Salmon River Falls


July 19, 2015

State: New York

Location: Oswego County

Height: 110'

Crest: varies

Water Source: Salmon River

Waypoint: 43.54778N 75.94111W

Summary: A very large and relatively easy to visit waterfall. The river has been partially diverted, but plenty of water still goes over the falls. One of the most impressive falls in the Lake Ontario watershed.

Salmon River Falls is large and very scenic waterfall located in the Salmon River Falls Unique Area. The Salmon River tumbles over a 110' high, 200' wide sheer cliff. The falls is typically divided into three segments, but when the river is very high there may be only two, or a single enormous sheet of water. This is rare, as the river is diverted upstream for power generation. Enough water is left to flow over the falls to make it aesthetically pleasing.

A wide level trail follows the rim of the gorge providing somewhat obstructed views of the falls. There is an outlook right above the falls. To get better views of the falls you need to head partway down into the gorge. A steep rocky trail leads down to the river. You can get some pretty good views of the falls part of the way down, before the trail gets really steep.

The falls has a large plunge pool, and the steep cliffs prevent you from walking right up to the base. The closest you can get is the small island below the falls. To reach this you have to rock hop and or wade across about 50' of water.

The natural area is located on Falls Road a mile off of County Road 22. There is a parking area on the south side of the road. The parking area accomodates a couple dozen cars, so unless it is an especially busy there will likely be space. It is a short walk to the falls.

This is a big waterfall. Look carefully for the people in some of the photos. They are tiny.

Nearby Falls

The trails continue a mile upstream to the smaller upper falls. I did not visit them, and have not found any photos of them online. There a lot of other waterfalls in this part of New York. The much smaller Mad River Falls are less than 10 miles away as the crow flies, but a 20+ mile drive. The even smaller Talcott Falls is 30 miles to the north. Pixely Falls is 50 miles to the east. Pratts Falls and a bunch of its neighbors are 60 miles to the south.

Photo Gallery


View from part way down

The largest segment

Right before the final descent

View from the river


The smaller segments

View from overlook

View from rim

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Last Modified: Sunday, 15-May-2016 20:16:35 MDT.

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