Located near Decker Creek Falls.
GPS/Locations: Montville Falls: (N 42.71511 / W 76.40860)
Or use Google Directions.
Directions: From Auburn, head south on either 38 or 38A to Moravia, where they connect. Just to the east of Moravia is Indian Mound Cemetery. Enter the cemetery. It is your access point for Mill Creek. Head towards Section 9 and park on the right side of the road just past the SEC 9 sign.
Or use Google Directions.
Parking: Park in the back of either St Patrick’s or Indian Mound Cemeteries. Section 9 of Indian Mound (on the right side of the road, just past the sign) is reportedly a good access point.
Number of falls: 1.
Size/Types: There is one large waterfall that takes about a 60 ft plunge in numerous veins down a solid rock face. It also splits off near the crest forming a “Twin Falls” on the right-hand side of it that comes down through the forest before joining again at the bottom. Then it continues down numerous cascades about 14 ft before leveling out into the gorge. The rock on Montville Falls is decidedly different than most of the other falls in the Finger Lakes area. It is a harder rock (limestone), much more sturdy that gives the waterfall a distinct look.
Best time to visit: Late spring and summer after moderate rain. Since this waterfall requires a lot of creek-walking to reach, you may not want to trek when the levels are high. The downside is that if you wait too long, it may be bone dry.
Flow: Low, but variable. Flow is regulated by an upstream dam and power plant, which often brings it to a trickle.
Waterway: Dresserville Creek, which combines with Decker Creek to become Mill Creek. Mill Creek then joins Hemlock Creek, which is the inlet to Owasco Lake.
Time: 40 minutes to an hour.
Seasons/Hours: Whenever you can get access, which as of Spring 2010, is when the cemetery is open. We do not have the cemetery hours at this time.
Handicap accessibility: No.
Pets: We are not sure.
Town of Moravia
Montville Falls has a character quite unlike the rest of the Finger Lakes watershed waterfalls. It is a wild waterfall with no defined trails or accommodations, set in a beautifully wooded gorge in the heart of the Owasco Lake watershed. Composed of hard limestone rock, the water erodes the stone from formed cracks in the bedrock, creating geometric angles that give this waterfall a distinct appearance. Nearby Decker Creek has its own waterfall and combining the two into one hike is definitely the thing to do if you have the time.
The great thing about this falls is the difference the level of water makes. Varying between multiple small ribbons winding around the rock in low flow to an even downpour when the water is high, Montville Falls is worth the trek in multiple seasons.
Viewing from the towpath
Distance: 3/4 mile (one-way) to visit Decker Creek and Montville Falls.
Description: The combination hike of these Mill Creek tributaries will get you close to both Decker Creek Falls and Montville Falls. Check out the Decker Creek Falls page for more details on that part of the hike.
From a back section of the cemetery, head towards the creek. The gorge can be steep here, but walk along and see where you can get down safely. Reportedly in Section 9 of Indian Mound Cemetery, near the large C.A. PARKER tombstone is a good area to scramble down. Once in the gorge, head upstream. There are not many defined paths, so plan on getting your feet wet. In fact, if you aren’t getting wet on this hike, then chances are the waterfalls will be dry when you get there.
Less than a quarter-mile upstream you will reach a fork. To the left, Dresserville Creek and Decker Creek Falls, to the right is Montville Falls. Hike right for 500 feet or so to get there.
The rock in Dresserville Creek is a harder variety than the usual shale – so it is not as slippery in the stream bed as in many other Finger Lakes gorges. Still – use caution and check your footing as there are large pools and cracks in the bed.
View Decker Creek and Montville Falls in a larger map
Near where Montville Falls is located, along Mill Creek, a man named Jethro Woods invented the first cast iron plow in 1819, drastically increasing the productivity of farmers and the reliability of their equipment. Unfortunately for Woods, he had to fight patent infringements his whole life and died a poor man. Montville was once a large manufacturing center, using the power of Mill Creek to build numerous factories along its banks. It rivaled the village of Moravia for dominance until the mills began to close along the creek as electric power ushered in modern industry.
Located south of the village, this state park features a massive gorge with several waterfalls.
Silky water effect
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