Scenic and Destination Hikes Central Adirondack Association Region
Parking area on Rt. 30
Length: 0.9 miles round trip
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
This 40 foot falls is at the beginning of a series of drops, plunges and cascades totaling over 100 feet though this narrow gorge lined with hemlocks on the Sacandaga River. Many potholes can be seen along the edge of the gorge when the water level is low. Please be careful around the falls area, as the banks are steep and slippery.1
Once you have made your way back from the parking area (see directions below) to the actual trail, follow the colored DEC trail markers to the top of the falls. You'll hear the roar of the falls shortly after you start the hike.
Be sure not to miss “the tree with arms” along your way -- a definite picture opportunity at this unique tree.
The well worn trail spreads out into numerous side trails that all lead to the edge of the top of the gorge. Take extra care in this area as one slip or wrong step could lead to a serious injury if not death. The falls can be easily seen without taking any risks. The whole area is covered in "No Camping" signs. A few more yellow discs lead you upstream, but the trail quickly becomes unmarked.
You can either turn around and walk back to the parking area, or follow the well worn trail (sometimes multiple trails) along the river to continue in a loop. The trail looks to be an unofficial trail as you'll be climbing over and under some huge blow downs. As long as you stay close to the river bank you'll be fine.
Eventually a trail (actually a couple of trails) will lead you back to the large parking area. The whole loop is a 1.2 mile hike with a limited elevation gain. Directions: 5.0 miles N. of Wells. From Wells, drive N on Rte 30 to the junction of Rte 30 & Rte 8. Continue another 1.7 miles on Rte 30 & turn right into a dirt parking area. Park and walk back towards Rte 30, and follow the old dirt road to the left, which parallels Rte 30. At the end of the road, look for the DEC register, marking the beginning of the trail.
You can also approach the falls from the other side, parking off a side ride from Rt. 8. From the junction of NY 30, drive northeast on NY 8 for 2.6 miles, then left on dirt road for the abandoned old town of Griffin. Although the dirt road continues on past the bridge, it is better to park closer to NY 8 since the parking is restrictive close to the trail. This approach brings you to the falls on a snowmobile trail (follow the red markers). You will see a DEC warning sign stating "Warning-Hazardous Gorge Area-Sheer Cliffs-Swift Water-Slippery Footing."
A side trail on the left leads to the river above Auger Falls. Several herd paths lead to numerous views of the falls, however you should be very careful in the area. The trail does continue upstream and crosses Macomber Creek on a snowmobile bridge at 1.5 miles. Just past the bridge is a nice big boulder next to the river that is perfect to relax and have lunch on. The trail continues on to International Paper Company land.
Information compiled from1 www.adirondackexperience.com and www.cnyhiking.com