Hector Falls

Watkins Glen, New York

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This massive cascade all but jumps right out onto the highway. You won’t miss this gargantuan falls if you’re driving on NY 414—easily 40 feet wide, it tumbles down a shale wall from a precipice high above the road and continues past the bridge and down into Seneca Lake. So large that it can’t all be seen from any land level, it presents a traffic-stopping sight for those who have not encountered it before. Imagine, then, the European-descended settlers who saw it for the first time and determined in an instant that it would provide the hydropower required to spin wool into yarn. Samuel Seely caught onto the potential this falls symbolized back in 1801, and he built a woolen mill here that signaled the growth of industry in the Hector area. Soon sawmills, a foundry, and mineral processing followed, all of it powered by this magnificent waterfall. Today we can appreciate this natural wonder from the road—but use caution, as NY 414 is a very busy highway. For a more complete and less noisome view of the falls, consider visiting it on a boat in Seneca Lake.
Hiking Waterfalls in New York

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Waterfalls in New York

by Randi Minetor (Falcon Guides)

This massive cascade all but jumps right out onto the highway.

You won’t miss this gargantuan falls if you’re driving on NY 414—easily 40 feet wide, it tumbles down a shale wall from a precipice high above the road and continues past the bridge and down into Seneca Lake. So large that it can’t all be seen from any land level, it presents a traffic-stopping sight for those who have not encountered it before. Imagine, then, the European-descended settlers who saw it for the first time and determined in an instant that it would provide the hydropower required to spin wool into yarn. Samuel Seely caught onto the potential this falls symbolized back in 1801, and he built a woolen mill here that signaled the growth of industry in the Hector area. Soon sawmills, a foundry, and mineral processing followed, all of it powered by this magnificent waterfall.

Today we can appreciate this natural wonder from the road—but use caution, as NY 414 is a very busy highway. For a more complete and less noisome view of the falls, consider visiting it on a boat in Seneca Lake.

© 2014 Randi Minetor/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Watkins Glen
Distance: 0.1
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 5-10 minutes
Season: Year-round
Features: Waterfalls
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Schuyler County Visitor Center, 214 N. Franklin St., Watkins Glen 14891; (800) 607-4552; www.watkinsglenchamber.com
Local Maps: DeLorme: New York State Atlas & Gazetteer, page 75
Driving Directions: Directions to Hector Falls

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Apr 2018