Guide to Photographing Taughannock Falls State Park (New York)

Photo by Joe Pitha / CC BY-SA 2.0

Taughannock Falls is a beautiful 215-foot waterfall that is the main attraction at Taughannock Falls State Park, located in the Finger Lakes region of New York. This park is northwest of Ithaca and only about a 30-minute drive from Watkins Glen State Park. If you are in the area you can make a quick stop and photograph the falls from a convenient overlook, or you can spend some more time in the park and hike to get a different view.

→ See More of The Best Places to Photograph in New York

Things to Know Before You Go:

An Easy View is Available

The easiest way to see and photograph Taughannock Falls is from the overlook that is conveniently located just off of Taughannock Park Road. The overlook provides a great view and vantage point for photographs. It is a fairly small area, but there is enough room to set up a tripod. Actually, you can even put your tripod on the stone wall.

GPS coordinates for the overlook parking: 42.53875, -76.60809

→ Related reading: 10 Tips for Fabulous Waterfall Photography

Hiking is Also an Option

The one-mile out-and-back Gorge Trail takes you to a viewing area at the base of the falls. The 2.5-mile out-and-back Rim Trail (closed in winter) gives you an alternate view from above.

Both trails can be accessed from the same parking lot. The GPS coordinates for the parking lot: 42.54567, -76.59943

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Guide to Photographing Taughannock Falls State Park (New York)

Photo by Philip Cohen / CC BY-SA 2.0

Other Waterfalls

In addition to Taughannock Falls, there are two other noteworthy falls within the park. The Gorge Trail also leads you past the 20-foot Lower Falls, while the Rim Trail gives access to the 100-foot Upper Falls.

Flow of Water Varies Throughout the Year

Like any waterfall, the amount of water flowing will vary. At some times the flow at Taughannock Falls can be very low. In fact, a few months ago it was almost completely dry. I visited in October and there was only a small trickle of water flowing. Fortunately, I knew this ahead of time so it wasn’t too disappointing. If you are planning a trip it is not a bad idea to see if you can get an idea of the amount of water flowing before you go. If you go to TripAdvisor and click on “all visitor photos” you will see the most recent photos, and that should give you an idea of the most recent state of the falls.

Guide to Photographing Taughannock Falls State Park (New York)

Taughannock Falls with very little water, photo by Marc Andre

The Autumn Colors are Amazing

Taughannock Falls is beautiful in any season, but it is especially stunning when it is surrounded by fall colors.

Guide to Photographing Taughannock Falls State Park (New York)

Photo by Stan Stewart / CC BY 2.0

Many Other Waterfalls in the Area

The Ithaca area is full of waterfalls (you can see some of the best ones in our collection of The Best Locations in New York for Photography). If you are in the area be sure to make the most of your time and visit several places, if possible. Watkins Glen State Park is a very popular location just about 30 minutes away. Letchworth State Park is about 2 hours away.

Photo license link: CC BY-SA 2.0

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