Minnehaha Falls, New York

I visited Watkins Glen State Park almost 4 years ago to the day, and I guess it’s as good of a time as any to reminisce. In early May, Watkins Glen is often still trying to shrug off the effects of winter. When we visited, only about a third of the trail was available for hiking. The other two-thirds was blocked off because park rangers still had to make sure that there weren’t any dangerous new obstacles. The park was very good about making us aware that only a portion of the trail was hike-able before we paid the entry fee.

As you start along the trail, Sentry Falls is right in view. There is an uphill climb, though it is not particularly bad. I believe Minnehaha Falls is the second clearly visible waterfall along the trail. It is a difficult waterfall to capture, as there’s not an angle that is especially good for photographing the falls. It is easy to capture the stunning effects of erosion. As you continue further along, you will encounter the Cavern Cascade.

So if you’re planning on visiting Watkins Glen State Park, what’s the best bet? Visit in late May or early June when you’ll have more luck hiking the whole Gorge Trail.

Directions:

  1. Watkins Glen State Park is directly off of NY-14 in Watkins Glen.
  2. Pay the state park entrance fee, and then park.
  3.  This waterfall can be seen along the Gorge Trail.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 20′
Length of Hike: up to 3 miles round-trip

Minnehaha Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Minnehaha Falls?

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Waterfall in Watkins Glen SP, New York

The last post about Watkins Glen State Park was a while ago, so I might as well take a little time to inform you again about this really interesting state park with numerous waterfalls. Right inside the city of Watkins Glen is the state park of the mentioned glen. When you can visit, you’ll be introduced to a number of different waterfalls with very different personalities. The problem happens to be that you can’t always visit. When my dad and I visited in early May, the state park system was still cleaning up the damage that had occurred during the winter. (It seems to be an expected event in many of the glens.) At least there’s a sense of placing safety first here.

There are some really impressive waterfalls in the park, and then there are some smaller drops that aren’t necessarily the most interesting, but they can still be rather cool. Often, the rock formations around the falls are the nifty part. This specific drop is one of those smaller drops that hasn’t been named, but it should still be recognized.

Directions:

  1. Watkins Glen State Park is directly off of NY-14 in Watkins Glen.
  2. Pay the state park entrance fee, and then park.
  3. This waterfall can be seen along the Gorge Trail.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 5′
Length of Hike: up to 3 miles round-trip

Waterfall in Watkins Glen in May 2009

Where in the World is this Waterfall in Watkins Glen?

Lower Eagle Cliff Falls, New York

I previously discussed Eagle Cliff Falls, which is upstream from this smaller set of waterfalls. This smaller set of falls is a set of multiple drops, each about 3-8 feet tall. While Eagle Cliff Falls is taller, this is also just as interesting. They are also easier to access, as you don’t have to hike up the short trail to get to Eagle Cliff Falls. Even that trail is not significantly steep, but this can be viewed without much effort at all!

Directions:

  1. From the city of Montour Falls, head south on NY-14 for a very short distance.
  2. On your left, you will find Havana Glen Rd. Turn left onto Havana Glen Rd.
  3. There will be park and parking area off of Havana Glen Rd. to your right. Park in this area.
  4. You will pass the the baseball diamonds and head toward a sign in a remote corner of the park that will lead to the trail for Eagle Cliff Falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip

Lower Eagle Cliff Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Lower Eagle Cliff Falls?

NY-14 Falls #2, New York

The second unnamed falls on NY route 14 (May 2009)

As I’m driving along in different places looking for waterfalls, every once in a while I spot waterfalls that are off on the side of the road. In some places, like North Carolina or Colorado, I couldn’t exactly stop to take photos of these often unmentioned falls because of the insanely winding roads lacking pulloffs.

So I was pleasantly surprised to find at least three smaller waterfalls along New York route 14 that I could actually stop and photograph. These might not even be of significance to many, but I still think they’re cool. I visited this area near Watkins Glen in early May, and based on the level of water, these waterfalls are likely seasonal. They are also not as big as many of the other waterfalls in the area. Even so, I think all waterfalls are at least moderately interesting, so pay attention to these surprises.

Directions:

  1. As you’re driving south on NY-14 from Watkins Glen toward Montour Falls, these three waterfalls will be on your right. All three of the waterfalls I photographed were north of Aunt Sarah’s Falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: ~40′
Length of Hike: roadside

Where in the World is NY-14 Falls #2?

Eagle Cliff Falls, New York

In Havana Glen, there is this interesting waterfall known as Eagle Cliff Falls. The waterfall is not nearly as tall or wide as some of the other falls in the area, nor is it as widely known. Maybe that’s what makes it so interesting. This was one of the few waterfalls in New York where there was no one else around.

It’s located in a park, and you may have to pay for entrance into the park at certain times, though when I was there, nobody was accepting payment. The hike to the falls is short, though it seems very secluded. As you hike along, you are hugging cliff walls. This trail may be closed until mid-May, as are many other waterfalls in the area. It’s still worth checking out, though.

Directions:

  1. From the city of Montour Falls, head south on NY-14 for a very short distance.
  2. On your left, you will find Havana Glen Rd. Turn left onto Havana Glen Rd.
  3. There will be park and parking area off of Havana Glen Rd. to your right. Park in this area.
  4. You will pass the the baseball diamonds and head toward a sign in a remote corner of the park that will lead to the trail for Eagle Cliff Falls.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 41′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

Eagle Cliff Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Eagle Cliff Falls?

NY-14 Falls #3, New York

As I mentioned when discussing NY-14 Falls #1, as you’re driving along NY-14 from Watkins Glen to Montour Falls, you’ll find a number of smaller waterfalls that aren’t really reported. Sometimes smaller waterfalls go to the wayside when near larger waterfalls. These three waterfalls are all very pretty, and are extremely easy to visit as they’re right off of NY-14. I’m guessing these waterfalls might only be flowing in late winter, spring, or after a heavy rainfall.

Directions:

  1. As you’re driving south on NY-14 from Watkins Glen toward Montour Falls, these three waterfalls will be on your right. All three of the waterfalls I photographed were north of Aunt Sarah’s Falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 25′
Length of Hike: roadside

A waterfall along NY-14 (May 2009)

Where in the World is NY-14 Falls #3?

Sentry Falls, New York

Sentry Falls is the first waterfall that you see when entering Watkins Glen, and it is my favorite of the falls in the park. That might seem odd, considering people can’t even see the whole waterfall at this point because it is twisting and turning so much. It is not the tallest or widest fall in the park either. It’s just the most scenic of the waterfalls that I saw.

As I have mentioned before, I visited Watkins Glen State Park in early May when only the first third of the gorge trail was open. That means I have not seen all of the falls up close. I have seen other amazing pictures of other falls in the park, but some of those I have not seen. So I must settle with Sentry Falls. Part of the beauty of Sentry Falls lies in the beautiful rock surrounding it and the extremely cool stone suspension bridge built over the falls. To me, it is one of the most intriguing views in all of the park…and it’s the first thing you see!

Directions:

  1. Watkins Glen State Park is directly off of NY-14 in Watkins Glen.
  2. Pay the state park entrance fee, and then park.
  3. Sentry Falls greets you as you start your hike.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 25′
Length of Hike: up to 3 miles round-trip (Sentry Falls is at the start)

Sentry Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Sentry Falls?