New York Waterfalls: Books and Maps

A trip to
New York Waterfalls can be done as a short weekend getaway or as a longer trip. Either way, chances are you'll need to get a guidebook and/or a map to help you find waterfalls in the state. Below are books and maps that we've used. The list is by no means complete, but hopefully it is enough to get you going on your quest to inform yourself on your travels.


200 Waterfalls in Central & Western New York; A Finders' Guide (Footprint Press): We heavily utilized this comprehensive black and white book for the handful of waterfalls we've visited during our time in the Finger Lakes area and Western New York. They have trail maps, factual descriptions, difficulty ratings, and waterfall photos. I wish there were more photos as many of the waterfalls lacked photos and we had to get around incorrect directions on Ithaca Falls. But all in all, we found this book to be helpful as it pretty much got us the info we needed to find the falls we planned on seeing.

Waterfalls and Gorges of the Finger Lakes (McBooks Press): This book didn't get much utilization from us because it's a coffee table book in thick paperback cover. It's good for motivating a visit out to the Finger Lakes area as the photos are beautifully taken. The book is also good for appreciating the natural history of the region in addition to the New York Waterfalls as there are blurbs complementing the photos adjacent to them.

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Topo! New York (National Geographic): The National Geographic Topo! series are no-nonsense raster-based topographic maps at an incredible 1:24k scale (i.e. you can see walking trails, campsites, bathrooms, and other specific buildings) for the entire state. We used this map with our trusty old Garmin etrex hooked through a USB converter that let us hook up to the laptop and navigate on the fly.

Unfortunately, the map info is really all the Topo! series has going for it as their interface sucks. You actually need to purchase supplemental patches to get added functionality including the ever-so-important live GPS navigation. In all honesty, I think Topo! maps are excellent for hiking and backpacking, but they're terrible for road navigation or even trip logging. As for the New York product, it pretty much got us where we needed to go for the most part though we did need the help of the Finder's Guide along with this map to be effective.

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