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?

Minnehaha Falls, Minnesota

Minnehaha Falls in mid-October 2011

If you’re visiting Minneapolis, and you want to see a waterfall in the city, Minnehaha Falls is the waterfall for you. It’s a few miles outside of downtown Minneapolis in one of the suburbs not to far from Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. Getting to the falls is not particularly difficult either. I was expecting to face a lot of traffic, but there wasn’t a significant amount, and there was also plentiful parking when I visited.

At Minnehaha Falls Park, you’ll find a fish and chips restaurant (which I didn’t visit since I’m not a big fish person). You’ll also find a number of different viewpoints for the falls. There is one viewpoint that essentially starts near the crest of the falls and extends outward without any significant elevation change. This is where the picture shown here was taken. If you would like to get a closer view, head down the stone steps to the viewpoint in front of the base of the falls. You’ll be in front of the falls, though you won’t be extremely close to them. When I visited in mid-October of last year, the sun just so happened to be at the right angle that it was causing some problems getting great pictures. There also wasn’t a massive amount of water, though there was still more than a number of other falls in the area (some of which had almost dried out).

Note: Hidden Falls is found very close by on the other side of the Mississippi River.

Directions:

  1. There are a number of different ways to get to the falls. One would be to exit MN-62 (if you’re headed west) at Hiawatha Avenue (which is also MN-55).
  2. You’ll continue on MN-55 for a short distance.
  3. Then turn right onto Minnehaha Avenue and essentially follow the signs to the park.
  4. There is a parking fee required, though it is not any significant amount. Just bring change. I ended up parking further away in order to avoid any difficulties parking.
  5. Follow the people to the falls!

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 53′
Length of Hike: 0.4 miles round-trip (from nearest parking area)

Where in the World is Minnehaha Falls?

Minnehaha Falls, Georgia

Minnehaha Falls in March 2009

Off in the remote parts of Georgia are some surprisingly beautiful waterfalls. Minnehaha Falls is one of the more accessible falls in this area around Lake Rabun. The trip to the falls involves a whole lot of twisting and turning at 25 mph on roads that hug the mountains, so get ready to get a little bit dizzy! But when you finally get to the falls, you’ll be extremely happy you’re a little bit dizzy.

The most difficulty I had with finding Minnehaha Falls was that I turned on the wrong road. There are two other waterfalls on another road along Lake Rabun. I misread the sign and then spent a while trying to figure out why I wasn’t finding Minnehaha Falls. Finally, though, all turned out OK!

Directions:

  1. You’ll be travelling along US-441 north of Tallulah Falls.
  2. About 2 miles north of Tallulah Falls will be Old US-441.
  3. Turn onto old US-441, heading west for about 2.5 miles.
  4. Turn left on Lake Rabun Road and go for 6 miles. You will come to a dam with a road that crosses the lake/river right before the dam.
  5. Turn left and cross the dam.
  6. After a very short distance, you will turn left onto Bear Gap Road, which is a dirt road.
  7. Go about 1.5 miles on Bear Gap Road to a sign indicating the trail to Minnehaha Falls.
  8. There is only parking for two or three cars. After parking, head up the trail.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 75′
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Minnehaha Falls?