Is Seneca Falls Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On August 26, 2023
Seneca Falls, United States
Safety Index:
79
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Seneca Falls, New York, stands as a captivating destination that seamlessly blends history, culture, and natural beauty centered in the heart of the Finger Lakes region.

Known as the birthplace of the women’s rights movement, this town boasts a rich historical legacy that continues to inspire visitors from around the world.

Seneca Falls gained international recognition in 1848 when it hosted the first Women’s Rights Convention.

The town’s picturesque setting along the shores of the Seneca-Cayuga Canal and Cayuga Lake adds a scenic backdrop to its charming streets.

Strolling through its well-preserved architecture, you’ll feel transported to a bygone era, where stories of suffragettes and visionaries echo in every corner.

The iconic Bedford Falls from the holiday classic “It’s A Wonderful Life” is said to be inspired by Seneca Falls, a connection celebrated at the It’s A Wonderful Life Museum.

Now here’s where Seneca Falls really gets interesting.

First, there are no waterfalls in Seneca Falls.

The inspiration for the name has long since been removed for industrial movement on the river.

Second, is there any proof that the holiday classic movie has ANYTHING to do with Seneca Falls?

Stay tuned!

In essence, Seneca Falls invites travelers to journey through history, appreciate its unique cultural offerings, and immerse themselves in the natural splendor of the region.

The town’s commitment to preserving its heritage while embracing progress makes it a compelling destination for those seeking an enriching and memorable experience.

Seneca Falls is also ranked by “The Travel” website as the #1 Most Affordable Small Towns in the U.S., which is great for budget travelers.

Warnings & Dangers in Seneca Falls

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

There's a low risk here with crime rates that shouldn't cause concern and so many things to do for people of all ages and interests.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

Seneca Falls has an RTC bus service that goes to Waterloo and Geneva, there are tour buses common in this region. Taxis or rideshares won't be as robust as in the big city but are available. Exploring the Finger Lakes region is ideal with your own rental car.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

No pickpockets or purse snatchings have been reported in the past five years, giving it a low risk. Don't let that make you lackadaisical with your safety steps!

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

This is a medium risk because disruptive weather can happen at any time of the year. Since so many activities are based outdoors, you need to stay weather-aware. Severe thunderstorms, flash flooding, wildfires, and blizzards are the biggest risks.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

Since 2012, the town hasn't had more than four robberies in a year. In 2022, there were three. That's a low risk. Keep it low by not walking around at night alone and always being aware of your surroundings.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

This is another low risk as it's such a small town in the middle of a remote area. As with any town, you should still report suspicious activity if you see it. Gun violence and domestic terrorism don't always come with logical reasons.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

I've seen a few reports of senior scams and common utility and fake police calls, but mostly those that impact locals. You should review the latest scams on the police department's website. Knowing the signs of a scammer can help you keep the risk low.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

Women should have no concerns traveling here, even moms with small kids or solo female travelers. All the standard safety steps are still needed, but this is a safe, quiet place to explore.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The 2022 Water Quality gives passing grades across the board. A bigger issue in Seneca Falls is the outdated pipe system that distributes the water and drains stormwater. This makes the area prone to flooding, which could also impact water quality issues temporarily. The risk is low, but stay updated with town alerts.

Safest Places to Visit in Seneca Falls

Several websites offer tourism information for this region.

Discoverseneca.com is the main website for the region.

SFHeritageTourism.com covers the historical information and museums of the town.

For a broader view of the Finger Lakes, go to visitfingerlakes.com.

Begin your journey in Seneca Falls by stepping into history at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park.

This pivotal site commemorates the first-ever Women’s Rights Convention that took place in 1848.

Prepare to be inspired as you visit the National Women’s Hall of Fame, an institution dedicated to celebrating the achievements and contributions of remarkable women throughout history.

Through engaging exhibits and displays, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about pioneering figures who have shattered glass ceilings and paved the way for future generations.

For a captivating glimpse into Seneca Falls’ industrial legacy, the Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry is a must-visit.

This museum invites you to delve into the history of the Erie Canal and its transformative impact on the region’s development.

Step into the charming world of cinematic history at the “It’s A Wonderful Life Museum.”

Celebrating the beloved holiday classic directed by Frank Capra, this museum transports you to the heartwarming story of George Bailey and the town of Bedford Falls.

You can also cross over the It’s a Wonderful Life bridge to learn the true story of a man who died saving a woman from drowning.

NOTE:

It’s a Wonderful Life was not filmed here, and no reference was ever made to Seneca Falls being an inspiration for the movie.

However, the coincidences might convince you it was.

Nature enthusiasts will find solace and wonder at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

Spread across a vast expanse of wetlands, this refuge serves as a haven for a diverse array of bird species and other wildlife.

Cayuga Lake State Park invites visitors to embrace the serene shores with its picturesque vistas, sandy beach, and recreational opportunities such as swimming, fishing, and picnicking.

Wine enthusiasts can embark on a sensory journey through the picturesque Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, where you’ll have the opportunity to sample exquisite wines amidst stunning vineyard landscapes.

Places to Avoid in Seneca Falls

Seneca Falls is a small town of 9,000 people.

There aren’t even that many major roadways, much less dangerous parts of town.

While it’s hard to get lost here, stay on the main roads and don’t drive through neighborhoods unless it’s a historic district.

Avoid ice-covered waterways unless you know how to measure the thickness of ice.

Even if it’s freezing outside during a winter trip, you need to know if it was warm a few days before or how much rain has fallen.

If storms are in the forecast, stay close to town.

Don’t go out on a boat or into the wilderness.

Storms can brew quickly and leave people trapped and exposed to lightning and flash flooding.

You can review emergency management plans on the Seneca County website.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Seneca Falls

  1. Seneca Falls has its own police department. You can find them on Facebook @SenecaFallsPD. To contact the department’s main line, call (315) 568-4850.
  2. You can sign up for emergency notifications through the CodeRED system. Either download the app from your favorite store or Text “SENECAFALLS” to 99411. This will get severe weather and other public safety information sent to you in text alerts during your trip.
  3. Help keep Seneca Falls safe by sharing any crime tips or information you might come across. The anonymous tip line is (315) 568-6969. This isn’t a replacement for 911. If you see a robbery happening, call 911. If you see someone spraying graffiti, call the tip line.
  4. Anglers over the age of 16 need a New York state fishing license. That can be purchased on the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) website. That’s where you’ll also get boating safety information and how to get certified to drive a boat, should that be part of your plans.
  5. No overnight parking is allowed on Seneca Falls town streets between November 1 and May 1. You face a ticket or getting towed if you leave a car on the street between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Pay special attention to the parking lots downtown, as some are just for residents.
  6. Even if you aren’t a hunter, you should know where hunting is allowed in regional parks. Since many people come here to see the fall foliage, you want to wear Hunter Orange to stand out in the woods if a hunter is nearby.
  7. Use NY 511 to check road conditions, accident reports, construction zones, and real-time traffic before you go for a scenic drive. There aren’t a lot of roads in this region, and you want to plan a detour before you’re stuck in traffic.
  8. You can check the DEC or Seneca County Health Department’s website to get water quality information for the rivers and lakes in the region. This is especially important if you plan on swimming. During the hottest parts of summer, check the Blue-green algae reports, which can make people sick if they swim in algae-filled waters.
  9. Even though you can’t see a waterfall in Seneca Falls, there are plenty in the region. Always use the utmost safety when you’re near a waterfall. Those rocks are always slick as ice and can be covered in lichens that make it hard to get solid footing. Always follow safety signs at waterfalls. I’ve seen too many reports of accidents at waterfalls in this region.
  10. Since the town is prone to flooding, don’t ever try to drive through a flooded roadway. It might not look that deep, but you don’t know if the road has crumbled underneath or how powerful the current is. It just takes six inches of moving water to knock a person over or carry a car away.

So... How Safe Is Seneca Falls Really?

Seneca Falls is a historical tourist attraction with plenty of outdoor activities.

That aspect alone means safety is a top priority.

Even when you look at the crime rates per 100,000 people, violent crime is well below the national and New York average.

Keep in mind that any crime data doesn’t include the thousands of people who come visit each year.

That lowers the risk even more.

All that said, it’s still a town with its fair share of crime.

Very little of it targets tourists, and even less happens in or around the major tourist attractions.

Thefts include car break-ins, store robberies, and fights between people who know each other are the biggest crimes.

Common sense and basic security steps will go a long way toward having a great time in Seneca Falls.

How Does Seneca Falls Compare?

CitySafety Index
Seneca Falls79
San Diego67
Miami55
Honolulu65
Chicago65
Dallas64
Memphis54
Melbourne (Australia)80
Montreal (Canada)81
Sydney (Australia)80
Santiago de Chile (Chile)71
Vienna (Austria)88
Hong Kong (China)70

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

International visitors will need a valid passport paired with either a visa or a visa waiver. Your eligibility for a waiver can be found on the U.S. State Department website.

Currency

Currency

Only the U.S. Dollar (USD) is accepted here. Don't wait until you get to this small town to exchange currency. Most international airports offer the service, but if you take care of that at your home bank, you'll save money on fees.

Weather

Weather

The standard four seasons happen here, with warm, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. Fall and spring have fluctuating temperatures often, so bring several layers of clothing to have more options. Comfortable walking shoes and/or hiking boots are needed, depending on your activity. Sunscreen and bug spray will come in handy too.

Airports

Airports

Syracuse Hancock International Airport is less than an hour east. Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport is an hour west.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is ideal for covering those hiccups along the way, from weather delays to injuries to flat tires.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Seneca Falls Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -4° C
Feb -4° C
Mar 1° C
Apr 8° C
May 15° C
Jun 20° C
Jul 22° C
Aug 21° C
Sep 17° C
Oct 11° C
Nov 5° C
Dec -1° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
1161320252726221693
Low
°C
-9-8-4391417161261-5
High
°F
343443556877817972614837
Low
°F
161825374857636154433423

New York - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Albany77
Binghamton61
Brooklyn74
Buffalo58
Cooperstown78
Elmira64
Fair Haven75
Greenport Village78
Ithaca62
Jamestown54
Lake George78
Lake Placid82
Lewisboro88
Long Island83
Manhattan82
Mt Vernon62
New Paltz79
New Rochelle77
New York City67
Niagara Falls63
Oswego75
Poughkeepsie79
Queens73
Rochester67
Rye76
Saranac Lake77
Saratoga Springs74
Schenectady52
Seneca Falls79
Shelter Island85
Sleepy Hollow77
Syracuse71
Utica57
Watertown63
Watkins Glen81
White Plains77
Yonkers59

Where to Next?

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