Now Is the Best Time to See Waterfalls in the Adirondacks — Here's the Best Trail to Take

As snow and ice melt, Adirondack waterfalls just get better and better.

OK Slip Falls in the Adirondacks
Photo: Courtesy of Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism

Even though droves of visitors head to the Adirondacks in the summer and fall, the quietness of the spring season — between early April and late May — may be even more enticing for nature lovers.

In addition to quiet, bug-free days, the shift to warmer weather results in melting snow and ice, which feeds the area's most renowned waterfalls, resulting in a breathtaking cascade that's noticeably more powerful than what you'll see any other season.

The area's most iconic waterfalls include High Falls Gorge and OK Slip Falls, which are both accessible year-round. High Falls Gorge is in the Lake Champlain Region of the Adirondacks, just 10 miles from Lake Placid.

High Gorge Falls in the Adirondacks
Courtesy of Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism

The iconic gorge is home to four stunning waterfalls that peak in the spring season — Rainbow Falls, Climax Falls, Mini Falls, and Main Falls. And it doesn't take a lot of effort to access High Falls Gorge, which requires only an easy, 30-minute walk over bridges and through forests.

Just keep in mind that dogs are not allowed at High Falls Gorge and tickets must be purchased in advance or at the falls ($14.50 for adults, $10.50 for kids ages 4 to 12). Those looking to waterfall hop, can take on one of the 9 other falls found in the Lake Champlain Region, many of which are accessible in spring.

South of High Falls Gorge is OK Slip Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in the Adirondacks. Accessing the falls requires a moderate-to-difficult 6.7-mile hike (roundtrip), but the trail is open year-round and easily passable as early as March.

OK Slip Falls close up
Courtesy of Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism

Dogs are welcome but must be leashed. For more, check out one of the other 17 falls in the area's Hamilton County Waterfall Challenge Tour, a rundown of the area's best cascades.

Those who visit in the springtime should be sure to wear proper footwear as the Adirondacks this time of year can be muddy. To avoid slippery trails, stick to lower elevations — usually 3,000 feet or lower — and stay off of trails in the High Peaks Wilderness Area until mid-June when everything dries out and the ground hardens.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles