The Finger Lakes area of New York has so many different waterfalls to visit. Watkins Glen is a popular destination that has a lot of waterfalls. The waterfalls near Watkins Glen are incredible and are close enough that you can visit them all in the same day.
Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park actually as multiple waterfalls all wrapped up into a unique “glen” (kind of like a mini canyon). At Watkins Glen State Park, you can walk throughout the glen and view 19 waterfalls. There is even one waterfall that you can walk behind on the paved trail.
There are various trails and parking lots in Watkins Glen State Park, but one main trail cuts through the glen and allows you to see all of the waterfalls. More information on the parking and trail situation can be found in my blog post of Watkins Glen State Park.
My favorite waterfall in the Watkins Glen State Park is the Rainbow Falls, which is one of the last waterfalls to see if you’re walking from east to west. Watkins Glen State Park is a great experience for the whole family and totally worth a visit.
Shequaga Falls is a tall waterfall in the town of Montour Falls, New York, which is just south of the town of Watkins Glen. It is large waterfall that you can see from the street. It is located in the heart of Montour Falls and has a small park directly in front of it.
If visiting Shequaga Falls, I recommend grabbing a coffee or pastry from “North New York” which is an adorable and delicious coffee shop just a block away. Their cheddar bacon scone is one of the best I’ve ever had in my life. After getting a snack, you can sit on one of the benches in front of this beautiful waterfall.
Aunt Sarah’s Falls
Aunt Sarah’s Falls is along the main road (Route 14) in between Watkins Glen and Montour Falls, being quite close to town line of Montour Falls. It is very close to Shequaga Falls. It is a 90-foot tall waterfall that can be a large cascade or trickle depending on the time of year. The waterfall is most grand after a rainstorm or snowmelt.
When we visited, it hadn’t rained in a while, so the waterfall was much more of trickle rather than a waterfall, but it may be worth checking out on a wetter day. Luckily, it is right beside the road, so it is easy to see.
Eagle Cliff Falls
Eagle Cliff Falls is located in Havana Glen Park close to the town of Montour Falls. It is a lesser known waterfall compared to some of the other waterfalls in the area. Even though it is one of the smaller falls, it is one of my favorite because it is less crowded and you can wade in the water up close to the waterfall.
To see Eagle Cliff Falls, you must pay the $2 entrance fee to Havana Glen Park and park in the gravel parking area in the back closest to the forest, past all of the baseball fields. There is a really short hike back into the glen to reach the waterfall. The walkway is rocky and can be slick when wet, so keep this in mind.
I recommend wearing shoes that you don’t mind getting wet or sandals you can walk in the water with so that you can walk closer to the waterfall through the shallow stream.
Note: We visited in late spring and the waterfall had a lot of water flowing over the edge. However, I have seen pictures later in the summer when things are a little drier and it can be a much smaller stream of water flowing.
Tips for Visiting Waterfalls Around Watkins Glen, New York
Go in late spring or early summer
The waterfalls in the Finger Lakes tend to be larger in the late spring and early summer due to the increased rain and also from winter’s snow melting. Some waterfalls by the end of summer are almost non-existent because there’s not a lot of water flowing. To see the most majestic “version” of the waterfalls, visit in late spring or early summer.
Visit earlier in the morning
Watkins Glen is a popular area, so the waterfalls can be really popular, especially on a nice summer Saturday. To have the most serene waterfall experience, I recommend visiting in the morning. Visiting in the morning will have less crowds and will also be easier to find a place to park, etc. Watkins Glen State Park can get particularly busy and crowded. Visiting in the morning can give a more relaxed experience.
Visiting the Finger Lakes soon? Check out some of my other blog posts on the area:
Thanks for reading! I hope that this post helps you in planning your trip to Watkins Glen and the Finger Lakes of New York. Let me know if you know any comments or questions!
Thanks for reading!