Chittenango Falls

Cazenovia Lake, New York, USA

About Chittenango Falls

Hiking Distance: 1.1 mile loop
Suggested Time: 45-60 minutes

Date first visited: 2007-06-15
Date last visited: 2007-06-15

Waterfall Latitude: 42.97877
Waterfall Longitude: -75.84158

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Chittenango Falls is a nice 167ft waterfall in the northeast corner of the Finger Lakes area (not far from Syracuse).

We found this waterfall to be quite pleasing to photograph (as you can see in the photo below).

Chittenango_Falls_034_06152007 - Chittenango Falls
Chittenango Falls

However, we visited it as part of a waterfall binge of the Western New York region so we probably could have spent a bit more time here in retrospect.

What made this waterfall pleasant to photograph was the way the creek tumbled over multiple steps.

Really the only thing that kept my long exposure photos on a tripod from turning out better was the afternoon sun somewhat shining against my line of sight.

Chittenango Creek drains from Cazenovia Lake to Oneida Lake and I believe it flows year-round (for it certainly had decent flow when we were there in mid-June).

The area was once industrialized in the mid 1800s, but has since become a State Park protecting some rare endangered wildlife and plants.

Honestly, we didn’t pay attention to the endangered species, and the fact that part of the trail was closed during our visit didn’t help matters in that regard.

Chittenango_Falls_016_06152007 - Angled view of Chittenango Falls as we descended steps to get to its bottom
Angled view of Chittenango Falls as we descended steps to get to its bottom

Speaking of which, the path to the falls can be done in a 1.1-mile loop encompassing both sides of the waterfall.

As a result of the closure of half of the loop during our visit, we were just content to see the west side of the falls as well as a frontal view of it from a bridge just downstream of its base.

From the car park, a trail led down a series of steps from letting us see the falls from the side as well as from its front.


Chittenango Falls resides in the Chittenango Falls State Park near Syracuse in Madison County, New York. It is administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or Facebook page.

Chittenango_Falls_002_06152007 - Looking down at the uppermost tiers of the falls
Chittenango_Falls_004_06152007 - Profile view from near the top of the falls
Chittenango_Falls_011_06152007 - Side view of the falls while going down steps
Chittenango_Falls_024_06152007 - Frontal view of the falls in more context

The way we went from Syracuse was actually not the shortest path, but it was the easiest for us to follow and didn’t incur additional tolls, and this will be the way we’ll describe the directions. So from Syracuse, we took the I-81 south to State Highway Route 20 heading east. We then followed SH20 for another 16 miles entering the town of Cazenovia (right off the southern end of Lake Cazenovia) before turning left onto SH13. We followed SH13 for another 4 miles, where we then saw the established car park area and turnoff to our left. This drive took us about 45 minutes.

For context, Syracuse was 56 miles (over an hour drive) north of Ithaca, 153 miles (2.5 hours drive) east of Buffalo, and 247 miles (4.5 hours drive) northwest of New York City.

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Tagged with: cazenovia, madison, finger lakes, western new york, new york, waterfall, syracuse, ithaca, upstate

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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