Warsaw Falls Prints and Gifts for Sale
GPS/Locations: Warsaw Falls: (N 42.73253 / W 78.15238)
Directions: Take 20A to the village of Warsaw and turn south on Liberty St. After about 2,000 ft, the park entrance will be on your right.
Or use Google Maps.
Parking: Parking is available along the road that loops through the park or in the lot to the north by the lodge.
Number of falls: 3 large falls, several small drops.
Size/Types: One 80 ft cascade and several smaller cascades.
Best time to visit: Spring, through fall. May dry to a trickle in summer.
Waterway: Stony Creek, a tributary to Oatka Creek. Stony Creek begins about 6 miles northeast of here at the Attica Reservoir, slowing through farmland until it passes through a tunnel under the Erie-Lackawanna RR just before falling down Warsaw Falls. It then passes through the southwest corner of the village of Warsaw and then connects with Oatka Creek. Oatka flows northeast along the Wyoming Valley and empties into the Genesee River near Scottsville. The Genesee River is a major tributary to Lake Ontario.
Time: Two hours or more.
Seasons/Hours: Adjacent park is open from dawn until dusk.
Admission: Park admission is free.
Handicap accessibility: No
Pets: Not a good idea.
Swimming: Only in the park pool. A fee may be charged.
Accommodations: The park has ball fields; tennis courts; swimming pool; walking/running track; picnic facilities; pavilion; ice-skating rink; picnic facilities; lodge; restrooms.
For the park only – not the gully
AKA: Stony Creek Falls; Crystal Brook Falls
This beautiful natural setting has seemingly untouched waterfalls and pristine water. The hike is a spectacular one, especially in the fall, when the water level is low and the leaves blanket the dark limestone rocks of the gorge.
The creek walk up to the main falls is certainly a beautiful one, with small waterfalls and interesting rock formations along the way, but the real attraction here is Warsaw Falls, an 80 ft high cascade. With nearly a straight drop, its water manages to hug the steep limestone cliffs of this narrow cataract, filling this end of the gorge with the sounds of rushing water. It then rushes along a flat ledge at the bottom where it fans out and drops another ten or so feet, fanning out over a wider ledge. The contrast and positioning of these two falls makes for several photographic possibilities. We found ourselves with full memory cards in no time.
When we approached from the top, we couldn’t get a good angle on the large falls or the gorge below, but a small waterfall pouring out of the railroad bridge just upstream proved to be just as photogenic as the falls itself.
Rim Trail to the top
Difficulty: Difficult (because of steep muddy terrain and a last stretch that is a climb up loose dirt and gravel).
Distance: Just less than a mile uphill.
Description: From the park’s western end (the back near the wooded area), follow the mowed trail uphill through the woods and then head left (south) until you reach the gorge rim. Proceed uphill and along the rim until you reach the railroad trestle. A difficult scramble down hill will get you a good look at the creek flowing under the bridge, and downstream is the crest of the tallest falls. There is no way down the gorge from here and it is extremely dangerous. Use caution and do not play around at the crest of the falls.
Creek walk the gorge
Difficulty: Difficult (no trails, a slippery creek walk with small waterfall climbs).
Distance: Less than 0.75 miles one way.
Description: From the park’s western end (the back near the wooded area), follow the mowed trail uphill and look for a trail that leads into the woods. After a short while it will come to a muddy gully filled with a large utility pipe. Follow this pipe to Stony Creek and head upstream. The creek gets slippery in the autumn and there are no trails. So expect to walk through the water, which may be fast-moving and deep in the spring. There are a few small falls to climb, but nothing major. You must have good shoes and a walking pole as things can get very slippery here. The walk is long and uphill. You reach the end at the base of Warsaw Falls.
View Warsaw Falls in a larger map
Judge Elizur Webster purchased this area of the Oatka Creek Valley from the Holland Land company in 1803 and settled where the village is now. At the time this was a part of Genesee County. Along with agriculture, the salt industry was able to sustain Warsaw for decades. The ample salt springs in the Wyoming Valley allowed for companies to use the evaporative process to harvest salt.
The creek was known to early settlers as “Crystal Brook,” because of its clear waters, and the glen was known as “Maple Glen.” As early as the 1860s, we found evidence of the name “Warsaw Falls” used. Several sawmills once operated along Crystal Brook from the settlement of Orangeville (to the west) to the crest of Warsaw Falls at Maple Glen. No information on mills constructed on this creak within or after the glen could be found.
Just to the east is Western NY’s waterfall mecca. If you have time after visiting Warsaw Falls, head on over to Letchworth to see the 3 major falls on the Genesee (at least). Although Letchworth can easy take up a few days, a drive through to see the major waterfalls and features of the Letchworth Gorge can take only a few hours. It’s also a great place to picnic while you are in the region.
Photographing Warsaw Falls
Proper creek-walk footwear
Silky water effect
Writing / Photography