Location: Ithaca, New York
Webpage: New York State Park
General Description: Taughannock Falls State park boasts the highest waterfall in the Northeast with its namesake waterfall of 215 feet at the bottom of a 400 foot gorge. Visitors can drive to an overlook of the falls or hike the gorge or rim trails that provide spectacular views of the gorge from either the bottom or the top.
1) There is a Visitor Center at the overlook of the falls, however, it was closed when we visited the park in June. Therefore there was no fee to visit the park unless you are interested in the picnic area along the shores of Cayuga Lake.
2) In early June there was not a lot of water running over the falls, although it was evident from the stream bed that it would be more spectacular with the spring snowmelt. The main falls are 215 feet high, which is 3 feet higher than Niagara Falls, although with a lot less water. Still they are a tremendous sight and well worth the drive.
3) From the overlook you can access either the gorge trail from a trail that descends from the overlook, or travel either upstream or downstream along the rim. The gorge trail was closed while we were there, so we took a hike up the rim trail to the upper falls. While not as impressive as the namesake falls, the upper falls were well worth the hike.
4) I also hiked downstream from the overlook along the rim trail and was rewarded with a number of views down into the gorge and out the gorge to Cayuga Lake.
5) We ate lunch at the picnic area across the highway at the foot of the gorge which is a wide spit of land extending out into Cayuga Lake.