Taughannock Falls is 33 ft higher than Niagara Falls and is the highest free-fall waterfall in the northeastern United States. It falls with such force, the plunge pool carved out below is more than 30 ft deep.
Somewhere in Tompkins County, the Taughannock Creek empties into Cayuga Lake. Three main falls (Taughannock Falls, Lower Falls, Upper Falls), several small drops along the length of the gorge, and several cascades by the roadside is the reason I’ve added this to my list if dreams.
The place I think I want to start is at Park Road, which reportedly leads to a spectacular overlook of Taughannock Falls, and I’d like to do it in the Spring before schools get out and the area is overtaken by tourists. If the Springtime visit doesn’t happen, I’ll hope to catch the waterfalls in the Fall season, when everyone is back in school.
From the sound of it, there are four sections to explore: the gorge trail (rated easy), the falls overlook, the lakeside park, and the rim trails (rated moderate and includes stairs). There is mention of a somewhat risky Rock Falls, but I’m unsure which area encompasses this.
Two things that sound like they are a must-have is a pair of water shoes and a camera.
Free-falling 215 feet from a hanging valley, this Taughannock roars during spring, drawing thousands of onlookers who hike the wide winding canyon to the viewing area at its base. In summer, it dries considerably, offering visitors a less wet experience walking up the creek bed. The pool at the base of the falls is deep and littered with gigantic boulders from rock falls. The sheer limestone cliffs that make up the massive amphitheater into which the falls empty, are jagged and worn with crackling and pops of falling debris often heard throughout the day and into night.
Taughannock Falls State Park
2221 Taughannock Road
Trumansburg, NY 14886
Phone: (607) 387-6739