Hudson, New York
Photo by user: @tom
  • Address: 540 Roxbury Rd, Hudson, NY
  • Directions: HERE

The High Falls Conservation Area in Hudson and Philmont, New York, is home to the High Falls waterfall. The park consists of about one mile of trails that navigate visitors through hemlock ravines along the Agawamuck Creek. The crown jewel of the park is High Falls which is a stunning 150-foot tall waterfall. High Falls can be seen from its base and also from an overlook, both accessible via the trails.

#9 Rainbow Falls – 150 feet

  • Address: Keene Valley, NY
  • Directions: HERE

Rainbow Falls is a breathtaking waterfall located in Accord, New York, in the Adirondack Mountains. Cascade Brook has carved away at the heart of the High Peaks to build a little canyon that is so narrow that it rarely sees the full sun.  The end result is a breathtakingly gorgeous alley, with Rainbow Falls as the main attraction. The 150-foot-tall waterfall rushes down the steep walls of the canyon. The waterfall is reached via a 6.50-mile climb that takes around 3 hours to finish. That said, Rainbow Falls is such a majestic spot that you’ll want to stay awhile.

#10 Pratt’s Falls – 137 feet

Pratt's Falls in Manlius, New York, Upstate - GoXplr
Photo by user: @tom
  • Address: Pratts Falls Drive, Pompey, NY
  • Directions: HERE

Pratt’s Falls Park is a county park in the town of Pompey in upstate New York. The park officially opened to the public on July 3, 1934, and its main attraction is the 137-foot waterfall. Pratt’s Falls is a lovely cascade that can be seen from its top and its base. There is a short quarter-mile trail to access the base overlook and the top of the waterfall can be seen by walking just a few feet from Pratts Falls Drive. Aside from the waterfall, the park offers many amenities including pavilions, a rustic community-styled lodge (Camp Brockway), an archery facility, a well-maintained trail network, and much more! Pratt’s Falls Park is one of the parks included in the Onondaga County Parks system.

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