The Northeastern United States is home to one of the world’s most famous waterfalls. But there are many other beautiful cascades threaded throughout New York, New England and New Jersey. Here are 10 beautiful and unique waterfalls to see, along with recommendations for where to stay nearby.
Bash Bish Falls – Mount Washington, Massachusetts
Bash Bish Falls in Mount Washington, Massachusetts — Photo courtesy of Linda Laban
Bash Bish Falls, in the Berkshire Hills which are part of the Appalachian Mountains, is the tallest waterfall in Massachusetts. Drive narrow winding mountain lanes, and then take a short walk to reach the 80-foot drop into a calm pool – the final show in a 200-foot series of cascades.
Stay: In the nearby hamlet of New Marlborough, the Old Inn on the Green is an historic stagecoach inn, now a luxury rustic retreat with great food and drinks served in a dining room lit by fireplaces and candles.
Buttermilk Falls – Ithaca, New York
Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca, New York — Photo courtesy of Hotel Ithaca
The college town of Ithaca stands on the shores of Cayuga Lake, the longest of the Finger Lakes, part of an area surrounded by over 150 waterfalls emanating from gorges carved out by moving glaciers millions of years ago. Just miles from downtown, Buttermilk Falls State Park is where the impossibly pretty Buttermilk Creek takes a 500-foot dive over exposed rock strata, falling into a pool below.
Stay: The Hotel Ithaca, an independently owned hotel located in the heart of downtown, is just over 2 miles from Buttermilk Falls State Park.
Moss Glen Falls – Granville, Vermont
Moss Glen Falls in Granville, Vermont — Photo courtesy of Tim Volk
Located just south of the charmingly named Mad River Valley, amongst rural Vermont’s Green Mountains, Moss Glen Falls is an 8-mile drive down picturesque Route 100 from the hamlet of Warren, which has its own falls. Warren Falls is a popular local swimming hole and certainly a beautiful cascade to visit.
Moss Glen Falls, however, has more action in its so-called horse-tailing – or fanlike cascade – over ancient boulders and into a shallow pool. Both of these beautiful waterfalls are easily accessed, but swimming is only allowed at Warren Falls.
Stay: The Pitcher Inn on Main Street in Warren – it’s the quietest main street you’ll ever experience – is an eclectic antiques-filled luxury inn with a notable farm-to-table restaurant.
Mine Kill Falls – North Blenheim, New York
Mine Kill Falls in North Blenheim, New York — Photo courtesy of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
About 50 miles southwest of Albany in Upstate New York, Mine Kill State Park is part of the Schoharie County Eagle Trail, so spotting a bald eagle or two during the hike to and from the waterfall is a wonderful bonus. There are several trails, ranging from easy to moderately difficult, and there is the hike-free option of viewing from the overlook platform, which is an easy walk from the parking lot.
Stay: The Mill Pond Inn in Jefferson, which is about 10 miles away, is a converted Federal style mill building, now a boutique inn with a seasonally inspired restaurant.
Arethusa Falls – Hart’s Location, New Hampshire
Arethusa Falls in Hart’s Location, New Hampshire — Photo courtesy of WISEGUYCREATIVE.COM
At around 160 feet in height, Arethusa Falls is one of New England’s tallest accessible single-drop waterfall. Sometimes referred to as Tuckerman Falls for its proximity to the renowned Tuckerman Ravine, these multi-tiered falls are found after a moderate hike on the intriguingly named Frankenstein Cliff Loop in Crawford Notch State Park in the White Mountains. It’s popular during warm weather – and popular with ice climbers in winter.
Stay: The Eastern Slope Inn in North Conway is a historic lodge, now a self-catering hotel with large rooms with kitchenettes, located right on this artsy, fun town’s main street, the White Mountain Highway.
High Falls Gorge – Wilmington, New York
High Falls Gorge in Wilmington, New York — Photo courtesy of Shannon M. Shipman
Set in a privately owned 22-acre nature park in the Adirondack Mountains, about a half-hour’s drive from Whiteface Mountain, and ten from Lake Placid, High Falls Gorge is a series of four waterfalls, first opened to the public in 1890. A short trail loop – about half an hour’s walk – leads over bridges and walkways, traversing over and around the falls.
Stay: The all-suite resort, the AAA Four Diamond-rated Whiteface Lodge sits amongst woodlands above Lake Placid. Suites include full kitchens, washer/dryers and balconies or patios, and room rates include breakfast.
Paterson Great Falls – Paterson, New Jersey
Paterson Great Falls in Paterson, New Jersey — Photo courtesy of E+ / iShootPhotosLLC
Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park houses the second largest falls located east of the Mississippi River. Paterson Great Falls is behind the mighty Niagara Falls in the volume and velocity of crashing water, but these 260-foot-wide and 77-foot-high falls draining from the Passaic River are a spectacular focal point in the heart of Paterson, whose industrial history began with the falls as a power source. The hike up the falls, from bottom to top, takes less than an hour.
Stay: The Hyatt Place Fair Lawn/Paramus offers modern comfy stays just 7 miles away from the falls.
Moxie Falls – West Forks, Maine
Moxie Falls in West Forks, Maine — Photo courtesy of Visit Maine
Way up in northern Maine and under 2 hours from Maine’s capital, Augusta, Moxie Falls is one of the state’s highest waterfalls and gets votes for the most beautiful. The falls notches up a vertical drop of around 90 feet and is located in the remote upper Kennebec Valley, yet it is easily accessible via a moderate hike aided by steps and boardwalks. Strategically built wooden observation platforms provide views of Moxie’s several plunges.
Stay: Hawk’s Nest Lodge in West Forks is an independently run, hand-built rustic woodland retreat with an on-site restaurant, decorated with wood carvings from Maine champion chainsaw carver Jeff Samudosky.
Flume Gorge – Lincoln, New Hampshire
Flume Gorge in Lincoln, New Hampshire — Photo courtesy of New Hampshire Travel and Tourism
This natural gorge with towering granite walls includes a 2-mile walk by pools, streams and waterfalls, both great and small. Located at the base of Mount Liberty in Franconia Notch State Park in the magnificent White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, bridges, walkways and steps aid traversing the boulder-strewn natural chasm. The most spectacular natural water feature is the thundering Avalanche Falls, Flume Gorge’s biggest cascade.
Stay: In nearby Lincoln, a 10-minute drive away, the RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain offers suites with kitchenettes, an on-site restaurant, pool and a day spa.
Niagara Falls – Niagara Falls, New York
American and Bridal Veil Falls at Niagara Falls, New York — Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls USA & New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Niagara Falls, which comprises three main cascades, might just be the world’s most famous waterfall. Spanning the U.S. and Canadian borders, the two countries share the Horseshoe Falls, while American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are both located in New York. The famous Maid of the Mist tour boat operates only from the U.S. side of the Falls, and after ferrying passengers around the Niagara Gorge for over 150 years, two new all-electric, emission-free boats were launched in 2021.
Stay: The art deco and Mayan revival United Office Building, built in 1929, is now the luxury boutique Giacomo Hotel, less than half a mile from the waterfalls in Niagara Falls State Park.