Top 10 Waterfalls In The Adirondacks
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The rugged terrain and abundant precipitation of the Adirondack Mountains mean this magnificent range comes loaded with gorgeous rapids, cascades, and full-on waterfalls. As a guest at Saranac Waterfront Lodge, nestled along the Saranac Chain of Lakes in the Adirondack High Peaks region, you’re well positioned to tour some of these incredible whitewater displays.
Here’s a roundup of 10 of the most impressive Adirondack waterfalls—though, mind you, we’re leaving off a number of other stunners…
Among the very tallest waterfalls in the Adirondack Mountains, OK Slip Falls in the Hudson Gorge Wilderness marks the incredible, roughly 250-foot plunge of OK Slip Brook, en route from OK Slip Pond to the Hudson River below Kettle Mountain.
A roughly 6.2-mile round-trip hike from a Route 28 trailhead takes you to a memorable view of this showstopper falls, which has quite the roar!
The broad, semicircular surge of Raquette Falls is a sight to behold. There’s actually a pair of waterfalls here along the Raquette River in its handsome gorge: the much-photographed, easily accessible Lower Falls and the similar, but slightly trickier-to-reach Upper Falls. An 8.8-mile round-trip trek edging the High Peaks Wilderness gets you there.
As the raven flies, Wanika Falls isn’t all that far from our Lodge, but you’re looking at a roughly 14-mile round-trip hike into the backcountry to visit. It’s a wonderful adventure along the Chubb River-hugging Northville-Placid Trail near Lake Placid, with a spur path taking you to a view of this 150-foot, multi-tiered waterfall.
This beautiful, staggered, 30-foot waterfall on the Bouquet River in the Hammond Pond Wild Forest is a short (but somewhat huff-and-puff) hike away along the milelong Split Rock Falls Short Loop.
This private attraction draws visitors via the “most breathtaking” half-hour hike in the Adirondacks, with eye-popping looks at multiple falls and cascades in a splendid rock-bound haven. The improved, all-ages path, which includes guardrailed boardwalks and stairs, is accessible year-round.
This is the easiest waterfall to reach on the list: only a 0.1-mile stroll from the North Point Road parking area, from which you can already glimpse (and hear) Buttermilk Falls do its thing. Given the quick and easy access, this is a popular choice for families and picnickers—and multiple swimming holes await below the waterfall.
Shelving Rock Falls makes its 50-foot drop within the Lake George Wild Forest, and its proximity to Lake George’s Log Bay means you can visit by boat! Or take the trail, perhaps tacking on for good measure the trek up to the panoramic views atop Shelving Rock Mountain.
The name’s rather intimidating, but actually Death Brook Falls—also widely known as Secret or Hidden Falls—is a charming destination suitable for young and old alike. An easy 0.6-mile round-trip trail in the Blue Ridge Wilderness will bring you to this photogenic, 70-foot horsetail fan.
Among the more remote waterfalls in this roundup, Hanging Spear Falls is also one of the most impressive: a roughly 75-foot, spearhead-shaped horsetail drop on the Opalescent River. Depending on your approach, you’re looking at about a 12- or 14-mile round-trip hike, but you’ll see multiple cascades and falls on the journey.
Situated near Keene, this 20-foot waterfall on John’s Brook, which drains Mount Marcy, the highest peak in the Adirondacks, is a popular destination—not least come autumn, when spectacular fall colors enhance the plunge. The hike there and back tallies up to about 10 miles.
“Bag” Some Waterfalls on a Lodge Getaway
It’s prime waterfall-viewing season here in the Adirondack High Peaks, and you couldn’t ask for a better luxurious “base camp” for the activity than Saranac Waterfront Lodge on Lake Flower!