Chasing Waterfalls

When I was younger, my mom and I would always go on different hikes throughout the summer.

It had been a while since we had had this opportunity - you know how life is... I've gotten older and started working!  Last week when I saw the weather report, and the sunny and 70-degree days, I started craving a hiking day with mom.

This time I thought we could switch it up and hike into some waterfalls that she has never been to. This started my idea of spending the day in Hamilton County, where they are known for their awesome waterfall hikes. We packed a backpack and took off chasing waterfalls.

Starting Out

Mouth Watering!
Mouth Watering!

It was the first warm day of spring, and I was ready to get out of the house. I had been suffering from cabin fever —  especially after we got hit with 35 inches of snow in March.  Seventy degrees and sunny in April is almost unheard of!

Before heading out, we planned a stop at one of my favorite spots in Long Lake for lunch. I wanted to take my mom there so she could experience the great food that I am always telling her about.

The Adirondack Trading Post has the best sandwiches I've ever had. I am still trying to figure out how it took me 21 years to find this gem of a lunch spot. Now that I have found it, I am hooked. From sandwiches to paninis, and homemade soups and mac and cheese, everything from the Trading Post is fresh and delicious. Not to mention they have the cutest store to buy all kinds of Long Lake and ADK goodies. To me, it is a complete hidden gem.

Buttermilk Falls

This Way!
This Way!
The Roaring Falls
The Roaring Falls

After we picked up lunch our first stop was Buttermilk Falls. I decided this was a great spot to have our lunch with the nice picnic area next to the falls. When we pulled up and got out of the car I could hear the water roaring all the way from the road. We started the short hike into the falls and saw the white rapids raging over the rocks. It looked so different from when I had been in the summer, I was so excited that I made the trip again.

I pulled a picnic table into a sunny area, and we sat and had lunch listening to the roaring from the falls. Seeing the Falls in the spring time was a totally different experience because of the high water level. It gave Buttermilk Falls a totally different feel; very intense and powerful.

Going in the summer is also a great experience, but it is a more peaceful and tranquil feeling. These falls are one of my favorite spots to keep going back to because of the different view you can have each time you go.

Death or Secret Falls

Brrrrr. That water looks cold.
Brrrrr. That water looks cold.

The next stop we made was to Death Falls in Raquette Lake. These falls are also referred to as Secret Falls. Secret Falls is a fitting name for these falls because my mom and I had no idea they were there. We saw the sign, parked on the side of the road and headed for the trailhead.

The hike is very short, but the view is definitely worth it. The hike in is a bit strange, walking past a metal gate, and down a trail until you come to a large open field. Walk across the field, and down the rest of the trail and in a short matter of time you will see the falls. The trail takes you right to the base of the falls.

I loved this viewpoint because it makes the falls look so dramatic and big.  The whole right side of the falls was still frozen so it looked like a glacier next to the waterfall. I could have stood there at the bottom all day looking up at the water gushing over the cliffs. Death Falls is definitely at the top of my waterfall list.

Limekiln Falls

The hike was worth it!
The hike was worth it!

The last stop we made was to Limekiln Falls in Inlet. We decided to go here last because it was a longer hike and we would go home after we finished.

We found Limekiln State Campground, went to campsite 87, parked the car and started our hike. Just like Death Falls, you also have to cross a large, wide open field on this hike which I found to be strange - I'm used to hiking in the woods! Generally, there is a day-use fee to get into the campground, but because we went in the beginning of spring and the campground wasn't open yet, we got in for free. The hike ended up being about two-and-a-quarter miles into the falls. The part that made these falls so different was they were about a half-mile long. They continued on for quite a while which made them really cool visually.

We sat on a rock for a bit once we found the falls. Once we felt rejuvenated we decided to start the hike out. I liked these falls because the trail is not too difficult and multiple people of all ages could hike this. When we got back to my car we were both exhausted and our feet were soaked. Note to self: next time I go hiking in the spring bring a couple extra pairs of socks and shoes!

Until Next Time...

Heading home my mom and I talked about how much fun the day was and how we missed the hikes we went on when I was younger. We both vowed to continue to find time to go on more hikes together, and enjoy the assets Mother Nature has given us. Our goal is to finish the Waterfall Challenge this summer. We also discussed how delicious that lunch was...and how we can't wait to go again to start our next trip.

Checkout the waterfall challenge, and start planning your next trip!

This week in related ADK news:

Tour de falls

Fave first ride

Trout ’n about

Wet and wild

Cool fishing gear

Hikes with tykes