The Gill Brook Trail on the Adirondack Mountain Reserve is a beautiful 1.5-mile hike along its namesake, Gill Brook. Along Gill Brook, hikers will encounter over a dozen waterfalls including the Gill Brook Flume and Artists Falls.
While the trail itself is 1.5 miles to the connecting Lake Road Cutoff, reaching the trailhead requires a 0.75-mile walk up Ausable Road, sometimes hard-packed dirt and sometimes paved, to the register on Lake Road Way. From the register, it is a 2-mile walk up the private, hard-packed dirt road where you’ll see signs noting each half-mile. There will also be signs along the road indicating trails to various areas. The Gill Brook Trail starts on the left across from the 2-mile marker.
Prior to reaching the red-blazed Gill Brook Trail, at 1.5 miles hikers will see a sign on the left pointing to the Flume. Follow this trail to the Gill Brook Flume, a long chasm with a 15-foot waterfall at its head. The water makes two drops before entering a deep pool that is a common spot for hikers to cool off on hot days. The trail takes you up past the top of the flume and back out to the road.
When you arrive at start of the Gill Brook Trail you will pass the Gill Brook Steps, a series of small drops over a short distance. Not far ahead from there you will find Artists Falls, a 20-foot waterfall situated on a turn in the brook.
Traveling farther along, hikers will encounter 14 more waterfalls of differing shapes and sizes. At the base of most falls are pools where hikers can stop to cool off or run some of the clear water through their filter. The lack of tannins from conifer trees along the brook allows for water to remain clear.
Follow the trail to a junction with Lake Road Cutoff, Fish Hawk Cliffs, and Indian Head. From here you can proceed up to the overlook, out to the road, double back, or continue to follow the Gill Brook Trail if you’re looking to summit one of the High Peaks in the area.
The 7,000-acre Adirondack Mountain Reserve is a privately owned area containing 27 miles of trails, the Upper and Lower Ausable Lakes, and dozens of waterfalls. The trails are frequented by hikers looking to summit a number of High Peaks on their journey to become an Adirondack 46er.
A sign stating the restrictions of the area is posted at the trail register. Two of the main restrictions are that no pets are allowed and only foot traffic is permitted. Camping, swimming, hunting, fishing, rock climbing, and the building of fires are also not permitted on the AMR property.