Impressive waterfalls are not all buried in dark ravines accessible only by difficult trails. Our roadside waterfalls near Rochester are spectacular, and for some, you do not need to get out of your car!
The waterfalls listed are also pinned on our open-source Google Map.
These waterfalls are either viewable from a parking area or by a short pathway.
1. Taughannock Falls
Taughannock Falls from the Overlook View Point
The overlook view point is a short, paved walkway off the main parking lot. From this stone balcony, you have the most picturesque view of Taughannock.
To top it off, this observation point is free! The New York State Parks website for Taughannock Falls has a helpful virtual tour where you can pan around the area and see the walkways for yourself.
Taughannock Falls from the Gorge
The gorge trail inside the park is a 3/4 mile hard-packed gravel path that leads to the main attraction, so not a short walk but one along even ground. There is a beautiful cascade closer to the parking lot.
2. Papermill Falls
Viewable from parking lot.
3. Littleville Falls
There is a small spot to park on the side street across the road. Stand on the bridge to see this view.
4. Oatka Creek Dam & Old Buttermilk Falls
This is the dam south of Main Street. The view is great from the bridge or from Farmer’s Creekside Inn. North of the bridge, there is a parking lot with a path alongside Oatka Creek. Follow the path to view Old Buttermilk Falls.
5. Buttermilk Falls
The falls are a short, paved walk from the parking lot.
6. Shequaga Falls
Viewable from the street, and by a short, paved pathway that leads to the waterfall. You can also drive up to the bridge over the falls.
7. Niagara Falls
Park on Goat Island where Horseshoe, Bridal Veil and American Falls are accessible using a paved pathway. Horseshoe Falls is the the closest to the main parking lot.
Many would say the head-on view of Niagara Falls is better on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. This is definitely the case when you have a great vantage point in a hotel, restaurant, or Ferris Wheel.
Letchworth showcases three magnificent waterfalls for people with all abilities, with the abundance of overlooks and parking areas throughout the park.
9. Hector Falls
Park on the shoulder of Rt 414 either before or after the falls. You can see them as you drive over the bridge, but there is nowhere to pull over so look quick!
10. Glen Park Falls
Glen Park has a handicap-only parking lot with a direct view of the falls. Down the street is a larger parking lot, and the pathways are paved to walk to the falls.
11. Holley Canal Falls
The falls are viewable from the parking lot, and are just a short walk away.
12. Clarendon Falls
The falls are visible from the parking area, or a short walk across a grass-lawn.
13. Wiscoy Creek Falls
Viewable from the road.
14. Schoolmarm Falls
Viewable from the road.
15. Corbett’s Glen
Park along Glen Road and walk a short way down the street and through the tunnel to this little heaven-on-earth.
16. Mills Mills Falls
Viewable from the road.
17. Clarksburg Falls
Viewable from the road.
18. Honeoye Falls
You can glimpse the top of the falls from the parking lot. There is also a viewing platform next to the falls that is a short walk from the lot. Walk around the building and down the grassy lawn to stand next to them.
19. Honeoye Creek Falls
Viewable from the road, and also a short walk over grass in Veterans Memorial Park.
20. Ludloville Falls
Also called Salmon Creek Falls. A short walk across the village park lawn.
21. High Falls on the Genesee River
Viewable from the parking area on St. Paul Blvd, from the Pont de Rennes pedestrian bridge, the roof top at Genesee Brew House, and points along Brown’s Race.
22. Ithaca Falls
Viewable from the road. Take an easy trail down to the falls.
23. Forest Falls
Viewable from the bridge, though parking in the area is not ideal. Use the trails from Triphammer.
24. Triphammer Falls
Paved walkway from parking area. Also viewable from the bridge.
25. Wells Falls
Also called Businessman’s Lunch Falls. Viewable from the bridge overhead, but not the most ideal viewpoint. Park at the wildflower preserved across the bridge and take a pathway made of Hard-packed gravel, large-stone gravel, and dirt from parking area to gorge below the falls.
26. Robert H. Treman State Park
View Enfield Falls from the upper parking lot by the Mill. Access to Lucifer Falls involves stairs.
According to one daytripper, “There is a nice little triple drop falls just behind the old mill and another nice one just upstream from the main creek and easily seen from the bridge between the 2 upper parking lots.”
27. Horseshoe Falls
There is a small parking lot on Fall Creek Rd. with a short walkway leading to the bridge. The south end of the bridge is accessible via a staircase from University Ave.
28. Churchville Dam
The dam can be seen from Buffalo Rd. There is also green-space on either side of Black Creek, and a west-bank viewing platform, to enjoy the falls up close.
29. Fall Brook Falls
Park alongside NY-63 and walk a hard-packed dirt trail south to the top of the waterfall, or north along the edge of the gorge below.
A very helpful r/Rochester community member shared this about Brook Falls: “You can enter near the alfalfa plant, just follow the creek bed up for a little bit and you’ll get to the bottom of the gorge. Tevas or water shoes are recommended as you need to walk in the water a little. I wouldn’t recommend going down from the other side it is pretty steep and slippery dirt.”
30. Channing H. Philbrick
As Irondequoit Creek passes through Channing H Philbrick Park, it drops 90 feet over one mile giving us the cascades that make this park so special.
You can view the creek a bit from the car parking in the Linear Park Dr. small lot, or on the other side of the bridge at the end of N. Washington St. The bridge is for pedestrians only.
Waterfalls near Rochester with a short walk, yet not easily traversed due to stairs and uneven trails
31. Deckertown Falls
A short trail runs along the south bank of Deckertown Creek where you can access to the creek and the waterfall. There are several more along this trail as well.
32. Eagle Cliff Falls in Havana Glen
The pathway is a 1/4 mile long trail, which has several sets of stairs. There are several falls leading you toward Eagle Cliff.
33. Carpenter Falls
A 0.1 mile path leads from the parking area to the falls.
Water trails are either formally marked routes along a navigable waterway, or simply any waterway suitable for kayaks and small motorized watercraft.
There are so many interesting roadside attractions near Rochester. As you’re driving around the area, you should at least see these five!
Venture into one of these New York State Parks within a 2-hour drive of Rochester and discover what makes them each unique!
Where are your favorite roadside waterfalls?
Share with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!