Adventures,  Artwork

4 Favorite Waterfalls to Visit in Winter

If you’re in the northern part of the country, cold weather is likely here for a couple more months.  I generally like to hibernate inside for most of the winter and dream of warmer days, however sometimes it’s nice to get out of the house and experience a change of scenery.  If you’re looking to get out for some fresh air (or would like to just enjoy a virtual fieldtrip), here are four of my favorite waterfalls to visit in the winter!  

Each of these waterfalls were part of my 50 New York Waterfalls project, where I visited and then painted 50 waterfalls within the Finger Lakes Region of New York.  The paintings of these four waterfalls from the project are featured throughout this post.  I liked that these waterfalls were all great to visit year road and each could be enjoyed from the road (and maybe even from the warmth of your car) or by just a short walk. 

Shequaga Falls

Montour Falls, NY.  Shequaga Falls is one of my favorite waterfalls to visit during all times of the year.  Located in downtown Montour Falls, it’s very accessible – you can view from the street or get closer via the small park in front.  The year that I took the reference photo for this painting, the falls had completely frozen over and I was fascinated by the shapes that the frozen water created.  (Read more about Shequaga Falls from my blog.)

Access: Open year round.
Directions:  From Route 14, take Main Street to Genesee Street.
Parking:  A couple spots available along the road.

Shequaga Falls, 6x6 Acrylic on wood panel

Aunt Sarah Falls

Aunt Sarah Falls, 6x6 Acrylic on wood panel

Montour Falls, NY.  From Shequaga Falls, if you travel further along Genesee Street towards Watkins Glen you will end up passing this next waterfall.  Whether it’s fully flowing or just a trickle, Aunt Sarah Falls is one of my favorites to see anytime of year.  I like how it starts small at the top and then fans out into a larger waterfall.  When I visited for the reference photo for this painting, the stream below was thawing out from being frozen over and there were the most interesting shapes and colors in the ice.  (Read more about Aunt Sarah Falls from my blog.)

Access: Open year round.
Directions:  Access via Route 14.
Parking:  Parking area across the road.  (Be careful while crossing, traffic moves fast around corner.)

Hector Falls

Watkins Glen/Burdett, NY.  There are so many beautiful places throughout our region to take a drive.  One of my favorites is driving along Route 14 and Route 414 around Seneca Lake to Hector Falls.  Hector Falls is located along the road – you can see it from your car, no hiking required.  Even during years there the waterfall isn’t as flowing, the view of the lake is always pretty and the drive from Elmira to the falls has lots of scenery to enjoy along the way.  (Read more about Hector Falls on my blog.)

Access: Open year round. 
Directions:  Access Route 414 from Route 14 in Watkins Glen.
Parking:  A few spaces available along the road. 

Hector Falls, 6x6 Acrylic on wood panel

Taughannock Falls State Park

Taughannock Falls, 6x6 Acrylic on wood panel

Trumansburg, NY.  North of Ithaca on the west side of Cayuga Lake, Taughannock Falls State Park features the tallest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains.  Enjoy the winter landscape from the overlook or take a short hike along the gorge trail below.  This is one of my favorite local hikes because it is pretty accessible for beginners – the trail is only 3/4 mile each way and is relatively flat. (Read more about Taughannock Falls from my blog.)

Access: Open year round. (view park details)
Directions:  Access Taughannock Blvd via Route 96.
Parking:  Parking lots at base of park and at the visitor center overlook area. 

Interested in visiting all four waterfalls in one day?  I’ve featured the waterfalls in the order I would (or have) personally plan my visit.  

Do you have a favorite place to explore during the winter?

Leave a comment with your favorite place to visit in the wintertime!

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