Taughannock Falls in Upstate New York

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Taughannock Falls is one of the most spectacular attractions in Upstate New York. Located about 10 miles north of Ithaca, the 215-foot waterfall is one of the highest single-drop waterfalls east of the Rocky Mountains. This breathtaking natural wonder has attracted visitors from around the world.

Taughannock Falls landscape.

Getting There

If you plan to visit Upstate New York, this waterfall is a must-visit destination along with Kaaterskill Falls. Located just outside of Ithaca, the waterfall is one of the region’s tallest and offers visitors stunning views. But how do you get there?

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The Taughannock Falls State Park entrance is located off Route 89 and provides access to hiking trails that lead directly to the falls. If you’re coming from Ithaca, take Route 89 North for about eight miles until you reach the park’s main entrance on your lefthand side.

Getting To The Waterfall

The hike is perfect for all levels of hikers, whether you’re an experienced trekker or just starting out on your journey. The wide Gorge Trail to the falls takes you along Taughannock Creek.

As you start your hike, you’ll be greeted by a small cascade. This cascade can also be seen from the road.

Small cascade.

As you continue along the path towards Taugannock Falls, there are various access points to Taugannock Creek. You’ll also find lots of signs with interesting information about the history and geology of the area. Between the creek and the towering walls of the gorge surrounding you, the walk to the falls is truly beautiful.

Taughannock Creek.

When you reach the end of the Gorge Trail, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of Taughannock Falls. A wooden bridge takes you across the creek, allowing you to get a tremendous straight-on view of the waterfall. However, it should be noted that the bridge might be icy if you’re visiting in the colder months.

Taughannock Falls.

Aside from the hike to the base of the falls, there is also a trail to an overlook of the waterfalls along the rim of the gorge. You can access this trail from the main parking lot. Or, you can drive to the overlook. Take a left out of the parking lot and follow the signs to the overlook above the falls.

Other Things to do at Taughannock Falls State Park

While the main attraction is Taughannock Falls State Park’s namesake waterfall, there’s much more to explore. Across the street from the main parking lot, there’s access to Cayuga Lake.

The Lake is the longest of the Finger Lakes, just under 40 miles long. From the park, you can access the lake from a beach, or you can use the boat launch to access the lake.

Cayuga Lake from the shore at Taughannock Falls State Park.

Why Visit

Taughannock Falls is one of the most spectacular natural wonders in Upstate New York and a must-visit destination for anyone who loves nature. The falls are located in Taughannock Falls State Park, and they are one of the tallest waterfalls east of the Rocky Mountains. At 215 feet high, the waterfall is an awe-inspiring sight that will take your breath away.

There are many reasons to visit this park other than to see the falls. For one thing, it’s a great way to get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air and exercise.

The park offers hiking trails that range from easy to challenging, so there’s something for everyone regardless of fitness level or experience. In addition to the waterfalls themselves, there are also plenty of other natural attractions in the park, such as gorges, overlooks, and scenic vistas that make for great photo opportunities.


How long of a hike is Taughannock Falls?

It is a 1.5 mile out and back to get to the base of the falls. It’s an easy, flat walk along Taughannock Creek to get to the waterfall.

Is Taughannock Falls taller than Niagara Falls?

It is! This waterfall is 215 feet, which makes it 33 feet taller than Niagara Falls. It’s the tallest free-falling waterfall in the northeastern United States.

Do you have to pay to get into Taughannock Falls?

Yes, there is a fee for the entrances off of Route 89 during the season. However, it is free to get to these lots in the off-season. It is also free to get to the overlook via the park road.


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