© 2001 Jon Binder
Ratings (ratings explained)
Ease of Access: 8/10
Chittenango Falls State Park, near Syracuse, contains a beautiful 167-foot waterfall that is reached by a short but steep walk.
From the Syracuse area, take NYS route 5 east to Chittenango and NYS route 13. Turn right (south) onto NY 13 and follow it for about 4 miles to the entrance to the park on the right.
From the New York State Thruway (I-90), get off at exit 34, Canastota. Take NY 13 south for about 13 miles to the park entrance on the right side of the road. The park entrance is about 4 miles north of Cazenovia on NY 13. An admission fee is charged in season.
From the parking area, go down the steps to the base of the falls. Cross the bridge spanning the creek for the best views of Chittenango Falls. The climb down takes about 5 minutes, but of course it takes a lot longer to climb back up.
The falls are wonderful. Water cascades about halfway down the falls, with beautiful jumps and sprays, before widening and continuing its course down the rock face. The cascades leading from the falls to the bridge over the creek provide the perfect foreground for the scene. The only drawback is that you can see the viewpoint at the top of the falls from the bottom. However, it's still a great falls, especially for being so easily accessible.
If you are trying to get good pictures, lighting is especially important at this falls. My picture nicely demonstrates this. When I was there, the sun was bright and this made the falls have extreme contrast. I tried my best to get a decent picture, but better lighting would obviously have helped significantly. Nonetheless, the falls is very photogenic and usually helps make some great pictures.
Chittenango Falls is definitely a nice place to visit, as long as you don't mind the climb back up to the parking area.
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Page Last Revised: February 13, 2002