Taughannock Falls


July 2002

State: New York

Location: Taughannok Falls State Park, 11 miles north of Ithaca.

Height: 215 ft

Crest: 30 ft

Water Source: Taughannock Creek

Waypoint: 42.53556N 76.61111W

Summary: One of the most impressive waterfalls in the Finger Lakes reason. Definitely one to go see, and the large number of nearby falls makes a trip to the area very worthwhile.

Taughannock State Park is on Route 89, north of Ithaca. It is on the map and is easy to find. The walk to the falls along the gorge trail is 3/4 miles. The trail is nice and level and often shaded. You can actually walk up the river if you like. It is a little slippery in some spots, but it seems the preferred approach among the locals.

Signs warn you to stay back from the falls, but many people ignore the signs and you can get real close to the falls if you wish. The signs are there for a reason however, and people have been injured and killed here by rock falls.

There is an overlook accessible by car from which some very impressive distant views of the falls are available.

Taughannock Falls is the highest reliable single plunge in the State of New York. Some years this waterfall dries up in the late summer, but it usually runs year round. Letchworth State Park has some seasonal falls such as Inspiration Falls that are higher, but they rarely have water. I have never even seen a photo of Inspiration Falls with any water. I have also seen claims that there are high minor falls along the Niagara Gorge, but I have never seen any of them despite having been there a couple of times, nor have I ever seen a picture of any of these falls. I think they may no longer exist. For example, Muddy Run Falls was a 220 foot falls that fell into the whirlpool gorge but the creek has been diverted. Kaaterskill Falls is 260 feet high, but it has two drops, one of 175 feet, and one of 65 feet. T Lake Falls in the Adirondacks is said to be 300 feet high, but it is a slide, not a plunge.

[Lake Cayuga & Lake Seneca] Nearby Falls

Ithaca Falls, Cascadilla Gorge, Buttermilk Falls State Park, Lucifer Falls and I am sure a dozen other waterfalls are all within 15 miles. Hector Falls,Watkins Glen, She-Qua-Ga Falls, Eagles Nest Falls and probably a hundred others are within an hour's drive.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 19-Sep-2009 22:10:55 MDT.

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