Medina Falls

Medina, New York, USA

About Medina Falls

Hiking Distance: almost roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2013-10-11
Date last visited: 2013-10-11

Waterfall Latitude: 43.22242
Waterfall Longitude: -78.38268

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Medina Falls was kind of an obscure waterfall we took a brief detour for while driving from Albany to Niagara Falls. Perhaps what made this waterfall experience memorable was that Oak Orchard Creek (which fed the falls) actually flowed beneath the wide Erie Canal. At first, we thought it might have been fed by the canal itself before we were set straight by others in the know. The falls itself was said to be 40ft tall though it certainly looked a bit wider so it had a block appearance.

Although the neighboring town of Medina was charming and relatively quiet, Julie and I thought of this waterfall as an urban waterfall given the presence of the canal, the brown color in the water (possibly suggesting some degree of urban runoff and pollution), and that we could easily see some of the buildings belonging to the town of Medina from across the canal.

Walking to the waterfall was pretty straightforward once we knew where to park the car (see directions below). The path pretty much was on a concrete walkway flanking the wide and still waters of the Erie Canal (our map called it the Canalway Trail). Since we brought our daughter along for this short excursion, we had to be very careful about holding onto her since this path did not have railings to keep her from going into the water (i.e. it was a similar kind of hazard to swimming pools without fencing).

It was barely a minute’s walk from the interpretive sign near the steel bridge belonging to Bank Street. Then, we pretty much just viewed the falls from behind the railings between the foliage that were somewhat in the way. Since the Autumn colors were in full effect, they helped add a bit of color to the scene and contrasted the sickly brown color of the water somewhat.

Although it might have been possible to scramble for a closer look at Medina Falls, we were more eager to get to Niagara Falls so we didn’t bother extending our visit here. Thus, we really can’t say much more about this waterfall.


As we were driving west on I-90 from Albany, we took the exit 48 for Batavia town (this stretch of the I-90 was 250 miles and took about 4 hours). After paying the toll, we turned right to go north on Hwy 98 (Oak Orchard Rd), then we turned left onto Drake St (Hwy 262) after 3.6 miles. We then continued on Hwy 262 for 4.2 miles before making another right onto the Hwy 63.

Next, we followed the Hwy 63 west, then it curved north, and we followed it all the way north to the town of Medina. Once we were at the junction of Main St and Center St (Hwy 31), we turned right to go onto Center St. Then, we drove 0.3 miles east towards State St, where we then turned left once again. After about 0.1 mile on State St, we then turned left to go onto Bank St, which then crossed over a single-lane steel bridge over the Erie Canal.

Once we were past the bridge, a small pullout in a grassy area within view of some interpretive signs was on the left. From here, we walked towards the interpretive sign by the canal. Then while we were on the path flanking the canal, we walked in the direction away from the bridge towards the view of the Medina Falls.

By the way, we weren’t sure if it was OK to park in the grassy area. So if it wasn’t kosher to do this, then turning right after crossing the bridge (instead of left), drive up Horan Rd for about 0.3 miles, where there was a more formal car park on the right side of the road. From here, you would have to walk towards the bridge to get back to the interpretive signs by the canal.

For context, Medina was 43 miles (an hour drive) east of Buffalo, 277 miles (4.5 hours drive) west of Albany, and 364 miles (over 6 hours drive) northwest of New York City.

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360 sweep of the walkway and canal before looking down at the top of the falls. Then, walking over towards a better view of the falls.

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Tagged with: medina, orleans county, erie canal, buffalo, new york, upstate, waterfall, oak orchard creek

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