When I’m looking for waterfalls, I usually prefer to find waterfalls that are in woodland areas and surrounded by nature. However, when you come across a waterfall as beautiful as Honeoye Falls, it’s easy to overlook the lack of isolation.
Honeoye Falls is located in the heart of a village of the same name in southern Monroe County, New York. The waterfall is roughly 25 minutes south of downtown Rochester.
The portion of Honeoye Creek where the waterfall is located was the first area settled in this village.
This waterfall is roughly 25-30 feet in height and a good deal wider than it is tall. Along the top of the waterfall, you’ll find the crumbling remains of a concrete dam that adds a few additional feet to the top of the waterfall.
As with most waterfalls, it is best after a heavy rain or during the spring thaw. However, most of the photos in this article were taken during a pretty dry summer, and there was still a bit of water flowing here.
While you could drive through town and miss this beautiful spot, it’s very easy to see from several vantage points if you know where to look.
The main viewing area is located along West Main Street behind the Mendon Town Hall. (Honeoye Falls is a village in the town of Mendon.)
There is a parking area adjacent to the town hall building where you can park while visiting this waterfall. There is also ample street parking along Main Street. Both parking areas were free at the time of my last visit in the summer of 2020.
When visiting the waterfall, plug in the address for the Mendon Town Hall into your GPS: 16 W Main St, Honeoye Falls, New York 14472.
The Mendon Town Hall building is actually an interesting piece of the village’s history. Constructed in the 1820s and 1830s, the town hall was originally a stone grist mill that was powered by the waterfall. It is located on the site of the first mill in the area that had burned down a few years prior.
Today, a platform next to the front entrance to the town hall offers great views of Honeoye Falls from above the crest of the waterfall. This platform is 100% handicapped accessible.
Across the river, there is a large red building. While it is now privately owned, it was originally built as a sawmill in the 1810s and was also powered by the waterfall.
This building adds incredible beauty and historical charm to Honeoye Falls and is probably my favorite feature of the area around the waterfall.
Interestingly, from looking at older images, there was once a covered bridge just upstream of the waterfall that connected the two mills. Unfortunately, this has been lost to history and is no longer there. If it was still there, it would likely be one of the most beautiful covered bridges in New York given the setting.
While the best view of Honeoye Falls is located in front of the Mendon Town Hall, there is another viewing area behind the town hall that also provides great views.
To see this, head just up West Main Street, and follow the obvious path to the right just past the town hall. Here, you’ll find a bench and another great view of Honeoye Falls. This is a great spot to relax and enjoy the beauty of this area.
While at this lower viewing area, definitely take a minute to look downstream. The village of Honeoye Falls is very beautiful and is home to several historic buildings that can be seen from this spot, which has always added a lot to my enjoyment while in the area.
While the view isn’t as good at the two spots next to the Merdon Town Hall, you can also see Honeoye Falls from the East Street Bridge, which is about a hundred yards downstream from the waterfall.
From the sidewalk on the southwestern side of the bridge, you can look upstream towards the waterfall while also seeing the two historic mills that flank it. Given it’s only a short walk away, it’s worth the quick diversion to also see the waterfall from this spot while in the area.
Overall, the combination of Honeoye Falls and the two 19th-century mills that flank it makes this one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Finger Lakes. Even better, since this waterfall is located in the heart of town, it can be visited be anyone, no matter their physical abilities.
Whether you are looking for an easy-to-reach waterfall or are simply passing through the area, I definitely recommend checking out this waterfall near Rochester, New York.