Northern New York Waterfalls 

Cliffside Falls


At the intersection of NY 5 and NY 30 in Amsterdam, drive east on NY 5.  The road will become a four-lane, and you will immediately turn left toward a sign for East Main Street.  This is a short piece of road that takes you to the west-bound lane.  Ahead, you will see Chapman Drive which bears to the right, across the west-bound lane of NY 5.  Almost immediately there is a left that is a private road leading to this waterfall.

County: Montgomery
Town: City of Amsterdam
USGS Map: Amsterdam
Waterway: Unnamed waterway
Latitude: N 42° 55' 48"
Longitude: W 74° 10' 28"
Drop: 20'
Type: Ribbon Block
Region: Within the city of Amsterdam
Parking: Unpaved lot
Trail type: NA
Length of hike: NA
Difficulty: Easy
Accessibility: Private
Name: Unnamed

Amsterdam Quadrangle

The status of this location has changed.  As you will read, on a visit there a few years ago, we arrived when the owner was there and got a tour and history of the facility.  On a return in September 2017, we were met with a closed gate at the entrance of the road.  This facility, and waterfall, is no longer accessible.

Not only is this waterfall technically not named, neither is the waterway that it is on.  We previously referred to it as Cliffside Restaurant Falls because a restaurant of that name operated there.  It is our understanding that previous to that, it was operated as the Teepee Restaurant and the waterfall may have been referred to as Teepee Falls because of that.  Although the building is still there, the restaurant no longer operates.  For that reason, we will simply refer to it as Cliffside Falls.

The waterfall itself is very pretty.  An estimated twenty foot drop, it is a ribbon block plummeting from the top of this cliff.  As you stand there viewing it, you can imagine what it would be like to sit in the dining room, enjoying dinner with this waterfall as a back-drop.

As for the facility, it can only be described as sad.  Once a thriving, beautiful, well-maintained restaurant, it has fallen into a major state of disrepair.  The area is posted, but we had the good fortune while we were there to meet the owner.  He bought it through a tax sale a few years ago with the idea of renovating it.  He has several ideas, including a micro-brewery but time, lack of financial backing, nature and vandals have taken their toll.

The building itself is gorgeous but a long way from its glory days.  The architecture and stone-work fit into the setting ideally.  However, vandals have taken a huge hit here between graffiti and broken windows.  Nature has also contributed to the decay with mold and humidity destroying much of the interior.  Because of vandalism, the owner has actually renovated a portion of the motel that is attached to the restaurant and now lives there.  The cliff-side itself, once open and an impressive sight, is now overgrown with trees and brush.

He has dreams of restoring the facility to its former beauty and operating a business there.  As he told us some of his ideas, we could envision sipping craft-brewed beer or attending a wedding reception here.  We wish him well.

This unnamed waterway flows into the Mohawk River just downstream from this location.  The Mohawk joins the Hudson River which flows into the Atlantic Ocean in New York City.

Last update: October 7, 2017

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Cliffside Falls Cliffside Falls
Cliffside Falls Cliffside Falls
Cliffside Falls

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