Lower Falls Cave – Rochester

When Is the Best Time

The best time to visit Lower Falls Cave in Rochester (New York) is in the summer and fall. A climb down is required, must be comfortable with heights. Also, be aware that the water level can change rapidly.

Review and Tips

We are loyal Airbnb travelers which has given us a wealth of insider knowledge when it comes to traveling. When staying in Rochester, New York a year-and-a-half ago, our hosts gave us this off-the-beaten-path location to explore. Still remains one of our favorite hikes.

You need sturdy hiking boots, preferably with ankle support, and I’d also recommend wearing jeans. While there is a warning system that will go off if water levels begin to rise, you only have minutes to get out of the gorge once those go off. If you are inside of the cave, it takes at least ten minutes for someone who is agile to make it to higher ground. Also note that where you walk along the water, shale fragments do fall in small amounts. The rocks surrounding the cave are unbelievably slippery.

Assuming you are going exploring having fully assessed your skills and the inherent risks, getting down to the cave is a spectacular sight! The story goes that the cave itself is entirely man-made. If you go inside, you’ll see a large cut-out circle that is now closed, where they used it as a system of transporting alcohol to the city streets above during the prohibition.

Here is a website to learn a little more about this unusual cave hidden in downtown Rochester.


Visiting Tip: While in Rochester, you should visit Watkins Glen State Park in New York and enjoy the most gorgeous waterfalls. It’s only 1.5 hours via car from Lower Falls Park.

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