Holley Canal Falls


September 2006

State: New York

Location: Holly, 25 miles west of Rochester

Height: 40?

Crest: 15?

Water Source: Erie Canal

Waypoint: 43.224942N 78.018948W

Summary: Holley Canal Falls is a man made waterfall. It is a byproduct of the Erie Canal, and must be over 100 years old. Despite being man made it is a very pretty and natural looking waterfall and well worth a visit.

Holley Canal Falls is located in Holley New York. This is a man made waterfall, and is the only man made waterfall featured on this site. For being a man made waterfall, it is surpisingly scenic and natural looking.

The waterfall is a result of a waste weir on the Erie Canal. Excess water from the canal was diverted into the East Branch of Sandy Creek, dropping over 40 feet on the way. The Erie Canal was completed in 1825, and enlarged in 1865. I do not know exactly when the falls was created.

Holley is the location of one of the precursors of Niagara Falls. Here, and also in Medina and several other places, Lake Tonawanda spilled over the Niagara Escarpment. I believe the gorge into which Holley Canal falls is a remnant of that ancient waterfall.

The falls is easy to visit. There is a small park with picnic tables and a shelter at the base of the falls. The falls is visible from the road and parking area. From the south east corner of the town square, head west on Frisbee Terrace to the end. It is an easy walk from downtown. Holley is located on Route 31 and Route 237 about 25 miles west of Rochester.

Nearby Falls

If you follow 237 south west for 3 miles, you will be in Clarendon where you can find the Clarendon Falls. Medina Falls is 20 miles to the west on route 31. Rochester and its waterfalls are about 25 miles to the east. Holley Canal Falls is one of at least 9 waterfalls you can see in the 100 mile stretch between Niagara Falls and Rochester.

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