An even better look at the Cohoes Falls

cohoes falls

It should be really beautiful in a few weeks.

If you've never checked out the Cohoes Falls -- or just haven't been there in a while -- you should really make the short trip there some weekend soon.

Views of the falls -- the biggest east of Niagara -- were long obscured by trees, a power plant and a faraway overlook. But the company that runs the power plant created a new park last year with much better views. And this year it opened a lower level that lets you get a lot closer.

The lower level of Falls Views Park is 10 stories below the overlook, according to signs on the site. As you would expect, that means a few stairs.

cohoes falls steps

It's worth it, though. Viewed from below, the falls are even more impressive. You really get a sense of how high and wide they are.

cohoes falls lower

Sometimes you can get even closer. During periods of low water, you're allowed to go down onto the flats near the river. Alas, that section was closed off when we stopped by this weekend.

Falls View Park is open dawn to dusk May through October. And it really does close. There are automatic gates that shut, blocking off the bridge that leads over the canal.

cohoes falls gate

Bonus fact: Cohoes gets its name from the falls. According to the city's web site, the Native American word "Ca-ha-hoose" means "falling or shipwrecked canoe."

Find It

Falls View Park
North Mohawk St
Cohoes, NY 12047


Ha ha. I've been wanting to stick around long enough to see that gate magically close on its own. I wonder what happens.

What if you show up for a quick peak at 25 minutes to close? Is there more than that the one 30 minute warning, or should I bring Snackables and a blanket, just in case?

I ask because Murphy's Law says this will be me.

Better yet, check out Trenton Falls near Utica. Pretty impressive history for the place as well. Abe Lincoln even stayed there for a while.

Unfortunately, the falls are only open to the public during certain periods of the year. Worth the trip, and you can stop by the F.X. Matts Brewery (Saranac Brewery) for a tour and a free beer.

For more information:

I've been to the falls twice this summer but both times they fishing area and the flood plain area below are closed. It looks like they are permanently closed. Especially, the fishing area. They put up a section of chain link fence across the walkway and wire tied it to the permanent fence. You can tell the section of fence blocking the trail has been there a while and isn't easily removed.

Then there's the cool flood plains area that would allows people to go closer to the water and falls to explore. Cohoes obviously spent a fortune on the stairs that they can lift up and down with a winch (why did they do that if they have a lockable, fence with razor wire on top covering the trail entrance?!) so why not use the equipment and let the public through?!

I can understand not allowing people on the flood plains when the water is high (who determines what is really "high") but to just leave the tourist attractions closed permanently is lazy. And why close the fishing area permanently? It has nothing to do with how high the water is since it is near the dam and has railings and other safety features? The fishing areas should never be closed during park hours.

Who do you think is the contact? The city of Cohoes or the power plant?

@Mark: I think the power company owns the park.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Babes in Troyland

Another holiday market for the calendar: Babes in Troyland will be at The Takk House in Troy December 12 and 13. It's presented by Troy... (more)

Echoes from the Neighborhood that Disappeared and The Great Ledge: Exploring Thacher

A follow-up to The Neighborhood that Disappeared -- Mary Paley's documentary about the area taken for the Empire State Plaza -- will air this... (more)

What sort of winter hat should I get?

This question is from Greg. But we'll blockquote (because tradition): I need a to get a new winter hat. My old hat -- which has... (more)

When the sun goes down

Check out this map: It depicts how many days out of the year with sunsets after 5 pm in each place around the United States.... (more)

Albany Holiday House Tour 2015

Historic Albany Foundation's annual Holiday House Tour is Sunday, December 13 from noon to 4 pm. The self-guided tour includes 10-15 historic homes around Albany,... (more)