Cascadilla Falls #1, New York

When we arrived in early May, most of the Cascadilla Gorge Trail was closed. We were able to see the first three falls in the gorge, and then the rest of the trail was blocked. If you want to see more of the gorge and more falls, you should show up in mid-May or later.

The first drop that I viewed on the Cascadilla Gorge was a very nice cascading waterfall that doesn’t really even require entry onto the gorge trail. It can be seen at the entrance of the park. It is also the furthest downriver. A short hike will get you closer to the falls, though.

Directions:

  1. When you’re in Ithaca, try to somehow get to Linn Street. A GPS system would probably be very helpful if you don’t know the area. You can try and park on Linn Street, though when I visited, that was virtually impossible. It is much easier to park on one of the streets running perpendicular to Linn. I parked at a parking meter near a church.
  2. Head back to the entrance to the Gorge, which looks like a park.
  3. Start walking up the gorge.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy, I haven’t experienced the whole hike, but I gather it gets much less accessible as you continue on.)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

The first falls in the Cascadilla Gorge in May 2009

Where in the World is Cascadilla Falls #1?

Ithaca Falls, New York

The whole time I lived near Ithaca, I had a hunch that there were some waterfalls nearby…I didn’t realize that there were so many in the city itself, many of them very easy to get to. I would have visited Ithaca Falls when I lived there if I had known! I decided to go back this year once I found out what great waterfalls were in the area.

If you’re only in Ithaca for a short time, it can be difficult to decide which waterfalls to visit. This is one that is very easy to visit, so check it out. The most difficult part is getting to the waterfall. Since it’s a college town, it’s crazy to try to navigate around the city. Add to that the extremely varied terrain, and you could get yourself lost without much difficulty. GPS is probably a necessity if you do not live in the area.

One point before the directions…Ithaca Falls is much larger than it appears in photos. It’s a perspective deception.

Directions:

  1. From NY-79 in Ithaca, head north on Cayuga St.
  2. Turn right onto E. Falls St.
  3. Head to the end of E. Falls St. We couldn’t find the dirt parking lot others have referred to, so we parked for a short period of time next to an apartment complex.
  4. The short trail to the falls starts at the end of Falls St.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 100′
Length of Hike: 0.15 miles round-trip

Ithaca Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Ithaca Falls?

Denison Falls, New York

Off in an corner of a nature center near Ithaca is where you’ll find Denison Falls. It’s not far from the much taller Taughannock Falls and is only a few miles from Ithaca. It is also very easy to get to the top of the falls from the parking area, though I don’t think there’s anyway to get to the base of the falls. This falls might be one that is better viewed in winter or fall when the leaves are off the trees, as the trees have a tendency to block parts of the falls.

Right next to Denison Falls at the nature center is probably the main attraction. It’s a huge 4 or 5 story treehouse, which is sure to excite the child in everyone. We got to the falls, and my dad decided to check out the treehouse. It’s a very nicely built tree house. Check out the treehouse while you’re there, though it’d be hard to miss!

Directions:

  1. From Ithaca, somehow head north on NY-89. How to get onto NY-89 can be difficult to figure out when you’re not familiar with the area.
  2. Head north on NY-89 for about five miles.
  3. On your left, you’ll see a sign for the Cayuga Nature Center. Turn left and then park at the nature center.
  4. Follow the signs to the tree house and falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 21′
Length of Hike: 0.4 miles round-trip

Denison Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Denison Falls?

She-Qua-Ga Falls, New York

I envy the person whose property is right near She-Qua-Ga Falls. She-Qua-Ga Falls is one of the many beautiful waterfalls in the Finger Lakes region of New York that does not require a difficult or complicated walk along a gorge trail to view. The falls are in plain sight in the town of Montour Falls.

There is not really any trek to the falls except for a very enjoyable stroll around the city. It’s beautiful to see She-Qua-Ga Falls with Victorian-style homes in the foreground. It’s just a great sight to see, and easy to view too!!

Directions:

  1. The easiest way to access She-Qua-Ga Falls and see other falls at the same time is to drive south on NY-14 toward Montour Falls from Watkins Glen.
  2. As you’re driving along, you’ll see signs for the falls. To view the falls, you can turn onto Genesee Street.
  3. You may not be able to park on Genesee Street, so we ended up parking on Main Street, I believe, which runs perpendicular to Genesee.
  4. From there the falls will be right in front of you, and the walk is on very level land.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 156′
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip

She-Qua-Ga Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is She-Qua-Ga Falls?

Lake Treman Falls, New York

Lake Treman Falls in May 2009

I guess I’m not even sure if Lake Treman Falls is a truly natural waterfall. It definitely looks like it is. The historical information provided on the trail seemed to indicate, though, that the waterfall was created when a river/lake was dammed. Maybe I misunderstood the sign.

Oh well, whatever the case with Lake Treman Falls, it’s still a very pretty waterfall. It is found in Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca, though this falls is somewhat removed from the other more prominent falls in the park. In order to access Lake Treman Falls, you can hike from the gorge/rim trails to the falls, or you can just park right near the waterfall, since there is a paved road that leads directly to this one waterfall.

While you’re visiting Lake Treman Falls, check out the area surrounding the falls. In the picture, you may notice a foot bridge crossing right above the falls. This bridge leads to a very interesting stone dam/structure, whatever it is.

Directions:

  1. There are multiple ways to access this entrance to the park. I think the easiest is to get onto NY-96B (aka Danby Rd.) heading south from Ithaca.
  2. Heading south, you will come to W. King Road. Turn right onto W. King Road.
  3. Head to the sign for the entrance to Upper Buttermilk Falls State Park. Turn into the entrance
  4. Keep heading down this paved road. It will end after a mile or so. Park here.
  5. You should be able to see the falls directly from that parking area. You can head up the very short trail to get different views of the falls if you would like.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 30′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Lake Treman Falls?

The Narrows, New York

The Narrows in May 2009

Watkins Glen is a beautiful set of waterfalls in the Finger Lakes region of New York. It’s just too bad the whole Gorge Trail wasn’t open when we visited in early May. Only the first third of the Gorge Trail was open, but we still got to see some great waterfalls.

The Narrows is a group of small drops that are forced through a very narrow gap in between the rocks that form Watkins Glen. As the water flows through The Narrows, it erodes the rocks into extremely interesting formations.

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. The Narrows can be seen from the Gorge Trail.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 6′
Length of Hike: up to 3 miles round-trip

Where in the World is The Narrows?

Pratt’s Falls, New York

Pratt’s Falls in May 2009

I almost missed Pratt’s Falls. I had seen it listed online, but hadn’t written down directions to visit it. Luckily, when going to visit Chittenango Falls, there was a pretty clear sign on the road indicating that Pratt’s Falls was nearby. We quickly pulled off onto the road leading to Pratt’s Falls. The waterfall is in a park and is pretty easy to get to.

Once there, we only viewed the falls from the parking area. I think that view is sufficient, though there is a trail that leads to another view of the falls. The falls is extremely beautiful and surprisingly tall. It’s amazing how there’s this stunning waterfall when you least expect it.

Directions:

  1. From I-81, exit onto US-20 heading east.
  2. Drive on US-20 until you see the sign for Pratt’s Falls Park. I think you will take a left.
  3. From there, just follow the signs to the park.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 137′
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Pratt’s Falls?

Cascadilla Falls #2, New York

The second waterfall in the Cascadilla Gorge (May 2009)

I wish I could have seen the whole of Cascadilla Gorge this past May, but there were signs posted saying that parts of the gorge were closed. I saw the first three falls, but didn’t go any further.

This is the second falls in the gorge, assuming that you start at the Linn Street entrance. This falls actually drops for a ways, takes a 90 degree turn and continues on its journey.

Directions:

  1. When you’re in Ithaca, try to somehow get to Linn Street. A GPS system would probably be very helpful if you don’t know the area. You can try and park on Linn Street, though when I visited, that was virtually impossible. It is much easier to park on one of the streets running perpendicular to Linn. I parked at a parking meter near a church.
  2. Head back to the entrance to the Gorge, which looks like a park.
  3. Start walking up the gorge.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy, I haven’t experienced the whole hike, but I gather it gets much less accessible as you continue on.)
Height: 20′
Length of Hike: 0.3 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Cascadilla Falls #2?

Old Mill Falls, New York

Old Mill Falls is right near the Old Mill in Robert H. Treman State Park. Check out the Old Mill while you’re there. You can walk in and see the inside of the mill. The Old Mill and the falls are in the Upper Entrance.  It is by no means the largest of the falls in the park, with Lucifer Falls being the main attraction.  Lucifer Falls requires more effort to visit, though, and may even be closed during the winter and spring months.  Old Mill Falls, on the other hand, is very easy to visit since it’s near the Upper Entrance.

Directions:

  1. Turn onto NY-327 W from NY-13.
  2. Take the road 2.5 miles to the Upper (second) entrance. You’ll have to take a sharp left turn to enter the park.
  3. Drive down to the parking lot. The Old Mill is off in a corner of the parking lot. There is no trail to the falls, as there is no hike required.

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

DSC_0273

Old Mill Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Old Mill Falls?