Urban Waterfalls

Waterfalls are a testament to our human relationship with water. We need it for our basic survival, but there is also a calming effect to being near water, to hearing the sound of a stream and the roar of a waterfall. Not all waterfalls are far removed from our urban centers, and here are a few that are an integral part of our city environments.

  • High Falls

    High Falls

    Located in the city of Rochester, NY, this 96-foot waterfall is part of the Genesee River gorge through the neighborhood with the same name of High Falls. Often referred to as “mini-Niagara,” it was once used to power the flour and lumber mill industries in the 19th century. A pedestrian bridge runs across the top for better views.

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  • Reedy River Falls

    Reedy River Falls

    In downtown Greenville, South Carolina, is the urban waterfall of Reedy River Falls. Though only 20 ft in height, it spans 400 ft wide. A 32 acre park nearby has walkways, observation decks, gardens, bridges, and stepped amphitheater seating offering prime views of the falls.

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  • St. Anthony Falls

    St. Anthony Falls

    Formed on the mighty Mississippi River, St. Anthony Falls is in downtown Minneapolis. This urban waterfall is split into an upper and lower level, together equaling a 50 ft drop. The Mississippi was completely diverted away from the falls in 1969, but was returned in the early 1980’s. Mills Ruins Park is nearby to the falls and features artifacts, trails, islands, and signs detailing the history of the area.

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  • Falls of the Big Sioux

    Falls of the Big Sioux

    These urban falls are in downtown Sioux Falls, and make up a 1,100 ft area along the Big Sioux River. These falls were once a sacred site for the indigenous peoples of the area. Today, it is home to the 123-acre Falls Park, a public park with around 1 million visitors a year. Pedestrian bridges and gardens, restaurants, and boat tours are available.

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  • Idaho Falls

    Idaho Falls

    Idaho Falls is located near the city of the same name, though the city was once called Eagle Rock. This part of the Snake River descends about 30 feet through a gorge, then enters the Snake River Plain. These falls also provide hydroelectric power to the surrounding area.

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  • Niagara Falls

    Niagara Falls

    On the border of Ontario and New York is the well-known Niagara Falls, where over 6 million cubic feet of water rushes over these falls every minute. This popular tourism site for over 200 years stretches out to a total of 3,600 ft wide, and the average height is 167 ft. Breathtaking, to say the least, these epic falls are a must see.

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  • Spokane Falls

    Spokane Falls

    Up in the state of Washington, and in the center of the city of Spokane, is Spokane Falls. These urban falls cascade about 30 ft down over a half-mile on the Spokane River. A 100-acre park, called Riverfront Park, has walking paths, bridges, and view of the cascades.

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  • Great Falls of the Passaic

    Great Falls of the Passaic

    The Great Falls of the Passaic are part of the larger Passaic Great Falls system. But this section drops 60 ft right within downtown Paterson, NJ. Once used to power industry in its early days, these falls are now a place to experience nature’s glory.

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  • Willamette Falls

    Willamette Falls

    The largest waterfall by volume in the Pacific Northwest, Willamette Falls is part of the Willamette River. A horseshoe shape, this urban waterfall is in Oregon City and spans 1,500 ft across with a 40 ft drop. Views are available from spots around the falls, and work is currently being done to integrate pedestrians walkways along the falls.

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