Glen Falls, Williamsville
Tell People About it
- A few minutes outside of Buffalo, in the village of
Williamsville, Town of
Erie County, New York.
Windows Live (Bird's eye),
GPS/Locations Falls: N 42.96401 / W 78.74396
Directions - Take I90 to I290 and take exit 7A
east to Williamsville (Rt 5, Glen Ave). Continue through the
village and turn left onto Rock St. At the end of Rock St,
turn right onto Glen Ave and look for the parking lots on
either side of the street, just past the bridge.
Number of falls:
Size/Types: A 27 ft tall cascade with a few
Best time to visit: Year-round.
Waterway: Ellicott Creek
Time: Visible from the roadside or via a short
walk through the park
to the falls.
Year-round; sunrise to 10pm.
Parking: There are two parking lots off of Glen Ave. the
northern lot has room for 20 cars, while the southern lot
has room for 6.
Admission: park admission is free.
Handicap accessibility: yes, paved walkways make this
park very accessible.
Pets: Pets not allowed.
Accommodations: Restrooms, paved trails, trash bins,
enclosed pavilion, benches.
Ellicott Creek descends nearly 50 ft as is
passes through Williamsville; with a 27 ft section where
Glen Falls tumbles over the Onondaga escarpment. What was
once a hotspot for water-powered mills and factories is now
a chain of beautiful parks (and one golf course).
Winding trails, interconnected ponds, and
superb landscaping please the eye, while the sound of the
water rushing over the falls relaxes the mind. It was no
surprise that even when we visited on a dull, dreary day in
September numerous couples were enjoying a quiet walk, while
a small wedding ceremony took place in front of the falls.
Glen Falls is not an overly spectacular
falls. What really shines is the park it is within,;
certainly making it one of the more enjoyable ones to visit.
The park's open spaces and paved walkways offer easy viewing
of the multi-tiered cascade. Ellicott Creek's waters are
strong and even in mid-summer the falls will roar. The water
drops about a third of the way from its crest, cascades down
the midsection, and then drops the rest of the way. There
are several small ledges above and below the falls, but
nothing of significance.
The remnants of an old mill race can be
explored along the south west corner of the park, near the
red mill. Explore the northern end of the park and the
neighboring Amherst State Park to find the ruins of various
You can't get lost in this park if you stick to the
paved trails. In the southern end, the trails loop around
the ponds and throughout the park with one branch leading to
the top of the falls towards Main St. A trail at the
northern end leads through a wooded area and leads to
Amherst State Park.
Markings: Paved trails.
A few hundred feet of trails wind
around the park.
Ellicott Creek descends the Onondaga
Escarpment at Williamsville; creating a lot of potential for
water power. Pioneers began building mills along the creek
here as early as 1801. John Thompson and Ben
Ellicott (after whom the creek was named) of the
Land Company acquired 300 acres around the falls in
Williamsville in 1799 and built the first saw mill there in
1801. In 1803, much of their land was leased to other
settlers;, many of which constructed their own mills along
the creek rapids. Jonas Williams and Evan Thomas acquired
the mill property in 1804 and Williams proceeded to build
three additional mills as well as a tannery and distillery.
Because of his entrepreneurial dominance in the settlement,
it was often referred to as "William's Mills."
The village was incorporated in 1850,
named "Williamsville," after its predominant citizen (who
was then also serving as Postmaster). The village quickly
grew over the years thanks to the water-powered
manufacturing industry. Williamsville Glen shifted towards
an entertainment district once electricity allowed factories
and mills to break the tether to the creek. The Harry Altman
Glen Park Casino complex was built at the current site of
the park. In addition to a casino and dance hall, it
featured a children's amusement park and small zoo. In the
1940s a theater and restaurant were added, showcasing such
talent as Sammy Davis Jr. In 1968 the complex's dance club,
ironically named "Inferno," burned to the ground in a
massive fire still talked about to this day. Four years
later, the Glen Casino Theater and Restaurant was also
burned in another large fire. Numerous structures in the
area were leveled. The property was sold to the town and
through a joint venture with the village, was developed into
a park in 1973.
The Williamsville Water Mill, located on
Spring St. above the falls, was built by Jonas Williams in
1811 and changed ownership at least a half a dozen times. It
is still in operation today and features a storefront to buy
fresh-pressed cider. A mill race,
also built in 1811 still exists today, now hidden
under Main St.
Park, a small garden park above the falls, was donated by the Rotary Club in
Do not miss...
Island Park, on Ellicott Creek south
of Glen Park, was created when the creek was dammed in the
early 1800s to create a reservoir pond for mills. Those dams
still exist today, blocking the original flow of the creek
(west side of the island) and diverting the flow along the
eastern side of the island. The park hosts a variety of
village events as well as small community picnics. There is
a large pavilion, small gazebo, playground, and picnic
State Park, is on Ellicott Creek to the north of Glen
Park. Formerly a convent of the Franciscan Sisters, this
small park offers 77 acres of nature trails along the creek
and excellent birding and fishing opportunities. You can
enter the park from the trail at the northern end of Glen
Park, or through the primary entrance on Mill St.
Williamsville's mill history can be
experienced through a self-guided
▪ You can photograph this falls
from alongside the fence that runs along the creek or from
the parking lot.
▪ The various ponds and interesting landscaping in the park
offer several photo opportunities.
▪ When the weather is good, people flock to this park. Get
there early to beat the crowds.
▪ See the Articles section
for more waterfall photography tips.
Support our site. Purchase a fine art print today:
Local Festivals and Activities
Winterfest (Early Feb), On site at Glen
Click here for more Williamsville events.
Serenity Falls -
mi. SW) Buffalo, NY
- (just to the south) Williamsville, NY
Bed & Breakfasts
Sassafras Bed & Breakfast - Lancaster, NY
Ransom House - Clarence, NY
Fleuve Bed & Breakfast - Buffalo, NY
Elmwood Village Inn: Honu House - Buffalo, NY
Lodging / Hotels / Cabins
Garden Hotel - Williamsville, NY
La Quinta Inn
- Williamsville, NY
Amherst Hotel - Amherst, NY
Buffalo/Niagara Marriott - Amherst, NY
Homewood Suites - Amherst, NY
Museums / Galleries
Susan Frauenheim Bradley Art - East Amherst, NY
Buffalo Museum of Science - Buffalo, NY
Albright-Knox Art Gallery - Buffalo, NY
Burchfield-Penney Art Center - Buffalo, NY
Buffalo Naval & Military Park - Buffalo, NY
Chateau Buffalo - Buffalo, NY
Restaurants / Cafes
Shogun - Williamsville, NY
The Original Pancake House - Williamsville, NY
Tandoori’s - Williamsville, NY
Samuels Grande Manor - Williamsville, NY
Charlie the Butcher - Williamsville, NY
Pizza & Wings - Williamsville, NY
LaPorta's Pizzeria, Inc. - Williamsville, NY
Salvatore’s Italian Gardens - Williamsville, NY
BLU Martini Bar - Williamsville, NY
Taco - Williamsville, NY
Hair Grille & Golf - Williamsville, NY
Eagle House Restaurant - Williamsville, NY
Marinaccio's Steak & Seafood - Williamsville, NY
Bocce Club Pizza - Amherst, NY
La Scala Ristorante - East
Lebro's Restaurant - Getzville, NY
Bar - Buffalo, NY
Jenny's Ice Cream - Williamsville, NY
Tasty Treat - East Amherst, NY
Shopping / Bakeries / Local specialties
Dessert Deli - Williamsville, NY
Village Desserts - Williamsville, NY
Lisa Hunter Jewelry - Williamsville, NY
Butterwood Desserts - West Falls, NY
Paul's Jewelry Design - Amherst,
Company - Williamsville, NY
Entertainment / Recreation / Other
Academy of Theatre Arts - Williamsville, NY
Hair Grille & Golf - Williamsville, NY
at Buffalo Center for the Arts - Buffalo, NY
Glen Park Board
(716) 632-4120 x3002
Historic photos of Williamsville
History of Amherst Mills
Town of Amherst History
More Amherst Town History
About the Glen Fires