13 Frozen Waterfalls You Need to Visit in New York This Winter
There’s nothing like frozen falls in the middle of winter. Here are 13 fantastic frozen waterfalls you need to visit during the snowy, colder months.
There’s nothing like Niagara Falls in any season, never mind the winter. Experience the falls up close and personal at Cave of the Winds, a journey under the Falls. Explore the park on a free pair of snowshoes or lace up the skates at DeVeaux Woods State Park and Reservoir State Park.
When the temperatures drop and the crowds thin, Niagara Falls State Park becomes even more magical. With trees that sparkle and views that take your breath away, bundle up and come experience what is considered the most wonderful time of the year.
Location: 332 Prospect Street, Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Taughannock Falls State Park
Taughannock Falls, the highest single-drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains, is located in Ulysses, New York in the Finger Lakes region. Water plunges 215 feet past rocky cliffs that tower nearly 400 feet above the gorge. There are several gorge and rim hiking trails to take in the spectacular views from above the falls or below. In addition to the frozen falls, winter enthusiasts can also enjoy cross country skiing, skating, and sledding.
Location: 1740 Taughannock Blvd. Trumansburg, NY 14886
Middle Falls is one of three major waterfalls on the Genessee River in Letchworth State Park. It was said to be known as “Ska-ga-dee” by the local Native Americans. The 107 foot high Middle Falls comprised the lower drop of the nearly back-to-back series of waterfalls with the Upper Falls. A number of trails are closed during the winter months in Letchworth State Park but the One-Way at Upper Middle Falls road has been turned into a Two-Way traffic pattern for the winter season.
Location: 1 Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY 14427
High Falls is located along the Genesee River in Rochester, New York, and drops nearly 100 feet into a large circular area at the base of the falls. The area was Rochester’s early industrial development when companies were powered by falling water.
You can only view the falls from above and the best spot is on the Pont de Rennes bridge, a modern landmark recreated in 1982 from the former 1891 Platt Street Bridge.
Location: Pont de Rennes, Rochester, NY 14614
Chittenango Falls State Park
Chittenango Falls isn’t as high as Taughannock falls but it’s still spectacular. The 167-foot waterfall is the main attraction of Chittenango Falls State Park with glacial sculpting over 400 million-year-old bedrock. You can view the falls from the top, walk the winding trail into the gorge to view the falls from the footbridge, and return to the top along the small trail on the opposite side.
Location: 6105 East Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville, NY 13078
Rainbow Falls is a 91-foot waterfall at the head of the Ausable Chasm and is one of the most photographed falls in the Adirondacks. You can get a great view of the falls from the bridge on Route 9 just outside of Keeseville, New York. Or you can hike one of the three trails for a small admission fee.
Location: NYS Route 9 between Plattsburgh and Keeseville
Eternal Flames Falls
Eternal Flames Falls is in Shale Creek Preserve at Chestnut Ridge Park. In a small cave at the bottom of a 35-foot waterfall, there’s an 8-inch flame that defies all scientific explanation. Despite water all around it, the flame stays lit ‘almost’ year-round.
If you plan on making a trip to see the Eternal Flame Falls in Orchard Park, New York, remember to respect the trails that can be slippery and dangerous, especially in the winter months. You’ll need to wear proper hiking shoes. And don’t forget a lighter. The flame sometimes goes out if it gets too windy. But hikers always have a lighter on hand to keep it going.
Location: Eternal Flame Hiking Trail, Orchard Park, NY 14127
Salmon River Falls
Salmon River Falls is a 110-foot waterfall on the Salmon River in Oswego County, New York. It provides stunning photos in the winter months as well as an ice wall popular for ice climbing. Climbers must register daily by depositing a registration form in the kiosk box prior to entering the gorge. Winter enthusiasts can also enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on all the hiking trails.
Location: Town of Orwell, Oswego County
High Falls Gorge is a 22-acre, privately owned nature park with four spectacular waterfalls in Wilmington, New York. The half-mile, round trip trail is called “the Adirondacks most breathtaking 30-minute walk.” A small admission fee is required to walk the trails, but it’s totally worth it, in any season.
Location: 4761 NYS Route 86, Wilmington, NY 12997
Buttermilk Falls is at the end of a 0.1-mile trail in Buttermilk Falls State Park. It’s not recommended for cross-country skiing but you can hike or snowshoe to the falls.
Location: 112 E. Buttermilk Falls Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850
Ludlowville Falls is on Salmon Creek in Lansing, New York. Water pours over a hard limestone cap to form the beautiful Falls. The soft shale underneath has eroded away, creating a unique overhang cave and deep plunge pool. It is said Ludlowville Falls was a filming location for several movies during the silent movie era.
Location: Southeast end of Cayuga Lake, in the village of Ludlowville
Kaaterskill Falls is a two-stage waterfall on Spruce Creek in the eastern Catskill Mountains. The two cascades total 260 feet, making Kaaterskill Falls one of the highest waterfalls in New York. The hike is a short 1.4 miles roundtrip. Snowmobiling is available on the Kaaterskill High Peak Trail as well as
cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Poets, painters, filmmakers, and photographers have used Kaaterskill Falls as inspiration in literature, art, and movies.
Location: Route 23A Haines Falls, New York 12436
Stony Kills Falls
Stony Kill Falls lies within Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Wawarsing, New York. It was a secret gem for decades but has become more well known. The 87-foot drop is hidden in the southwest part of the Preserve, with no official access route. The 1.5-mile round trip hike includes two footbridges, stone steps, and a trail up a steep slope to the upper falls.
Location: 5281 Route 44-55, Kerhonkson, NY 12446
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