Montour Falls is a hidden gem in a high traffic area. How does that happen? This is a great example of taking the road less traveled. We love to take in roadside views for clues worth exploring. During our visit to Watkins Glen State Park we saw this lovely old painted wood sign. Of course, we pulled over and took a gander at the information posted at a weathered tourist placard. Our mission was set to check out the three waterfalls of Montour Falls!
Aunt Sarah’s Falls
Roadside waterfalls can be a common sight in upstate New York if you time it with the melting mountain snow or get close to the Finger Lakes. Aunt Sarah’s Falls can be seen directly across the street from the Montour Falls sign. It’s gentle flow drapes the rocky hillside like lace. This will surely catch your eye as you travel down Route 14. This waterfall is mostly hidden since the top two thirds is on private land, but you will still enjoy this ninety foot section from the roadside.
A short drive closer to the town of Montour Falls is a special waterfall that was sketched around 1820 by Louis Philippe (later King of France) and now hangs in The Louvre! She-qua-ga means “tumbling waters” as called by the Seneca Indian Tribe. This beauty towers at 156 feet tall and hides behind a quaint village of historic homes and a bed and breakfast. Wouldn’t you love to look out of your window in the morning to see this!
The parking is limited for the small memorial park that allows you to walk up to the falls, but it’s a picturesque town to take a walk in.
Eagle Cliff Falls
This waterfall is really tucked away. We ventured further into the area not knowing what to expect. Many probably turn around and miss this gem thinking they should probably not stray too far from the main road. We questioned our sanity as we drove down a dirt road towards a trailer park and then turned into the local Havana Glen Park. We were feeling adventurous so we parked and ventured onto the unassuming trail.
The trail really peeked our interest as it started to open up. It’s a narrow trail with a modest rail along a hilly forest. As we ventured forward, the rocky walls and stream started to motivate us to keep going. We were really glad we did!
Eagle Cliff Falls is about 16 feet wide and 41 feet tall. You are welcome to cool off under the falls. It’s not very deep, but refreshing nonetheless. You can imagine eagles nesting on the high cathedral walls of rock as you look up. The scenery is captivating and will make you feel like you’ve left for an exotic destination.
- Website: Village of Montour Falls
- Aunt Sarah’s Falls- Route 14, Montour Falls (North of the village)
- No fee
- Parking across the street from the falls in a dirt lot
- She-Qua-Ga Falls- Genesee Street, Montour Falls
- No fee
- Street parking.
- Havana Glen Park, Eagle Cliff Falls- 135 Havana Glen Road, Montour Falls, NY 14865
- $2 park entry fee per car
- open seasonally- mid May to mid October, dawn to dusk
- Camping, playground, restrooms, showers and picnic tables available
- Dogs allowed on leash in park, but not on gorge trail for safety reasons
Family Adventure Rating ❤️
Cost– The only cost is travel, perhaps a picnic lunch and maybe overnight accommodations if you want to really explore this area of upstate New York.
Parking & Transportation– These falls are directly off of a main route in a popular tourist area. Parking lots are free, but small. It’s a good bet that Havana Glen is packed in the summer during the weekend. Plan to get out early to enjoy these beauties. Transportation without your own vehicle will be difficult, but not impossible. Schuyler County has a bus that will get you within walking distance to key points. Check out their route here.
Location– This is a terrific location for a waterfall adventure. The history of the area’s geology makes this one of the most interesting places to see different landscapes and gorgeous waterfalls. The Finger Lakes and especially this area of Seneca Lake host a bevy of social activities for helping you enjoy the outdoors.
Day Trip or Overnight– If you’re already in the area, this is an easy day trip. If you’re further than three hours away, plan a nice trip to fully explore what this area has to offer.
Experience– Awesome finds like Montour Falls help add special meaning to our adventures. It’s easy to get tunnel vision when you plan a trip if you don’t allow yourself some free time to explore. Allow yourself some extra time during travel to enjoy discovery with your friends/family. It’s a great bonding experience especially when you find a treasure like this.
Combination– There is so much to do in this area! I’ll just pass along the info from my Watkins Glen post….
Watkins Glen State Park is a vacation worthy adventure all on its own, but if you desire more than you’re in a great area. The park is right in the quaint village of Watkins Glen and close to the tip of Seneca Lake. Both Seneca Lake and Catherine Creek are known for their annual spring run of rainbow trout. Within quick driving distance you can check out Montour Falls which is a nearby town with three of its own distinct waterfalls. Have someone that is exhausted from your waterfall tour? The area is also known for its wineries and racetrack! Check out more: Finger Lakes Resources