Shequaga Falls is one of my favorite waterfalls to visit anytime I drive through Montour Falls up Route 14. I love how accessible the waterfall is and how easy it is to visit any time of year.
Shequaga Falls (alternatively spelled “Chequaga”) sometimes is also referred to as Montour Falls for those who don’t care to attempt the Native American name pronounced She-QUA-ga.
This area is spotted with waterfalls along the hillside. Nearby along Route 14 is Aunt Sarah’s Falls. Just down Route 14 across the way is Havana Glen with Eagle Cliff Falls. And tucked away on a quiet deadend street not far away is Deckertown Falls (blog post still coming up). That’s just within the town of Montour Falls. There’s also Watkins Glen State Park and Twin Falls, as well as several smaller falls minutes away in Watkins Glen. The area really is gorges.
Shequaga Falls is found at the end of a small park on Genesee Street just past Main Street in the downtown area of Montour Falls, New York. The waterfall flows through Shequaga Creek to Catharine Creek and out to Seneca Lake just north.
I think it’s fun that you can see and hear the waterfall roaring as you come down Main Street surrounded by old colonial buildings. One of my favorite buildings in the town is the library (just to the right of where this picture was taken) – I’m fascinated by the columns made of red brick.
Shequaga Falls is 156 feet tall and at its largest point is approximately 36 feet wide. It’s considered a cascade waterfall.
Here are a couple of videos of the waterfall flowing strongly in the spring and again this past fall.
Because I try to stop by Shequaga Falls often, I have quite a few photos and videos of the waterfall during different times of year. This year the water always seemed to be roaring, while in years past by the time mid-summer got there it was just a trickle. The difference between October this year versus 2016 is pretty noticeable.
The waterfall looks beautiful during all of the seasons. I think my favorite time I’ve visited Shequaga Falls though was a few years ago when the water was completely frozen over – which is why I chose to paint the waterfall I included in the 50 New York Waterfalls project based on this winter scene.
I found out this year that the park and waterfall are lit up at night. It’s a cool sight to see and is now one of my favorite things about this waterfall. I wonder if they run the lights in winter too? How interesting would it be to see the play of light and color on the snow and ice!
My other favorite thing about this waterfall is that you can access the top! The bridge on the top of the falls goes along Mill Street. Follow the signs for the hospital and then take a quick left onto Mill Street. I don’t think it was built with people traffic in mind. The bridge is a little narrow and there isn’t a good place to park so be extra mindful of cars if you go.
This is the beautiful view from the top of Shequaga Falls! You can see over the whole town of Montour Falls and the hills beyond.
Looking the other way is also pretty. I like to figure out where things start out. These are some rapids just before the drop of Shequaga Falls. It almost looks like there are waterfalls way in the distance. Unfortunately the surrounding area appears to be on private property though.
Painting Shequaga Falls
Shequaga Falls has been the subject of painting twice for me. During the 2017 Summer Mosaic project with the theme Around the Finger Lakes, Shequaga Falls was one of the local sights that I painted. It was one of the first waterfalls I had ever painted (and probably the first waterfall I saw in person since I grew up nearby). When I decided to expand the subject of waterfalls into this year’s theme, I wanted to again include Shequaua Falls. However since I had previously painted the waterfall in the summer, I wanted to challenge myself to paint my favorite winter scene where the falls was frozen over.
It was fun to experiment with muted colors and focus on the textures found in the ice and snow of the waterfall. Winter colors differ so much on a typical cloudy New York day in this region compared to the bright spring and summer colors that I used in other paintings in the series. The painting ended up taking a tone of neutral and complementary colors with the play between the pale blue of the sky and the brown of the tree branches.