Your Hometown: Chittenango Falls
From weddings to flowing rushes of water, Niagara Falls gets much of the publicity when it comes to natural beauty across the state, but Chittenango Falls State Park in Madison County offers many of the same picturesque features, and then some. In this week's edition of your hometown, our Karen Lee takes us to a place that's giving Niagara Falls a run for its money.
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CHITTENANGO FALLS, N.Y. -- Only a half-hour from Downtown Syracuse, city-life is forgotten as you enter Chittenango Falls State Park.
"Absolutely breath-taking. It's God's nature at its finest. Mesmerizing,” said Cheri McLeod, Fayetteville resident.
Now some argue that the Chittenango Falls here is even more breath-taking than the Niagara Falls. While you can argue both ways, the falls here does beat Niagara in one category, height.
With a 167-foot cascade, the falls are slightly taller than the American side of Niagara Falls.
"Niagara Falls obviously has got the magnificence of the vast amount of water going over it but the height of Chittenango Falls does come in at a clip higher,” said Jim Walter, Madison County Tourism Executive Director.
The falls is also home to rare animal and plant life including the Roseroot, the Hart's Tongue Fern and the Ovate Amber Snail, a creature you'll only find here.
"Because of the climate at the bottom of the falls, it's a north-facing falls, so it doesn't get a lot of direct sunlight and the climate with the humidity and the constant mist, it makes it a unique place here in Central New York and the world really,” said Walter.
Flowing over 400 million-year-old bedrock, history is also seen across the water. The stone pavilions were built back in the 30’s and structures like these are hard to find at state parks now.
"It's often times considered one of the seven natural wonders of Central New York,” said Walter.
"It's a hidden treasure,” said McLeod.
The park here is one of many that may potentially shut down as state leaders look to balance the budget, but supporters of Chittenango Falls say, if you close this park down, you're not just taking away a recreational facility, you're shutting down a New York gem.