- redacted is the Adopted name of this waterfall.
There has been long stemming confusion about the proper names of the waterfalls along Oneonta Creek. The USGS has long labeled the third waterfall (heading upstream) of Oneonta Creek as the true Oneonta Falls, while several books have misconstrued the small 24-foot tall fall immediately above the bridge along the Horsetail Falls trail to be Oneonta Falls. While it may be difficult to determine with 100% accuracy which one was first given the name, chances are it is this one simply due to the process of discovery. Oneonta Creek and Gorge were named for the town of Oneonta, New York by one of its residents, Carleton Emmons Watkins, who ventured west during the California gold rush some time during or shortly after 1849. According to the Greater Oneonta Historical Society, Watkins was perhaps the first person to photograph Oneonta Gorge, but whether he was actually credited with its discovery is not known. If Watkins was indeed the first to properly document the falls, he may very well have intended this waterfall be given the title of Oneonta Falls since the others would have been considerably more difficult to access without the current trail network in place.