Holley Canal Falls

Holley Canal Falls

Holley Canal Falls, also known as Holley Falls, is located in the heart of the public square in the Village of Holley. The water that flows into the glen, merging with Sandy Creek below, is overflow from the Erie Canal.

Even during the hottest time of year, when many of our waterfalls dry and dwindle to a trickle at best, you’re guaranteed a flow of water from the canal.

Holley Canal Falls
Roadside Waterfalls near Rochester Holley Canal Falls
Holley Canal Falls
Holley Falls Sandy Creek

The Waterfall

You can park right next to the fall. Take Frisbee Terrace and Holley Falls Park Road down from the center of the village, near the pharmacy.

From there you can cross Sandy Creek over the foot bridge and toward the pavilion, or over the culvert where you can stand right next to the fall and enjoy a closer look at the beautiful red Medina sandstone.

The fall is a gorgeous backdrop for senior pics and weddings!

Holley Canal Falls roadside

This is one of our favorite roadside waterfalls—you can see it perfectly just sitting in your car.

Holley Falls Erie Canal
Holley Canal Falls restrooms
Holley Canal
Holley Canal Park

Holley Canal Park

You can also start up at Holley Canal Park. Follow the paths that lead through the park or along the canal to the outlet.

Though the trail here does follow the canal, it is not the official Erie Canalway Trail, which is across the canal on the north side.

There are a lot of confusing directions to find Holley Canal Falls from the canal path. Just know if you are on the Erie Canalway Trail you are on the wrong side of the canal to find the falls. Cross over the canal using the lift bridge. There you will also find a lovely restroom!

Holley Falls canal origin
Holley Canal Falls canal overflow
Holley Canal Falls culvert
Holley Falls atop

Canal Overflow

From the canal path, you’ll wind your way to the top of Holley Canal Falls to peek down at the area below.

It’s fairly easy to access this spot, though the trail can be muddy so please watch your footing.

Holley Falls trail
Holley Canal Falls trail
Holley Canal Falls ravine
Holley Canal Falls accessibile

Hiking Trail

In general, the loop trail wraps around the park and connects the lower falls area to the upper canal area creating an easy hike a little over a mile long.

From the base of the waterfall, there are two spots to connect with the trail that leads up to the canal.

You can take the footbridge across Sandy Creek and follow it off to the right. This is the quickest way to access the top of the waterfall.

Or, from the far end of the parking lot, head up the trail which leads directly to Holley Canal Park. There’s a large green space here with a pond and playground. Head toward the canal and off to the right to find the outlet and connect to the other half of the trail which leads to the top of the waterfall.

There is a third path to the left of the fall, though I’ve not yet taken it myself and it looks to be much steeper of a climb than the other two options.

Holley Canal Falls Sandy Creek summer

East Branch Sandy Creek

East Branch Sandy Creek flows over Clarendon Falls before making its way through Holley.

From here, she continues under the canal and onward to Lake Ontario, emptying just east of Hamlin Beach State Park. You can launch a kayak from the Sandy Creek boat launch near Lake Ontario.

Erie Canal Holley historic train depot
Holley Depot Museum

Holley Depot

While you’re in the area, check out the Holley Depot Museum and Historic Society.

Though it’s only open on Sundays (check before you go,) it’s an interesting structure with historical markers around it to help tell its story.

Sams Diner Holley NY
Sam’s Diner

Dining Within Walking Distance of Holley Canal Falls

Sam’s Diner

Holley Falls Bar & Grill

Dustin’s Pizzeria

More information about Holley Canal Falls

Cost: Free

Located in Holley, roughly 45 minutes / 25 miles west of Rochester (get directions)

More helpful information can be found at uncoveringnewyork.com, nyfalls.com, gowaterfalling.com, falzguy.com

Parking: If you find that the parking area at the base of the fall is full, try the lot near the canal lift bridge on East Ave, or on Geddes near the old train depot.

27 Perfect Picnic Spots Around Rochester

When searching for the perfect picnic spots, I look for a picnic table, scenery and proximity to water, shade, and relative privacy.

Read more

My 2020 Day Trips

My favorite day trips in 2020 weren’t so different from our 2019 trips except they were a little less often, with less stops and less people.

Read more

Exploring the Erie Canal

The Erie Canal spans 100-miles between Lockport and Clyde, with Rochester located right in the middle. Choose 15 miles to explore for a great day trip!

Read more

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.

Read more

21 Hidden Places Around Rochester

Explore some of our hidden gems this week! There’s no time like the present to start checking some off these extraordinary places your list.

Read more

Have you visited Holley Canal Falls?

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


2 thoughts on “Holley Canal Falls”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.