Adirondack Waterfall Hikes

Go with the flow

Adirondack beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and our waterfalls are no exception. As the winter snowpack melts, the ice sculptures unlock to reveal crashing torrents at the height of their beauty. Sure, waterfalls are stunning year-round, but you haven't seen anything until you've seen them at their springtime peak.

In the Adirondacks, you'll find a water-lover's buffet of sites to behold, ranging from easily accessible to a difficult hike, gently tumbling falls to steep plunges. The intimidating sounding Death Falls in Raquette Lake is actually nothing to be afraid of! The walk to the falls only takes about five minutes and the falls themselves are 70 feet high, tumbling down a stair-like series of rock ledges. In Wells, a visit to the West Branch of the Sacandaga River and Cold Brook Falls is achieved by a 2.5 mile hike over rugged terrain. The reward is two separate falls in a gorge that is incredibly beautiful and well worth the effort. And there are many, many other falls to visit along the way!

Take the Waterfall Challenge

Start by downloading the Waterfall Challenge guide, which will tell you all about some of the best falls in the area. You'll find easy-to-reach roadside cascades and out-of-the-way backcountry tumblers, each assigned with a points rating. If you visit enough to earn 12 points, register your visits online to receive a commemorative Hamilton County waterfall patch as a token of your accomplishment.

[insert waterfall challenge here]

Leave No Trace

The magic of the Adirondacks is the result of previous generations taking a long view and protecting the mountains, lakes, and rivers within the Blue Line. That tradition continues today as we support and encourage everyone to practice Leave No Trace ethics, which help protect the lands and waters of the Adirondacks. Remember, not every "challenge" today has a patch or prize. The best way to cement your legacy is to pledge to always protect the wild lands and waters of the Adirondacks by practicing Leave No Trace ethics and good stewardship

Donate to the Hamilton County Trail Improvement Fund! This partnership with the DEC is an opportunity to improve trail conditions, and some of our favorite waterfall hikes might just be in line!

Experience More

Route 56
Cranberry Lake, NY 12927
These falls are unique and not often visited. Here, you’ll only find the peaceful sound of water rushing the falls. The views downstream of the falls are just as lovely as the falls themselves.
Spring is the most lively time at Moody Falls.
Route 10
Arietta, NY ‎12139
The scenic trail to secluded Jockeybush Lake follows a stream and passes by several small cascades and a moderately sized waterfall.
An especially scenic trail leading to a secluded lake.
Powley Road
Arietta, NY ‎12139
The area is a beautiful spot for a picnic and is easily accessed via a short walk upstream.
A great variety of water features at Bray House Falls.
Limekiln Lake Road
Inlet, NY 13360
On this walk you'll find a series of falls flowing along the trail, which is surrounded by a white cedar and hemlock forest. The falls are 15 feet wide and almost a half-mile long.
One of the larger fall systems in this part of the Adirondacks.
Route 30
Speculator, NY 12164
This very small and easily accessible Adirondack hiking gem sits right along the eastern (right) side of the road if traveling from Speculator. The falls is 5 to 6 feet tall and is surrounded by large boulders.
Whiskey Brook Falls is beautiful in any season.
Wells, NY 12190
Austin Falls is a long, sliding waterfall, that's surrounded by beautiful rock formations and does not require a long hike to reach.
Route 8
Wells, NY 12190
Jimmy Creek contains 2 lovely, small waterfalls and both are a short walk in from Route 8. This falls is very picturesque for its small size, and less than 200 yards from the road.
This breathtaking waterfall is just a few steps from the road!
State Route 30 Indian Lake Islands DEC boat launch
Sabael, NY 12864
This falls is located on the south end of Indian Lake, best reached by canoe from the Indian Lake Islands DEC boat launch. It's a real "surf and turf" adventure!
Route 28
Raquette Lake, NY 13436
Don't be afraid of the name. This short hike is an excellent destination hike for the entire family.
Route 8
Wells, NY 12190
Enjoy an 8 foot cascading waterfall on the East Branch of the Sacandaga River. This scenic spot features several drops and many pothole, which were created as turbulent waters and rocks moved over the area.
Spectacular exploring opportunities at Griffin Falls.
768-812 River Rd
Hope, NY 12134
There are a series of 3 waterfalls along the Groff Creek, all of which take some extra effort to see. The first 2 are more difficult to get to than the 3rd. 
West River Road
Wells, NY 12190
This is a rugged hike over uneven terrain to the West Branch Gorge, and is recommended in mid-summer when the water levels are low. These falls on the West Branch cascade through a narrow gorge of the West Branch of the Sacandaga River.
A narrow gorge of the West Branch of the Sacandaga River.
State Route 30 South
Indian Lake, NY 12842
Squaw Brook Falls is a small roadside waterfall located in a rocky gorge formed on the Squaw Brook. Land surrounding the falls is private. Please do not trespass and view only from the road.
Wells, NY 12190
This area is ripe with hiking opportunities, especially ones that take you along the scenic Sacandaga River! Auger Flats is the name of the quieter stretch of the Sacandaga that winds its way toward the rapids at Auger Falls.
Spring is a great time to enjoy the wild rivers.
Big Moose Road
Inlet, NY 13360
This wonderful hike has it all: beautiful scenery, a spectacular waterfall, and tons of history. A visit to Cascade Falls will take you into the Pigeon Lake Wilderness, with the option of doing a loop around the lake or just an out-and-back.
North Point Road
Long Lake, NY 12847
This highly popular short hike destination is a favorite for families, picnickers, swimmers, and anglers. The cool mist of the crashing waters is sure to cool down anyone on the hottest of days and evoke a sense of awe during icy winters.
Buttermilk Falls is a spectacular sight.
Route 30
Speculator, NY 12164
So close the falls can be heard from the parking area. From Route 30, just east of the village of Speculator, these falls -- that's right, plural! -- are easily accessible and are a great place to stretch your legs. Need to cool off?
Christine Falls is dramatic in spring.
Route 28
Indian Lake, NY 12842
OK Slip Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the Adirondacks. In the summer of 2014, a new trail to the falls opened, making this hidden gem accessible to the public for the first time.
OK Slip Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the Adirondacks.