Niagara Falls observation tower view cover

5 Exceptional Waterfalls Near Rochester

There is an overwhelming number of waterfalls near Rochester, NY! It can be challenging to pick one from a list of a hundred and hope it’s worth the trip.

This list is perfect if you’re a resident, college student, or a guest from out of town. Think of this as a starter-set of five places you should absolutely visit if you haven’t already.

Waterfalls Near Rochester: High Falls Genesee River
High Falls on the Genesee River in Rochester

1. High Falls

There are very few cities in America with an incredible waterfall as a central focal point! View this urban fall from several vantage points to truly appreciate its significance: the Pont de Rennes Bridge, the east-bank viewing platform, and the roof of the Genesee Brew House.


Waterfalls near Rochester - Best New York Attractions - Niagara Falls American Falls
Niagara Falls American Falls from the Crows Nest

2. Niagara Falls, USA

Don’t just see the falls—feel them! Pay just $1.25 (2018 price) to take the elevator down from the Observation Tower. Instead of going right to board the Maid of the Mist, head left toward the falls and climb the stairs for a truly intense experience. Don’t forget to grab a discarded blue poncho because you will be absolutely soaked!

Though there are paid parking areas, they do fill up! Save yourself the trouble and park at Whirlpool State Park. Not only can you check out the view, but parking is free, and the Discovery Shuttle will take you right to the falls.


Waterfalls near Rochester - Corbetts Glen
Corbett’s Glen, Tunnel Falls

3. Corbett’s Glen

It’s hard to believe this incredible haven is in Brighton! Enjoy a walk along the two-mile trail with breathtaking views of waterfalls, wetland marsh, woodland and meadow.


Waterfalls near Rochester - Grimes Glen second waterfall
Grimes Glen, Second Waterfall

4. Grimes Glen

Grimes Glen is public, free, and you are encouraged to wade up the creek to the first and second waterfalls—both 60-foot cascades.

Parking on a hot day is pretty tough, though. I highly recommend getting there before 9 am on a potentially busy day.


Taughannock Falls State Park
Taughannock Falls State Park

5. Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls is one of the most accessible waterfalls in our park system. You can walk in the creek and play in the tiny cascades along the gorge as well.


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Where are your favorite waterfalls near Rochester?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!


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COVID-19 NOTE: Some of the information you find in our articles may currently be inaccurate due to closures and cancellations.

Please follow the most current recommendations from the CDC and New York State for spending time away from your home. The great outdoors can provide a well needed respite & escape during stressful times. Please move quickly through parking lots, trail heads, and scenic areas. If crowded, choose a different park, trail, or time to visit. Please day trip responsibly.