Taughannock Falls is a massive waterfall and is the crown jewel of Taughannock Falls State Park in Ulysses, New York. With a primary plunge of 215 feet, Taughannock Falls is 33 feet taller than Niagara Falls. It has the distinction of being the highest single-drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. The waterfall is found along Taughannock Creek, which runs through a long gorge with 400-foot-high cliffs.
A hanging valley is depicted by the waterfall and gorge. It was formed where the stream-shaped valley of Taughannock Creek meets the deeper glacially carved valley of Cayuga Lake. The valley has continued to retreat westward from Cayuga Lake as the stream wears away the easily eroded shale around the fall’s base, exposing erosion-resistant siltstone and sandstone in the upper gorge. Small faults in the sandstone are also subjected to annual freeze-thaw cycles, causing vast parts of the gorge to break away and expand.
The waterfall overlook offers some of the best and most accessible views of the waterfall. It is located just a few feet from the parking area and allows visitors to view the waterfall nearly from eye level. Parking at the overlook is free. Dogs are welcome at Taughannock Falls.
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- Height: 215 feet
- Type: Plunge
- Water source: Taughannock Creek
- Swimming: Prohibited and/or not possible