When I’m traveling, I love finding easy-to-reach waterfalls. I always find that these are great spots to hop out quickly while I’m traveling and stretch my legs while enjoying a beautiful spot. That’s why I was so excited to find Dionondahowa Falls in Washington County, NY.
Dionondahowa Falls is located a short distance from the communities of Greenwich and Schuylerville along the Batten Kill River, which features three historic covered bridges further upstream. This waterfall is a natural waterfall that has been topped with a dam. The natural and man-made portions of the waterfall are said to be about 60 feet in total height.
A short hike of only about a third of a mile is required to reach the viewing areas for Dionondahowa Falls. Sadly, thanks to the deep gorge carved by the river, these viewpoints offer less than ideal views of the waterfall. However, given how easy they are to reach, it’s still worth the short hike to see the waterfall.
From the parking area, head into the woods along the well-defined trail. The trail is relatively flat, though there are a few small rises and dips. However, other than the last few feet of the trail, it’s easy enough for anyone that can walk on uneven terrain.
After a couple of minutes of hiking, there is a fork in the trail. Ultimately, both ways end up heading to the same place.
I opted to take the right fork heading to the falls as it stays closer to the river. There are nice views from the trail of Batten Kill and the top of the dam. However, there aren’t any good views of the natural part of the waterfall from here.
A short distance from the fork, there is a gate that keeps you from going further towards the dangerous cliffs. From here, take the stairwell up the hillside and meet back up with the other side of the trail.
Just after the stairwell, the trail turns right and heads down towards one of the viewing areas for Dionondahowa Falls. The trail to the viewing area is heavily eroded and a bit tricky to navigate, but should be doable for most.
At the end of the trail, there is a viewing area for the waterfall that is surrounded by railings.
The views from here are fairly good as you can see most of the waterfall. However, there are trees between you and much of the waterfall, which takes away a bit from the view and definitely makes photos difficult.
Regardless, this view over the waterfall offers good enough views of the waterfall given the length and ease of the hike and definitely allows you to appreciate the power of this river-wide waterfall.
Once you’ve enjoyed this spot, head back towards the main trail.
It does appear that an unofficial trail may continue further down the gorge walls along the Batten Kill. I didn’t have an opportunity to explore further, but photos I’ve seen since visiting suggest that there may be another viewing area a bit further down (though I don’t know if it’s overgrown at all or how safe it is to reach).
Probably the hardest part of the hike is getting back on the right track to hike back to your car. Not that it’s overly difficult, but the forest is a bit open in the area around the main viewing spot for Dionondahowa Falls, and the trail isn’t well marked.
However, once you get on the right trail, it’s a short 5-7 minute walk back to your vehicle.
While Dionondahowa Falls isn’t the type of waterfall that I’d recommend going far out of your way to visit, it is a scenic spot and an impressive waterfall, even if the viewing areas leave a bit to be desired.
If you find yourself traveling through the area or exploring the auxiliary spots of the Saratoga National Historical Park in Schuylerville, this is a great little spot to check out.
How to Get to Dionondahowa Falls
Dionondahowa Falls is located in Washington County, New York near Schuylerville and Greenwich.
There is an unmarked parking area big enough for two or three cars along Windy Hill Road. It is a gravel area and fairly obvious if you know what you are looking for, but also very easy to miss. It can be found at the following coordinates on the right side of the road (if heading from NY-29): 43.101457, -73.539953.
While the parking area isn’t obviously marked, there is a large sign marking the trail just steps into the woods that will assure you that you are in the right place.
It should be noted that, at the time of publication, Google Maps showed a parking area for “Devil’s Bowl Falls” on the same road as the parking area.
I’m unsure if this is another name for Dionondahowa Falls or a misplaced marker for another waterfall. However, this is not where you want to park to see the waterfall mentioned here, and there does not appear to be another waterfall along this stretch of the Batten Kill River.