Planning a romantic getaway with your partner or lover is always exciting. However, due to the global accessibility to mainstream internet and social media platforms, it does not take long before a calm and romantic destination turns into a popular tourist site.
Although the local communities of some locations may benefit from the traffic and touristy attention that gets directed there, others struggle to protect and preserve the natural site’s aesthetic beauty, ecosystems, and rawness.
However, fortunately, there are still some key spots in the State that are still relatively secluded, usually a little challenging to get to, and are successfully preserved in their most beautiful, authentic, and natural form.
If you have not guessed it already, we are talking about the Skinny Dip Waterfalls, located in Chautauqua County, New York. It is located in Mayville, NY right in Chautauqua Gorge State Forest. It’s roughly a 3-mile walk from where you park your car.
Although these waterfalls are not high enough to be placed under the category of a natural waterfall, this is the only name or colloquial term New Yorkers and other tourists know it by.
Hence, despite the lack of certain technical characteristics, the Skinny Dip Waterfalls do manage to make it to the list of New York’s most aesthetically pleasing waterfalls that everyone should visit at least once in their life.
Keep reading below to learn more about Skinny Dip Waterfall’s history, geology, its natural habitats, and wildlife, and how you can get there.
Any time you visit Chautauqua County, do not forget to plan a quick trip to the extremely popular Skinny Dip Waterfalls.
Although New York has quite a few incredible waterfalls that are known for their rich historical significance, geological beauty, rawness, and overall ambiance, the Skinny Dip Waterfalls is one that is especially popular among people who are ready to go above and beyond to celebrate love, romance, and a beautiful adventure with their partners.
Although the Skinny Dip waterfalls do not have the same historical significance as some other popular falls, such as Salmon River Waterfalls, it is still worth knowing how this stunning destination formed.
Before the formation of these waterfalls, there used to be a highly inclined ridge that was said to resemble a camel’s back. Before the year 2006, the Chautauqua Creel formed a bend around this ridge that resembled a horseshoe’s shape.
According to certain writers who composed literature about this area, the entire ridge was the remains of a glacier, and hence comprised entirely of clay, gravel, and some rock.
Eventually, over time, erosion caused a deep notch to form in the ridge, causing it to break up. The power of erosion and water helped lower the creek bed by almost 5 feet; thus, the Skinny Dip Waterfalls formed.
If you have not been to the Skinny Dip waterfalls yet, imagine a short but powerful waterfall wrapped around by massive rocks and a beautiful lush-green plantation.
The crystal-clear water of this waterfall falls into a shallow swimming hole located on the Yellowstone Prong of East Fork Pigeon River, an established nudist bathing area.
The mighty rocks that sit firmly beside the waterfall are hard and not easy to erode, while the bed of the swimming hole is made from the remains of the broken ridge, which includes a lot of soft clay and gravel.
The overall height of the Skinny Dip waterfalls varies between 2 to 6 feet, and the overall depth of the nudist swimming hole is also around 6 feet.
Although the depth and height of these falls may not be as challenging for frequent hikers and adrenaline junkies, the size of this gorge is perfect for a calm, relaxing, and safe romantic trip or a family vacation.
Local Wildlife You Can Spot Here
If swimming beside naked people in these established nudist waterfalls is too much for you, you should still consider trekking up all the way to the falls for the experience.
The Pisgah National Forest, home of the Skinny Dip Waterfalls, is well-known for its beautiful natural ecosystems, lush-green plantation, and incredible wildlife.
Hence, if you are planning on making the trip to the Skinny Dip Waterfalls, brace yourself to possible encounter the following animal species:
- Black bears
- Eastern spotted skunk
- Peregrine Falcon
- Red and gray wolves
- Red fox
- River otters
What Should You Pack
For people who shy away from thrilling hikes and extreme challenges in the open wilderness, the Skinny Dip Waterfalls are the ultimate location for them.
The trek is relatively easier than most other popular hiking trails in New York, and it usually just takes around thirty minutes to get to the waterfalls.
Hence, before leaving for the Skinny Dip Waterfalls, remember to pack the items listed below:
- Reliable hiking trainers or boots
- A water bottle
- Some high-energy candy bars, especially if you are not used to trekking
- Snacks for when you reach the waterfalls
- Bathing suit, if swimming nude is uncomfortable for you
- A flashlight if you plan on staying beyond the sun hours
- A tent if you plan on camping nearby
Moreover, carrying the first-aid kit and some anti-allergy medicines is always a good idea whenever you plan on visiting a natural park, a waterfall, or a mountainous destination.
Things to do When Visiting
Some of the things you can do when visiting Skinny Dip Waterfalls are as follows:
- Skinny dipping (Kinda in the name)
- Swimming in the crystal-clear waterhole
- Jumping off the rock into the swimming hole
- Camping at some popular camping sites located near the fall
- Having a picnic
How Can You Get to There
As mentioned above, the route to the Skinny Dip Waterfalls is relatively short, even, and easy to trek on for almost everyone. However, it is important to know exactly how to get to the waterfalls to avoid panic or getting lost.
Hence, to get to the Skinny Dip Waterfalls, either use the trail map or follow the directions below:
- Drive to Chestnut Street and then turn to Sherman Road
- After almost 3.3 miles, turn left to Ogden Road, and take another left after 1.5 miles to get to Taylor Road.
- This is where you need to park your car and start your remaining journey on foot.
- Trek down the trail into the Chautauqua Gorge and keep walking a mile to reach the nudist area where the Skinny Dip Waterfalls are located.