HECTOR, N.Y. (WHTM) — Hector Falls, on the east side of Seneca Lake, is one of the largest, and certainly one of the best-known waterfalls in the Finger Lakes region of New York.
One reason is it’s an easy waterfall to view — you just drive about two and a half miles north from the town of Watkins Glen on Route 414, pull over on the side of the road, and you’re there.
The other reason is, well, it’s spectacular. It’s also variable. The power of the waterfall depends on rain. During high, dry summer, it can shrink to a near trickle; during periods of heavy rain, so much water rushes over it you can’t see the rocks underneath. This video is the “about average” view.
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During the winter, it can freeze solid.
Incidentally, the 50-foot section you see here is less than a third of the entire waterfall. The water flows under Route 414 and down an additional 115 feet, for a total drop of 165 feet. You can cross the road carefully, the speed limit is 50 miles per hour and the route is busy, and look down at the other section. To see the entire waterfall, though, you need a boat.
The creek that feeds Hector Falls wells up from a wetland about five miles away. It’s been know over the years as Logan Creek and Hector Falls Creek. In the 1800s a lot of water-powered businesses sprang up on the creek, so many in fact that Hector Falls was nicknamed Factory Falls.