Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

One bad step yields ten falls -- 6/8/19

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • One bad step yields ten falls -- 6/8/19

    The one bad step was when I sprained my ankle on my last hike nine days ago. I've been nursing it ever since and have gotten to a point where I can almost walk pain-free. Almost. It still needs some rest and healing before any more serious hiking but I wasn't about to sit at home all day on an absolutely gorgeous Saturday feeling sorry for myself. Instead, that one bad step yielded ten falls. Waterfalls that is. I cooked up a cannonball run of a day driving all over the Adirondacks visiting ten waterfalls so I could still enjoy the outdoors while recovering from this injury. The stops were nothing strenuous by any means as I was never more than a few hundred yards from my car. A few were the easy get-out-of-the-car-and-take-pictures sort of stops but the others required some very minor bushwhacking and/or tackling of the poor footing around the steep banks and uneven rocks/boulders of the streams and rivers to be able to see the waterfall. It was the first test of the ankle other than walking around the grocery store. Results were very encouraging. The ankle held up with very little pain. It was only perhaps an hour's worth of walking around on those uneven surfaces on the day but I had no issues.

    So here's the rundown of the ten waterfalls. Pics and link to video of each waterfall after the description...

    Split Rock Falls - this is a MUST SEE - do yourself a favor and stop the next time you're headed toward New Russia or E-Town (the falls are just a few miles northeast of Route 73 on Route 9). You'll be rewarded with a large set of thundering falls. There's multiple drops totaling over 40 feet in height. There's a short trail that takes you down to several excellent vantage points. Easy footing. You could probably even drag grandma down there. Given how beaten the path is I assume there's a swimming hole or a fishing spot downstream of where I took pictures.



    Video (0:15)... https://youtu.be/jWohltieR_8


    Wadhams Falls - aptly named as it's right in the town of Wadhams. It's a tad bit out of the way but if you're driving through the area you can get in/out in a few minutes. Cheap view. A hundred foot walk from the parking lot to behind the public library or out over the bridge right on the main drag through town. Large set of falls.



    Video (0:20)... https://youtu.be/jrr0j3CAMsQ


    Rice's Falls - Elizabethtown. Another MUST SEE for a few different reasons. First off, there's the remains of an old dam right next to the parking area. I found one reference to it being "breached" but cannot find when or how this occurred. From the dam I worked my way downstream high along the very steep bank on an mostly grown-in old herdpath where I found the ruins of a stone sluiceway and rusted equipment that must have been part of the dam facility. You actually walk right through the sluiceway going this way. I love finding stuff like that in the woods. And secondly, the falls were impressive. To see the huge drop of the falls I found a few large toeholds and carefully climbed a few feet up the side of the sluiceway which was just high enough to see over the top of while still remaining safely behind it. I didn't attempt to climb further downstream as it looked perilously dangerous to continue any further. It was impossible to get a good picture of the falls but they were worth the stop. Next trip to a waterfall I'll be sure to pack a selfie stick to extend my reach out over the edge of these kinds of spots. And of course I found out too late that there was a shortcut to get to the end of the herdpath I took. If you walk downstream along the road for about a hundred yards you'll find a path that leads right to the end of the sluiceway. I took that on my way out rather than a return trip the way I came. My hands were covered in sap and my legs scratched up in under five minutes time going that way anyway.

    Breached dam next to parking area...


    The sluiceway...


    Found around the sluiceway...


    The big drop of Rice's Falls...


    The climb I chose not to take further downstream from the sluiceway...


    Video (0:27)... https://youtu.be/qA6DWkts3QQ


    Rainbow Falls - Ausable Chasm. You've probably been there before and seen it. It's the huge waterfall right at the entrance to the attraction. It's also visible from the bridge spanning the Ausable River just before the entrance. Pretty awesome sight even from a distance. I walked around a bit to see what I could see from the road but did not tour the chasm.

    The Falls...


    A glimpse into Ausable Chasm...


    Video (0:40)... https://youtu.be/KaL6nFqhOUU


    Alice Falls - located just a half mile upstream of Rainbow Falls. I arrived at the service road, at the end of which the falls are located, to find a closed gate. Unfortunately, access to Alice Falls is limited to weekdays and then only during working hours for the hydro plant. I chose not to trespass. I guess I'll have to go back the next time I'm up that way other than a weekend. Given that my last trip to Ausable Chasm was in 1973 I'm guessing I'll make it back sometime around my 100th birthday. So while searching for a way to legally see Alice Falls I found this smaller set of falls and spillway downstream (see pic below). These falls are right next to, and just a hundred yards or so upstream of, a closed bridge at the end of the road I drove down. Just a few dozen yards downstream of the bridge is where the river feeds into Rainbow Falls. I unwittingly found the top of those falls on my quick stop. The mist from Rainbow Falls rained down on me as I tried to peer through the fence to get a look. You could hear the roar and see the mist cloud but only catch small glimpses of the water streaming over the edge. I chickened out from walking out on the closed bridge to get a better look as a fall here didn't just mean an unplanned swim; it meant certain death of being swept over Rainbow Falls. For the record, the bridge was in horrible disrepair and from where I stood you could see through the deck to the water below in places. Did not need to tempt fate and become one of those selfie deaths you read about all the time.

    The "Not Alice" Falls (left) and spillway...
    Last edited by Makwa; 06-09-2019, 06:47 PM.


  • #2
    The closed bridge. The next picture was taken from the spot in the lower left of this pic...


    The top of Rainbow Falls...


    Video (0:17)... https://youtu.be/X4zg-5TSY7w


    Anderson Falls - this set of falls is further upstream of Alice Falls and Ausable Chasm in Keeseville. You can see the falls from the bridge on Main Street but I choose to park alongside the river and get down to the waterline upstream of the bridge. I found a safe path down and walked atop piles of driftwood washed up on the banks in order to get pictures.

    Driftwood along the Ausable River...


    Panorama of the falls...


    Video (0:28)... https://youtu.be/K7OtCOcCQOo


    Upper LaChute Falls - Ticonderoga. Another MUST SEE. There's a few small pull-ins just a little bit downstream from the falls that provide easy access to the edge of the raging water after about a fifty yard walk. Awesome set of falls. Definitely visit if you are in the area.

    The whole falls...


    Closer view of the main falls...


    Video (0:26)... https://youtu.be/ZTlLLaW9d1Q


    Millbrook Falls - Hague. Just up from 9N in Hague on Graphite Mountain Road (Route 8) there is a small trailhead for Hague Brook. The sign read for hiking or fishing. There's a trail that goes upstream and downstream from there. I took the trail upstream for approximately 150 yards to the falls. One section of this trail has been blocked off with yellow caution tape as it appears some of the trail was eroding/falling into the stream but it's an easy few steps around this area in wide open forest. You see the falls from above but it's hard to get a decent pic. I would imagine you might get a better view from the road that parallels the stream but I didn't want to walk the narrow shoulder there to do that.



    Video (0:17)... https://youtu.be/sgC9qpx32Io


    Northwest Bay Brook Falls - located north of Bolton Landing across from the Clay Meadow trailhead for the Lower Tongue Mountain Range. If you park at the main trailhead and walk down the road about 25 yards past the DEC sign for Tongue Mountain then cross the road and head into the woods you're within fifty yards of the falls. That's the way I came out. On the way in I went into the woods closer to the trailhead a found a maze of herdpaths. All led downhill toward the brook and it was a relatively easy walk to the edge of the falls. You find a unique little set of falls that takes a sharp 90* turn in the brook there. For all the times I've been on the Tongue I never knew this was just across the street. Definitely worth a stop the next time you're in the area.



    Video (0:18)... https://youtu.be/lHvijDS3lVo


    Mill Park Falls - Lake Luzerne. The outlet of Lake Luzerne goes under the highway and down a small set of cascades in the town park. You've probably seen it or driven by at some point as I have. But if you walk another hundred yards downstream you find a waterfall that's hidden from view from the street. You can get to near the top of the falls in the park but I was a bit more persistent and got down to the edge of the water further downstream by climbing down the bank a little. Neat little set of falls.

    The outlet of Lake Luzerne...


    Falls further downstream...


    Video (0:34)... https://youtu.be/BWe2YvWBc8w


    Overall, a great day out. Weather was perfect. And Americade was in Lake George this weekend. Those folks spilled over into all the scenic byways north of Lake George. I probably saw a few thousand motorcycles out touring the Adirondacks during my travels. Only two guys out of those thousands gave a bad name to the motorcycle community as they passed at dangerously high rates of speed and in tight quarters as I was leaving Lake Luzerne. The rest were great and it was nice to see people out enjoying the scenery on a bluebird day. And I hope to be back out there soon at full strength doing the same. On foot, not by motorcycle.




    Last edited by Makwa; 06-09-2019, 06:51 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Nice tour; great pics! (And I'm glad the ankle is recovering!)

      Split Rock Falls is very popular for swimming. Some folks jump from various spots into the upper pools, with varying degrees of risk. The lower pool, just a few steps downstream, is a benign and beautiful swimming area, perfect for families, small kids, etc.

      Ausable Chasm: I've often though of how impressive that must have been during the runoff from Hurricane Irene. I wonder if anyone has any photos or videos of that...

      LaChute is unique in that this is where the water from Lake George drains into Lake Champlain.

      NW Bay Brook: I think there is a plan by the State to make a trail there. If you cross the brook upstream of the falls and swing northwest and then west along the high bank, you can pick up a partially marked trail that goes up State Mountain, the prominent cliff 1300' peak about 3/4 mile west of Clay Meadow. When I went through there a few years ago, the trail even had a trail sign along the way for "State Mountain."


      Comment


      • Makwa
        Makwa commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks.

        Here's a video that a guy took the day after Irene cleared out. Taken from same bridge as my pics/video.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=1U0_Itp54IA

        LaChute... ahhh... makes sense. The northern tip of LG is about 750 feet south of where I was standing to take the pics. Looking at the map I see the river then bends around and dumps into Champlain about three miles later.

        Thanks for the tip on State Mountain. I'll have to put that on my list. When I walked down the hill on my way in I came to a fork where one herdpath went left further downhill toward the falls and another went right/uphill. I bet that right fork went upstream toward a safe crossing and State Mt. I don't see it labeled on the map though I do see a few 1300' bumps through there. The one furthest northeast fit your 3/4 mile west of Clay Meadow criteria. I was west of that general area by Pole Hill Pond and Walnut Ridge a few years ago. They are also about 3/4 miles from State Mt but you're starting at 1100' ele instead of 400'. I wonder if a bushwhack from that direction might be interesting as well. It's all very open forest through there.
        Last edited by Makwa; 06-10-2019, 09:10 AM.

    • #4
      Are you going to do it again in the winter time for your winter time patch!
      Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
      ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

      Comment


      • Makwa
        Makwa commented
        Editing a comment
        Nice idea. A Winter Waterfall list. Currently there's just a few waterfall challenges but neither have a winter variant.

    • #5
      Great list of ten! I was at Split Rock Falls last Sunday. We missed each other by a day. Hope your ankle feels better.
      Nothing like being in the woods.

      http://www.gerardsadirondackpics.shutterfly.com

      Comment


      • Makwa
        Makwa commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks Gerard. One more week of rest oughta do the trick. The pain is lessening more and more each day. Almost back to normal.

        Definitely a pretty area. Glad you got to see it. Did you manage to get to any of the Saranac 6 while you were in town?

      • Gerard01
        Gerard01 commented
        Editing a comment
        Only, Baker, so far. My legs and knees are not cooperating.
    Working...
    X