Pixley Falls, Boonville, NY

Pixley Falls State Park is on Route 46, south of Boonville. It lies at the southern foothills of the glorious Adirondack Mountain Range. Like so many New York State geography wonders, this is a watercourse over ancient stratfied limestone. The state park, open all year, is 375 acres of forest and trails. Camping, picnics, hiking, cross-country, fishing and seasonal hunting are all welcome here. It is very woodsy, and there are steep trails to follow. The kids loved it– it’s a great place for nature exploration.

A small stream flows through the park, part of the many-veined water network leading to the mighty Mohawk River. The stream tumbles down the steep hills, narrows in some places and widens in others. the day we visited, the waterflow was steady but rather small and unspectacular. During periods of heavy rains, I could imagine it cresting easily over the green banks.

You really need to click the image to enlarge it, in order to appreciate the absolute beauty of the place.

Creek by Pixley Falls

Pixley Falls 1

The kids were very happy to simply run around, follow the stream, and look for fossils. We found diatoms in several of the rocks. It is amazing to think that at one time, all this land– even the Adirondacks themselves– were once under water.

Diatom Fossils 2

There are little rocks. And there are big rocks. REALLY big rocks.

On Big Rock

After exploring the little stream and some of the trails (and the restrooms), we made our way down the hill to see the actual waterfalls. The descent was rather steep.

Hike Down to Falls

It was a wonderfully invigorating walk! I was surprised to see so many people down by the water. A small group of about 20 Amish women were chatting by the water, and a few couples had small children. One lady even had a tiny dog she was carrying around.

When we got to the bottom of the incline, the full 50-foot view of the falls came into sight. It was lovely.

Pixley Falls from side

Pixley Falls 3

I’ll save the rest of the story for another post, including my little exploratory walk to the top edge of the waterfalls. That was fun!

About the Author

I've been traveling throughout New York State since I got the travel bug after touring the Herkimer Home on a school field trip as a youngster. We've been blogging about our travels since 2006 and have visited over half of New York's 62 counties so far.

Comments (28)

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  1. Wow. Now that is somewhere I could sit for hours, seeing something new at every turn!
    Thanks for your visit!

  2. akaGaGa says:

    Just lovely. It makes me wish I could get out hiking, too, but this is the next best thing. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Those are gorgeous pictures! Wow, very breathtaking.

  4. Jo says:

    lovely place!

  5. Beautiful photographs!

  6. Carole says:

    How beautiful. I bet in the winter when the falls freeze and it’s all icicles it looks really cool.

  7. Alison says:

    Very beautiful place.

  8. Wow, that is really pretty! There is nothing like that where I live.

  9. That is so beautiful. Our trees don’t turn that burning red color. I miss autumn beauty.

  10. John says:

    Wow! What a place to visit!

  11. What an amazing rock formation, and how beautiful it makes the waterfalls… it looks like the kind of place to sit and dream, and lose track of time completely. Right up my street! 😉

  12. Nancy says:

    Wow ~ These are incredible Pics! The one with all sitting on the rock would make an awesome Christmas Card. What a beautiful place ~ Thanks for sharing!

  13. ruthi says:

    Nice photos… love the photos of those rocks and falls. The foliage even made the scenery more stunning.

    BTW… I came to drop my EC too.

  14. pam says:

    Breathtaking pictures! You brought a little Autumn to those of us who don’t experience it!

  15. jodapoet says:

    Love the photos. Some great trails to be found. Thanks for sharing

  16. Ellen says:

    Great pictures. Yes…enlarging the pictures made me feel I was right there in them.

  17. Dave says:

    Thanks for the memory. We often visited Pixley as kids. Somewhere around here I even have photos of a short afternoon spent on a picnic in the dead of winter, 1952. Mom and Grandma were wrapped up in those black sealskin coats, popular in that era. Dad brought a small shovel to clear the snow off a picnic table.
    And one summer afternoon in 1964, the girl who would share my life walked down the path to the falls and gave me a smile I hadn’t seen before. It’s tough to describe, but somehow I knew it meant we were going to spend the rest of our lives together.

  18. What a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures with us! I love parks. . . and waterfalls . . . and woods . . . and streams.

  19. Matt Urdan says:

    Beautiful pics! Yeah, after heavy rains there might be some boatable whitewater there! Looks like an awesome spot for a hike though!

  20. My Bug Life says:

    I like the waterfalls…so serene

  21. NYCO says:

    Pixley Falls is one of my favorite NYS parks! In spring and summer it’s like a little fairyland of waterfalls.

  22. john scalise says:

    I frequently go to Pixley Falls. Late in the fall, I was able to park at the ranger office and walk down to the bottom of the falls on snowshoes. Truly beautiful, partially iced over. Unfortunately, I went on 1/25/09, and there is no place to park to enter the park. There are barricades at the entrance right along side of the road, you can not even park in the road. This is unfortunate, because I would like to snowshoe in the peak of winter.

  23. John Cupak says:

    The picture with the fossil is real a section of a Crinoid stem. Crinoids are related to starfish, but are attached to the sea bed and have a stalk, which is the part shown in your picture. LOTS of fossils in Pixley Falls! Thanks for the memories.

  24. Jess W. says:

    I actually grew up around Pixley Falls… My father took me there every year to camp, I still go back every year (although now I live in NC). It’s such a beautiful place, as wonderful as all the pictures are, it’s so much more fascinating in person! Your pictures definitely do it justice though. I’ve taken a LOT of photos there myself… Breathtaking.

    I’ve heard recently though that NY state will no longer be funding some of the state parks, and that Pixley will likely only open on weekends. I’ll be really sad if I can’t go back this year!

  25. jim says:

    great pics. as a 24/7 hiker i have to say i enjoy pixley falls the most around here (BOONVILLE). i have a tepe built on the very top, and can hike the entire ridge back then cut across to the train tracks

  26. Brandy Eggan says:

    I live a mile from there, it’s a shame they had to close the campground area of the park.

  27. Jennifer & Danny says:

    When my Fiance & I were up visiting my family, for my Great Aunts funeral & my birthday, in late June 2008 he discovered this Wonderfuly place.. I had bever been, despite my family living in the Rome area forever!, and he took me back to relax & recharge after a particularlly hard day- we took a dip under the falls( another first for me- wtaerfalls!) and walked along the banks looking at the rocks & animals. It will always be a wonderful magical romantic place & I am sorry to hear that there are now parts of it that have had to close. Living in the Washington DC area it is VERY nice to have a place like that to get away to…. And I hope it will re-open SOON!!!!

  28. keith baker says:

    do u allow big game hunting in the park