Adirondack Waterfall Hikes

Go with the flow

Adirondack beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and our waterfalls are no exception. 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.

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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

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Hope Falls Road
Wells, NY 12190
Also known as Hope Falls, Tenant Creek Falls is a series of falls along a creek.
Hope Falls, or Tenant Creek Falls, is a series of three different kinds along a hiking trail.
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 photo
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.
Two people at the base of Cascade Lake Falls
North Point Road
Long Lake, NY 12847
Not to be confused with the waterfall in Ithaca, New York by the same name, this highly popular short hike destination is a favorite for families, picnickers, swimmers, and anglers.
Buttermilk Falls in Long Lake, New York
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.
Closeup of water cascading down Death Falls
Route 8
Arietta, NY ‎12139
There is a small cascading waterfall formed from a small stream that begins at the outlet of Buckhorn Lake.
Beautiful surroundings enhance the waterfall near the lake outlet.
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. 
Groff Creek Falls
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.
East Jimmy Creek Falls
Powley Road
Arietta, NY ‎12139
Also known as Potholers, the area surrounding Bray House Falls 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.
A portion of Limekiln Falls during late fall
Benson Road
Benson, NY 12134
This fairly level walk takes you along an old dirt road to a small 4-foot cascade on a medium size stream along the Northville-Placid Trail at it's southern end.
A view of the wonderful rock features at West Stony Creek Falls.
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.
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!
A person lets a brook's water flow through their hand
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.
Moody Falls in Spring
Big Moose Road
Eagle Bay, NY 13331
The proximity of this hike to the community of Inlet makes this area very accessible to visitors and year-round residents alike. The best time to visit would be early spring or after some good rain, if you want to see the falls flowing steady.
Otter Brook Road
Inlet, NY 13360
This short hike is perfect, especially during the splendor of fall. The Falls Pond and West Canada Wilderness Area trailhead has a large parking area leading to some 4,000 acres of pristine forest.
A sign pointing to Falls Pond
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.
A picture of whitewater
Twitchell Road
Inlet, NY 13360
If you want adventure off the main, beaten path, this may be the hike for you! But please be cautious: this narrow and obscure herd path can be a bear to locate. You will need to drive slow and keep a keen eye.
One of the large boulders that can be found near Twitchell Falls