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Roaring Brook Falls

Adirondacks, New York

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Roaring Brook Falls

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  • Clear signage at the trailhead.- Roaring Brook Falls
  • The trail to the base of the falls is flat and wide.- Roaring Brook Falls
  • The base of the falls is easily accessed.- Roaring Brook Falls
  • When the water is low, it's possible to climb part way up the falls.- Roaring Brook Falls
  • Even during drought conditions, a thin ribbon of water cascades down the mountainside.- Roaring Brook Falls
  • The very bottom of the falls.- Roaring Brook Falls
  • The trail splits early in the hike, with routes to the top and bottom of the falls on the left and right, respectively.- Roaring Brook Falls
  • When the water is low, it's possible to follow the stream bed right to the edge of the falls.- Roaring Brook Falls
  • Looking down the face of the falls at low water.- Roaring Brook Falls
  • Rock hopping back up the stream bed.- Roaring Brook Falls
  • A very small swimming hole a short ways above the falls.- Roaring Brook Falls
  • - Roaring Brook Falls
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Huge waterfall. Short hike. Small swimming hole at the top. Great views.
Cons: 
Often crowded. Road noise at the top.
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Region:
Adirondacks, NY
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Net Elevation Gain: 
384.00 ft (117.04 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.60 mi (2.57 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,266.00 ft (385.88 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Roaring Brook Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in the Adirondacks due to its size and ease of access. Its upper reaches can even be seen in passing from the road. For those taking the time to actually stop and visit the falls, it is well worth the trip to both the bottom and the top.

The trail to the base of the falls is flat, wide, and only 0.3 miles. To reach it, bear right at the fork in the trail. Depending on the flow of the river, more adventurous hikers can scramble partway up the face of the falls and look directly up at the narrow band of water cascading down the mountainside. In early spring, or after heavy rains, the stream bed will be full and impassable. It's best to view the falls from downstream during these times.

To reach the top of the falls, hikers will bear left at the fork, where the trail begins climbing steeply. This trail lasts 0.5 miles, but it eases in pitch at the 0.25 mile mark. At the top, bear to the right toward a small clearing where the ground is level. This is a primitive camping area, and the stream bed leading to the falls is just beyond. 

Only approach the edge of the falls when the river is very low. Even shallow water can create a significant hazard, especially when coupled with the slippery rocks above the falls. When flows allow, the views both down the face of the falls and out into the surrounding high peaks are excellent. 

Backtracking up the stream bed a short way will reveal a swimming hole narrow enough to jump across. It's only about waist deep, but it provides a welcome respite after a steep climb on a hot day.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(6 within a 30 mile radius)

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(56 within a 30 mile radius)

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