From exit 47 on I-81, drive toward the city on NY 12/Bradley
Street. At the traffic light where this street ends,
take a left and drive to the third traffic light where you
should turn right. Turn left at the traffic light
at the bottom of the hill and park on the right by the
electric facility there.
||City of Watertown
||N 43° 58' 37"
||W 75° 54'
||In the city of Watertown
|Length of hike:
the parking area indicated in the directions side-bar, walk back
to the corner and proceed to the bridge. The falls will be
on your left.
The directions we have indicated are for
anyone trying to locate this waterfall that doesn't know the
city of Watertown. For anyone familiar with the city, simply go
north on Mill Street from Public Square. The waterfall is by
the bridge just before the intersection with Main Avenue.
Parking is available street-side just north of the river on Main
Avenue. There is a parking lot of the auto parts store just
south of the bridge but this is private property and would
involve crossing a busy street so is not recommended.
Great Falls is another one of those waterfalls that has
been a power dam for many years. It is located on the Black River in the city of
Watertown. Watertown originally got its name because of all
of the water power available on the Black River in that area.
There are several waterfalls that became dams within the city limits.
This waterfall has also been referred to as Black River Falls
and Watertown Falls, but the most long-standing and
widely used name today is Great Falls. We are pleased to
announce that at the May 10, 2017 meeting of the US Board on
Geographic Names, the committee accepted our proposal and this
name has "been added to the Geographic Names Information System
(GNIS) and are now official for use on Federal maps and other
You can't see these falls from the road, but only because the
cement walls at the edge of the bridge crossing the river at that
point at too tall. Simply park nearby and take a stroll up
the sidewalk on the east side of Mill Street and you will see the
More distant views of this waterfall can be had while
traveling east on Black River Parkway in the city. There
is one short stretch of this street where you will see the
waterfall framed below the Mill Street bridge.
The Black River empties into Lake Ontario at the Black River
Bay, just southwest of the village of Dexter.
Last update: May 23, 2017