New York Waterfalls: When is the best time to visit?

A couple has a BBQ in the middle of Buttermilk Falls on a hot, humid summer day


When is the best time to visit
New York Waterfalls?

The obvious answer is spring (March through early May) as it benefits from a combination of melting snow and rainfall. You also get usually mild temperatures though being a transitional season, temperatures can swing wildly. However, there are distinct seasons in the state, and such climatic variations associated with the seasons give you different experiences for the same waterfall.

The winter months are from December through March. The frigid winters (thanks to the blast of cold air from the Canadian Arctic as well as the Great Lakes States further west) bring plenty of snow and freezing rain to the state during this time. However, it can easily snow and sleet in the late autumn like in November as well as early spring like in April. With snow and icy roads, it might be a bit difficult to get around some of the rural areas where many New York Waterfalls can be found. But even with that said, there are plenty of highways spread throughout the state to even allow winter visitation to some of the major waterfalls. If it's real cold, some of these falls may freeze over. In fact, it's not unusual to see highs below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Aunt Sarah's Falls whose flow has greatly diminished by early summerThe summer months are from June through August, but it can easily heat up in May and even into September. Thanks to subtropical air from the Carrbbean, it gets both hot and humid. Indeed, sometimes monsoonal thunderstorms with powerful downpours and frequent lightning strikes can occur during this season. In terms of waterfalling, many of the falls have diminishing flows. Towards July and later, the ones on smaller streams or tributaries go dry. However, the more substantial waterfalls start showing more character as they tumble over steps of shale. Temperatues range from highs in the 90s in all but the coolest portions of the state.

Lastly, while most of the New York Waterfalls trickle or go dry in the autumn, the major waterfalls still flow and they're surrounded by fall colors - quintessentially East Coast! Such scenery alone is enough to warrant a waterfalling trip to the state this time of year. You can expect much cooler temperatures as winter approaches.



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