Visit Honeoye Falls to experience the awe-inspiring, rugged beauty of the Finger Lakes. Feel the mist of the falls on your face as you let the clean air fill your lungs. The natural scenery surrounding the humble waterfall has a depth of color, especially in the summer and autumn, and the jagged cliffs around the falls provide great contrast for photography.
This waterfall is about 30 feet tall and it is substantially wider. On the top of the waterfall, you will see the ruins of a dam that adds a few more feet to the waterfall. Honeoye Falls are best visited during a spring thaw after heavy rain. However, you can visit them throughout because it’s always thriving with activities and things to do.
The History and Geology of Honeoye Falls
The origins of Honeoye Falls, like most waterfalls and lakes in the region, are rooted in glacial activity. The end of the fourth, and most recent ice age, some 20,000 years ago is responsible for the unique geography of Honeoye Falls.
The massive glaciers carried huge amounts of rocks and gravel that carved the landscape. The melting ice later deposited water, sand, silt, and gravel. The Honeoye Lake was carved by an existing river valley by the retreating glacier.
The meltwater filled these sprawling basins while the rocky deposits from the glaciers formed dams. Honeoye Lake used to receive water from the melting glaciers. Today, it receives the water from a watershed that is shared by six towns across two counties.
Historians believe that humans first arrived in the Honeoye Lake area around 1000 BC, with the Point Peninsula People being the first to arrive. Centuries later, the Owasco inhabited the area. This was followed by the Senecas of the Iroquois Confederacy who used the area for its fertile land and grew crops.
The modern village, as we know it, was founded by Zebulon North in 1791, a miller from Connecticut. He was interested in harnessing hydropower from the waterfalls. Norton built a home for his family and a mill at the top of the falls. This commercialization led to more people settling in and a bridge was later built in 1810 to connect both sides of the village.
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert you will enjoy fishing in Honey Fall. The best months to take your fishing rod to the lakes are April and March. This creates the ideal temperature and conditions for fish species such as Pike, Perch, Atlantic Salmon, and Trout. Most anglers are hoping to catch smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and walleye. The availability of the fish depends on the season and time of year. You should check in with the locals for more information.
There are plenty of boat rentals and guided fishing charters who will help you take advantage of the lake. The fish can naturally reproduce in the surrounding lake because of the nourishment available. Before you venture out on your fishing expedition, note that New York requires individuals over the age of 16 to have a fishing license.
Honeoye Falls is a must-visit, especially for the birders. It is renowned for excellent birding, with many avian species enriching biodiversity. The region encompasses several acres of dense forest that provides shelter and nutrition to hundreds of species of birds. The most popular birds here include the gray catbird, wood thrush, gnatcatcher, and tufted titmouse. And the blue-winged warbler, among others.
This region is usually ignored by visitors but is not ignored by birds like warblers, waterfowl, and songbirds. Fans of the Great Blue Heron will also love the area and get a chance to photograph them. In winter, the water is mostly frozen, but the area is still excellent for bridging, perhaps most notably for Northern Shrikes and Snowy Owls.
Honeoye Falls offers a multitude of boardwalks, trails, and overlooks to view wildlife in their purest form. Explore Honeoye Falls in any season to spot rare animals as well as predators like the black bear and cougars.
Many visitors have reported sightings of river otters, a hard-to-spot species. River otters are a success story because they were wiped out from the region due to increasing commercialization. However, the combined efforts by individuals and governments allowed scores of these animals to return to the region.
One animal that you are most likely to encounter is the white-tailed deer. It is striking to see how the deer evolve through each season. Spring lets you spot small fawns who mature into antlered males in the fall months. They develop dark brown coats in the winter months that contrast with the reddish fur in the summer.
Also hard to miss are wild turkeys because they are large and loud. These non-migratory birds are found throughout the region and enjoy interaction with individuals.
Please note that you should not approach wildlife, especially larger animals such as the black bear, because they can be harmful.
Visitors can plan their activities on land or water. Honeoye falls is popular for boating, skiing in the winter, and swimming. There are many water sports operators nearby who offer a wide range of activities including boat trips and sailing.
Hiking opportunities abound in the surrounding forest where you can spot the wildlife mentioned above. You can also hire freelance guides to help get a proper lay of the land.
Camping is a popular pastime for visitors in Honeoye Falls as families pack up their supplies to visit the great outdoors. Visitors can bring their RVs to campgrounds or use a more simplistic approach by using a tent.
The best view of Honeoye Falls is in front of Mendon Town Hall. Simply plug in the address of Mendon Town Hall and you should arrive at the falls relatively easily. You can also head up West Main Street and follow a path right past the town hall. This will provide you with a great view of Honeoye Falls.
So there you have it, a quick look at Honeoye Falls and the local flora and fauna. We recommend visiting in the Fall to get the most out of the waterfall.