Looking through the trees at a massive gorge wall and tall, low-flow waterfall
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Location / Directions / Maps

Note: This property is privately owned and, despite second-hand information to the contrary, it is POSTED.
Access is by permission only.

Read on to find out how you can access this location through a guided hike.

Location: South of the village of Geneseo; town of Geneseo; Livingston County; New York.

Maps: Google MapTopographic; Interactive.

GPS Coordinates: Fall Brook Falls: (N 42.77450 / W 77.82863)



Information / Accessibility / Accommodations

How to access Fall Brook Falls legally:  Guided hiking tours are provided by Trail Otter, out of Leicester, NY. Their contact info is at the bottom of the page.

Number of falls: 1 large waterfall. A few smaller falls can be found along Fall Brook.

Size/Types: Fall Brook Falls, often called High Falls, is 70-90 ft high (reports of its height vary widely). It plunges about half the height then cascades down a short outcropping in the cliff, it then freefalls the rest of the way into a large open gorge filled with trees and shrubs.

Flow: Moderate. It may dry in hot summers and periods of no rainfall.

Waterway: Fall Brook, which begins about 3 miles to the east. It travels west through the gorge here and empties into the Genesee River in the valley below. The Genesee heads north, through the City of Rochester and over Lower and High Falls, and makes it to Lake Ontario at Charlotte Beach, 35 miles north of here.

Time: 1-2 hours.

Seasons/Hours: As Trail Otter says “This hike is rain, snow or shine.”

Admission: Trail Otter charges $25 per person for this experience.

Handicap Accessibility: None.

Pets: Not allowed on this hike.

Accommodations: Guided experience. If the tour begins at the Trail Otter location, they also sell outdoor gear.

A closeup of the base of Fall Brook Falls in Geneseo, NY.


AKA: High Falls.

Fall Brook’s High Falls is a strikingly tall waterfall south of Geneseo and has been a popular hiking spot for decades. Assumed by many to be public land, it was a favorite for locals and the nearby state university’s students as a local attraction—accessible and free. It turns out, it’s actually privately owned and usually POSTED (although it seems that some visitors tear down the signs, possibly in an attempt to limit their liability).

Luckily, the hike up the Fall Brook Gorge, past the several small cascades, and up to the massive 70+ft tall waterfall at the end is possible, through a private arrangement with Trail Otters, a local outdoor equipment shop and trail guides. Is the price worth it? Considering the exclusivity, for the waterfall enthusiast, definitely yes.

A closeup of Fall Brook Falls (Geneseo Geneseo, NY) in low flow.

Hiking / Walking Trails

Difficulty: Moderate. It’s a creek walk with no defined trail the whole way. You will be walking in the creek, hopping boulders and downed trees. Your feel will get wet in spring. There may be a chance to stay dry in late summer and fall.

Markings: The hike is guided by Trail Otter. Reach out to them to set something up. They will lead the way.

Distance: About a mile to the falls and back.

Description: The Trail Otter guided experience will take you up Fall Brook to the falls and back. Contact them to arrange a date and time for this experience.

Map: Interactive.

Fall Brook's High Falls in Geneseo, NY
Fall Brook Falls through the trees (in Geneseo, NY)

Fall Brook Falls Interactive Map


Archeological records indicate a pre-Seneca village of roughly 20 acres existed along Fall Brook.

Many waterfalls in the US and Canada have tragically romantic tales of suicide associated with them. Fall Brook’s High Falls is no exception. A History of Livingston County, New York (published 1876) tells of this local legend:

It is said that an Indian girl, the favorite daughter of a chieftain of a neighboring village, being urged to marry whom she did not love, threw herself over the fatal rocks. The natives say that often at twilight, and always amid the howlings of autumn tempests, the plaintive tones of her voice could be heard. 

Historic image of some guys in suits at the base of Fall Brook's High Falls in Geneseo

The book goes on to debunk another local legend:

It is popularly held that in Sullivan’s expedition band of Seneca Indians were surrounded and driven over the falls by the advance guard of Clinton’s division. But as no reference is made to such an occurrence in Sullivan’s minute report, the story is clearly without foundation, even if it were not inconsistent, and, indeed, improbable. Another version refers the occurrence to a period nearly a century anterior to the latter date, connecting it with the French invasion under De Nonville, in 1684, of the Seneca villages in the Genesee country. It is likely that the tale has its origin in the destruction of a small band of De Nonville’s army, which the Indians familiar as they were with the locality so close to their homes, were enabled to entrap and destroy.

For many years after the town became settled several large trees standing near the falls bore numerous bullet marks, a fact that gave rise to a report that a battle had been fought here. A more reasonable explanation, however, is afforded in the fact that during the winter of 1813-14 a regiment of Pennsylvania troops was quartered on Judge Carroll’s farm, and detachments were in the habit of visiting the falls for game and for rifle practice.

The Seneca orator and Wolf Clan Chief, Sagoyewatha (Red Jacket) lived on an estate just south of the falls for some time.

One of the first settlers in the town was General James S. Wadsworth and his brother William. The Wadsworth family played a large role in settling and developing much of the Genesee Valley.

Fall Brook Falls Media


YouTube video

YouTube video

YouTube video

Guided experiences to the falls are through

Trail Otter
134 Main St
Leicester, NY 14481
[email protected]