Waterfalls in Rochester NY – Discover NY Hidden Natural Beauty


Rochester is the home of many waterfalls along with the Genesee river which adds to the beauty and charms of this city. With great scenic views and an enchanting environment, the waterfalls in Rochester NY are sure to amaze you!

The Rochester waterfalls are spread across multiple points and are accompanied by parks, hiking trails, and bridges. Some of the waterfalls can even be visited on the go with a perfect view from the car.

During summertime and fall season, lots of travelers come to these waterfalls. You can also visit in winter and enjoy the view of semi-frozen waters and large icicles along with the winter walk.

Rochester waterfalls have a long history. During the early days, these waterfalls were used as a great energy source which attracted much industrial development near them.

The natural flow facilitated the power generation and you can still see old industrial buildings which gives a strong perspective of the past.

Let’s explore these beautiful waterfalls:

High Falls

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by CITY (@roccitynews)

The High Falls in Rochester is one of the highest waterfalls in NY. Around 96 feet high, the High Falls is located at the heart of the city in the downtown area. It’s one of the major falls in the city and the water flows down the stream to the lower falls. It has a breathtaking view with a combination of the skyline and the waterfall.

It’s also a great place to take wonderful photographs with having city setting and the natural scenery in a single frame.

Rochester High Falls is one of the main attractions in the city and it’s unique by being in the middle of the it. It offers spectacular contrast between the bustling city and nature’s beauty.

The falls can be viewed from the top from many spots. There’s a pedestrian-only bridge “Pont de Rennes” which gives great views and has seating arrangements for the visitors. The bridge also has accessibility for the handicap and you can take along your pet with the leash.

You can enjoy the sunset view from the High Falls terrace which gives a bird-eye view of the waterfall and the rising buildings behind it. Several signboards are placed to tell you about the brief history of the Gorge and the Hydro Power etc.

Access:

There’s a large parking garage one block away from the bridge. Also, you can access a free parking area at the High Falls terrace from where you can walk and relish the beauty of the area.

There’s a close-by restaurant Genesee Brew House which has an overlooking view of the High Falls. You can devour your meals while having a lovely view from the roof.

Check out the information about Genesee River Trail here.


Recommended reading:


Lower Falls
Waterfalls in NY Rochester - Lower Falls

Lower Falls is another wonderful place to see the mighty view of water coming down from around 110 feet of height. It’s surrounded by series of great parks and hiking trails.

As history suggests, it was the first place to get the attention of settlers here and it was extremely beneficial for the grinding process due to the high pressure of water coming down the waterfall.

You can also see the upstream view from Lower Falls Park which is another place to feast your eyes with the breathtaking view of the lower falls. It gives a more extended view and it used to have a passage to the middle falls which is no more now due to dam construction.

The walking trail also connects to the Driving Park Bridge which serves as a vantage point for an exceptional view. It’s to be noted that it has a 10 feet high fence which can be an unpleasant hurdle if you want to capture the lower falls through your camera.

Overall Maplewood Park is a pretty close spot and offers a really pleasant atmosphere. It has a variety of flowers during the season and is a great place for picnics. It has handicap access and you can take your dog along on the leash. All-in-all, it’s a must-visit place with beautiful views and laden with the wonders of nature.

Access:

Maplewood Park can be accessed from multiple points. You could park your car and walk down from the park to the gorge below.

If you are adventurous enough, through Maplewood Park, the gorge provides the access to the river which is a great place for fishing salmon and you can see people trying their luck to catch one.


Recommended reading:


Densmore Creek Falls

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Elizabeth (@elizzlewizzle)

Apart from the main waterfalls in Rochester NY like high falls and lower falls, there are some smaller albeit worth-visiting falls for a shorter trip. Densmore Falls is one of those less popular places with a beautiful view. It’s located in the suburb of Rochester in the town of Irondequoit.

Densmore Falls has a 15-ft cascading design structure that looks very scenic and converts into some good photos. The stones and the water has a bit of red shade due to high levels of iron oxide in the Medina Sandstone Layer. The elevation trail is short and has the same route for going down and back.

The best time to visit is in summer and for good quality lighting and photos, morning time is more suitable. The place is perfect for a short stay and not recommended for swimming and taking your pets along. Also, there’s no accessibility for disabled people.

Access:

This waterfall is a bit difficult to find but you can access it through Norton Street and moving towards the Legacy at Cranberry Landing. There is a parking lot there where you can park your car for free.

Turning Point Falls

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Chrissy Seward (@foodinmypurse)

Turning Point Falls is in the Charlotte neighborhood at Boxart Street. These are a part of the Turning Point Park and consist of two seasonal falls namely Red Falls and Brown Falls.

The park makes you feel so close to nature and it has hiking, walking, and cycling trails that are a plus to the attraction of the area. It has a Rain Garden which cleanses the water flowing through it to the drain. It’s a great place to take your dog along (on the leash) as the Broadwalk trail covers a length of around 3,572 feet.

The trail runs along with the Genesee River and showers you with such calmness and serenity.

Turning Point Park overlooks the basin which was used as a turning point for vessels coming through Rochester port when the city was home to many industrial developments. That’s why the park and falls are named Turning Point.

The Broadwalk trail was earlier used to be a major railroad line for goods and it also has a great view of the Genesee Docks below.

Red Falls and Brown Falls

Red Falls, as the name implies, has red sandstone with high amounts of iron thus giving the red shade. On the other hand, Brown Falls has brown sandstone and they both look amazing when not dried.

Brown Falls is mostly dried up but the flow of water is spectacular after heavy rain with such soothing sound of water flowing down through the gorge.

Access:

To reach the turning point park, take the Lake Av. To Boxart St. which goes straight to Turning Point Park parking lot. The parking is big and can accommodate a couple of dozen cars. Here you can find trails for both Red Falls and Brown Falls.

You’ll hear the sound of the Falls after a bit of walking which adds to the excitement. Access to the upper view is very easy along the trail but reaching to the bottom is difficult as the passage is very steep and slippery.

Corbett’s Glen Nature Park

Corbett's Glen Nature Park Waterfalls in NY

Corbett’s Glen is a perfect escape from bustling city life.

Located in the greater Rochester area at the Penfield, this park is a lovely place to visit and appreciate the beauty of nature.

It spans around the area of 52 acres and it’s a common stopover point for migrating birds. Once a private property, this park is accessible for the public though there are still some areas that are private property.

The park is divided into North and South parts connected by trails. The trail is approximately 2 miles long. It’ll not be surprising if you encounter some wildlife as there are around 100 species reported to be in the area.

There are mainly two waterfalls in the park which can be visited during winters too and are super picturesque around the year.

Tunnel Falls

This is a cascade waterfall in the railroad bridge-tunnel. This is a perfect spot for a picnic and you can set up a bench nearby and gaze at the flowing water.

Postcard Falls

Also a cascade-based limestone waterfall. The sight of it makes you mesmerized and the surroundings coupled with the sound of birds chirping and the greenery makes you in awe of this wonderful piece of creation.

  • They have handicap access to the Tunnel Falls and pets are allowed overall with the leash on.
  • There are no restrooms nor trash bins, come prepared!
  • The parking area has limited spots, it can only accommodate 8 to 10 cars.
  • Acess to parking is via Penfield Road across Forest Hill Road.


Recommended reading:


Norton’s Falls

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by John Kachelmeyer (@johnnykacks)

These waterfalls are part of Seneca Park which is located at Seth Green Dr. in Seneca Park, Rochester. It’s one of those hidden gems which are mostly not discovered by travelers. Seneca Park is a wonderful place to visit with family and you can walk on the trail to get to Norton’s falls.

Seneca Park also has a pond with swans and geese and the scenery is marvelous, you can definitely get a glimpse of the animals at the zoo.

The zig-zag trail has a long history of being used by early settlers for their commute for fishing and access to the pond. You can also see some wooden boards depicting the history of the place. The distance is around 300 feet to reach the bottom of the gorge.

The waterfall has a large limestone rocks cascade which looks pleasing. Be mindful that the waterfalls are mostly dry and the best time to see the best views is in the springs season.

You can see that this area has been exposed to land sliding which made the cascades flatter over the years. This served as a blessing in disguise to reaching the bottom easier. The atmosphere is particularly relaxing and feels calm.

It’s a wonderful place to take photographs and gives an impressive look as it seems like just below the city and the residential places.

Access

The parking is designated alongside Seufert Rd. and vehicles can also be parked at the Public Fishing Access parking lot.


Recommended reading:


Channing H. Philbrick Park

This is another wonderful place to visit in Penfield if you’re enthusiastic about waterfalls and trails.

The park seems like a small location from the outside but you’ll be astonished to see that it offers so many activities and covers a great area to spend your leisure time there.

It has what you can call some cascade-style small and medium-sized waterfalls. Two of them are approximately two feet rapids along the Irondequoit creek and one seasonal water on the Honey Creek.
The Honey Creek fall is around 30 feet but it’s usually dried. However, after heavy rain, it comes back to life and that’s the best time to enjoy the true essence of it.

Few industrial structures there will give you the idea about the utilization of the area for industrial activities. This is a great place to take some photos and feel refreshed.

Trails: There are a total of three trails, Old Mill Trail, Honey Creek Trail, and Irondequoit Creek – Panorama Plaza Trail. It takes an hour to hike the marked park trail and it is easy to moderate hike. The trails are surrounded by trees and the sound of birds.

Fishing is one of the popular activities there. Swimming is not allowed but with caution, you can get close to the stream and feel the splashes of water.

Access

This 19-acre community park has restrooms, signboards, history boards, and trails. It also has handicap access to the observatory deck which has a great view of the lower falls cascade. It can be easily accessed through Washington St which also has a parking lot. Similarly, there are two other parking lots off the Rt441 entrance.

Zoo Falls & Cascade

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Matt (@schmatthewmyers__)

Zoo falls are also located inside Seneca Park on St. Paul St. The falls are between the trail which runs between Genesee River and the Zoo. The trails are a bit muddy and run along the river with a spectacular view. It’s flat and easy and you can take your pets along for the walk.

It can serve as a pleasant experience looking at the falls while walking or running on the trail. It is opened year-round from 7 am and closed between 4 pm to 11 pm based on different seasons with free entry.

Access

The park has restrooms, grills, and picnic areas near the pond area. Handicap accessibility is limited to park activities only. There are several parking places around Trout Lake.


Recommended reading:


Conclusion

As a traveler and someone fond of trails and waterfalls, I must say that Rochester is a wonderful city to explore, with some many waterfall parks and each one of them has something unique to offer.

If you get a chance to visit some Rochester waterfalls, get ready to experience its extraordinary views, some interesting history and the waterfalls in Rochester NY will never disappoint you!

The hiking trails also add to the overall experience. Many of them can be visited during the day for a refreshing feel. All of these waterfalls are opened throughout the year and the entrance is free for everyone.

So plan your trip and get ready to experience the beauty and might of these waterfalls.


Recommended reading:


 

Leave a Reply

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

Recent Posts