I had the opportunity to go to the Finger Lakes twice last year and both times I was pleasantly surprised by how scenic the entire area was. Between sprawling lake views, beautiful vineyards, and waterfalls, this region does not disappoint. I’ve compiled a list of can’t-miss scenic spots in The Finger Lakes to help plan your trip!
Hector Falls , Hector, NY
Hidden on the side of the road, this waterfall is easy to miss, but worth the stop. There is room for a few cars to pull off on the shoulder but be aware that cars go very fast on this road and to be cautious. Cross the road to get a beautiful view of the falls.
If you want to take it to the next level, you can view the entire falls from Seneca Lake! Grab a Kayak or hop on a boat tour of the lake to see the entire waterfall as a whole!
Buttermilk Falls, Ithaca, NY
Located within Buttermilk Falls State Park, this cascading waterfall is beautiful and accessible to all. You can drive right up to it and doesn’t require any hiking unless you want to hike to the top or around the park.
If you find yourself in the area in the summer months, pack a bathing suit and a picnic lunch! You can spend the day in the park and swimming in the pool of the waterfall. What better way to enjoy the scenery!
Robert H. Treman, Ithaca, NY
This park is home to the Enfield Glen which has 12 waterfalls including the Lucifer Falls which soars 115ft into the air! A great park for camping and summer fun, you’ll find many families in this area, especially in the summer months. The swimming area even has a diving board, so you can keep kids amused for hours.
If you would rather avoid the screaming children, there are plenty of beautiful hiking trails to choose from as well. Most of the park remains open through the winter as well for you to explore.
Taughannock Falls, Trumansburg, NY
You’ll find this state park at the southern end of Cayuga Lake, across the road from the lake. Home to the 215 feet tall Taughannock Falls, this park is a must-see. No matter what time you go, you can explore the falls area from both the top and bottom. You can park up at the top and look down over the falls or choose to hike a short distance out to the base of the falls and experience it close up! I personally think you should do both!
If you find yourself here in the summer, check out the Summer Concert series for a nice night of music! Or walk across the street to the lake and make use of their beach and boat launch. The park even has campsites and cabins to stay at if you prefer to spend more time here.
Watkins Glen State Park, Watkins Glen, NY
This park doesn’t need any further explanation. You cannot come to the Finger Lake region and not hike the Watkins Glen Gorge.
To read more about hiking the gorge, check out my blog post about it here! Beyond the hiking paths and 19 waterfalls, Watkins Glen State Park also has a pool, campsites, picnic tables and plenty of recreational activities.
When planning your next stay in the Finger Lakes region, I highly suggest hitting one, if not all of these beautiful scenic spots of Upstate New York. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
Did I miss and scenic destinations in the Finger Lakes? Leave it in the comments below! And until next time…