Medina Falls

Medina, New York, USA

About Medina Falls

Hiking Distance: almost roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2013-10-11
Date last visited: 2013-10-11

Waterfall Latitude: 43.22242
Waterfall Longitude: -78.38268

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Medina Falls was kind of an obscure waterfall where we took a brief detour to reach it while making the long drive from Albany to Niagara Falls.

Perhaps what made this waterfall experience memorable was that Oak Orchard Creek (which fed the waterfall) actually flowed beneath the wide Erie Canal.

Medina_Falls_009_10112013 - Medina Falls
Medina Falls

At first, we thought it might have been fed by the canal itself before we were set straight by others in the know.

Medina Falls was said to be 40ft tall though it certainly looked a bit wider so it had a block appearance.

Although the neighboring town of Medina was charming and relatively quiet, Julie and I thought of this waterfall as an urban waterfall.

That was because of the presence of the Erie Canal, the brown color in the water (possibly suggesting some degree of urban runoff and pollution), and that the town of Medina was within a stone’s throw from this waterfall.

Medina_Falls_005_10112013 - Julie and Tahia following this concrete walkway alongside the Erie Canal towards Medina Falls
Julie and Tahia following this concrete walkway alongside the Erie Canal towards Medina Falls

Walking to the waterfall was pretty straightforward once we knew where to park the car (see directions below).

The path pretty much was on a concrete walkway flanking the wide and still waters of the Erie Canal (our map called it the Canalway Trail).

Since we brought our daughter along for this short excursion, we had to be very careful about holding onto her since this path did not have railings to keep her from going into the canal’s water.

It kind of reminded me of the similar kind of hazards you get when you have toddlers around swimming pools without fencing.

Medina_Falls_016_10112013 - Looking across the Erie Canal from Medina Falls towards the Village of Medina
Looking across the Erie Canal from Medina Falls towards the Village of Medina

Nevertheless, we barely took a minute to walk from the interpretive sign near the steel bridge belonging to Bank Street.

Then, we pretty much just viewed the Medina Falls from behind the railings between the foliage that were somewhat in the way.

Since the Autumn colors were in full effect, they helped add a bit of color to the scene and somewhat contrasted the sickly brown color of the water.

Although it might have been possible to scramble for a closer look at Medina Falls, we were more eager to get to Niagara Falls so we didn’t bother extending our visit here.

Medina_Falls_014_10112013 - Zoomed in look at the Medina Falls
Zoomed in look at the Medina Falls

Thus, we really can’t say much more about this waterfall other than it was a short but sweet visit.


Medina Falls resides in Medina in Orleans County, New York. It is administered by the Village of Medina. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Medina_Falls_002_10112013 - The interpretive signs surrounded by benches near the steel bridge spanning the Erie Canal kind of hinted to us that we were in the right place for Medina Falls
Medina_Falls_012_10112013 - Looking at Medina Falls from the concrete walkway, which was about as close to the waterfall as we were going to get
Medina_Falls_017_10112013 - Looking back at the concrete walkway alongside the Erie Canal that we had just come from to get to Medina Falls
Medina_Falls_022_10112013 - Looking downstream from Medina Falls amongst the colorful foliage towards what appeared to be a church in the distance that may have been part of the town of Medina
Medina_Falls_023_10112013 - Tahia and Julie walking back towards the interpretive signs by this single-lane steel bridge over the Erie Canal as we were about to conclude our brief Medina Falls visit

We made a detour to Medina Falls as we were driving west on I-90 from Albany.

We ultimately took the exit 48 for Batavia town (this stretch of the I-90 was 250 miles and took about 4 hours).

After paying the toll, we turned right to go north on Hwy 98 (Oak Orchard Rd), then we turned left onto Drake St (Hwy 262) after 3.6 miles.

Next, we then continued on Hwy 262 for 4.2 miles before making another right onto the Hwy 63.

Then, we followed the Hwy 63 west as it curved north, and we followed it all the way north to the town of Medina.

Once we were at the junction of Main St and Center St (Hwy 31), we turned right to go onto Center St.

Medina_Falls_001_10112013 - We parked in a grassy area near the single-lane bridge over the Erie Canal by some interpretive signs
We parked in a grassy area near the single-lane bridge over the Erie Canal by some interpretive signs

Then, we drove 0.3 miles east towards State St, where we then turned left once again.

After about 0.1 mile on State St, we then turned left to go onto Bank St, which then crossed over a single-lane steel bridge over the Erie Canal.

Once we were past the bridge, a small pullout in a grassy area within view of some interpretive signs was on the left.

From here, we walked towards the interpretive sign by the canal.

Then while we were on the path flanking the canal, we walked in the direction away from the bridge towards the view of the Medina Falls.

By the way, we weren’t sure if it was OK to park in the grassy area.

So if it wasn’t kosher to do this, then turning right after crossing the bridge (instead of left), we would drive up Horan Rd for about 0.3 miles, where there were more formal parking spaces on the right side of the road.

From here, we would have to walk towards the bridge to get back to the interpretive signs by the canal.

For context, Medina was 43 miles (an hour drive) east of Buffalo, 277 miles (4.5 hours drive) west of Albany, and 364 miles (over 6 hours drive) northwest of New York City.

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360 sweep of the walkway and canal before looking down at the top of the falls. Then, walking over towards a better view of the falls.

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Tagged with: medina, orleans county, erie canal, buffalo, new york, upstate, waterfall, oak orchard creek

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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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