Focus on the Finger Lakes: Bucktail Falls

On the south end of Otisco Lake at the intersection of Moon Hill Rd and Sawmill Road, a quick walk across Sawmill Road will bring you to a small wooded area. A few small steps in and you are at Bucktail Falls.

(AKA: Bucktail Gulf, Lower Bucktail Falls, and the Bucktail). There is a small gorge in which Otisco Creek free falls about 30 feet and then fans out and tumbles the last 5 over rock. The lower falls are located on private property, but are not POSTED. The owner is OK with visitors walking in to look at and photograph the falls if they are respectful, but no climbing or dangerous activities.....maybe I should have read about that before I went. (see information link below)

Much of the areas around the falls were frozen when we were there. The ice resembled large stalactites and stalagmites. Some large pieces had fallen away from the rocks.

There is a larger, overhanging waterfall further up the stream, but it is also on private property and that one is off limits to the general public. Both falls have had a variety of mills on them through their earlier days. No traces of the mills remain today.

The name comes from a man who purchased the lands in the eastern part of the town of Spafford, including the land where the falls are located. His name was Captain Asahel Roundy. He settled at Bucktail Gulf. There were two principal political parties in this state at that time, the Clintonians and the Bucktails. Captain Roundy was a prominent member of the Bucktails.

If you are in the area the falls are definitely worth a stop and look/see any time of year. Please be mindful and help keep the beauty of this site by not leaving any trash.

Bucktail Falls is located at Sawmill Road and Moon Hill Road, at the southern end of Otisco Lake, in Spafford, NY

You can read more about Bucktail Falls at

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Sailor - Hank Osborne
00:00 / 00:00

3369 Guyanoga Road

 Branchport, NY 14418

Tel: 315-595-2200

A Cultural and Natural History Museum