State Parks: Niagara Falls

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 waterfalls you should absolutely visit if you haven’t already.

Our Favorite Five Waterfalls

  1. High Falls
  2. Niagara Falls, USA
  3. Corbett’s Glen
  4. Taughannock Falls
  5. Grimes Glen
High Falls Genesee River Rochester view
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.

Best New York Attractions - Niagara Falls American Falls
Niagara Falls, USA

2. Niagara Falls, USA

America’s oldest state park is awe-inspiring in any season.

Corbetts Glen
Corbett’s Glen

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.

State Parks Taughannock Falls
Taughannock Falls State Park

4. Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls is one of the most accessible waterfalls in our park system. It’s also the only gorge trail open all year long.

Grimes Glen climb waterfall
Grimes Glen, Second Waterfall

5. 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.

It’s much more difficult to see in the wintertime, but I’ve seen some beautiful photography taken when everything is iced over. A great hike for the adventurous!

39 Natural Swimming Holes

On a hot day, you can sit under a waterfall, swim in a lake, or jump in a creek at one of these refreshing natural swimming areas.

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32 Roadside Waterfalls Near Rochester

Impressive waterfalls are not all buried in dark ravines accessible only by difficult trails. And for some, you do not need to get out of your car.

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49 New York State Parks Within a 2-hour Drive of Rochester

Venture into one of these New York State Parks within a two hour drive of Rochester and discover what makes them each unique!

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26 Incredible Creeks Around Rochester

These beautiful creeks around Rochester impact us in such subtle ways they sometimes disappear into the background of our lives.

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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.