Harper Falls is a beautiful waterfall tucked off the beaten path in the northern Adirondack foothills. While the waterfalls on the South Branch of the Grass River see frequent visitors, Harper Falls is a more secluded cascade located at the end of a 0.6-mile gated state forest road. The short hike reveals a twisting cascade that can be a raging torrent in the spring or after heavy rain.
The parking area can be tough to find as it is marked only by a yellow gate on the side of a dirt road. Once parked, visitors can follow the obvious forest road all the way to the falls, crossing a wooden bridge over a small stream in the process. In the fall, the foliage here is incredible.
The old road meets the river near the base of Harper Falls. There is a primitive campsite here, with a fire ring made of stones. When the water is low, the small pool at the base of the falls is an inviting place to cool the feet. At times of high water, the spray from the falls alone will be enough to cool off visitors.
The falls itself has two distinct tiers. The lower tier drops about 15 feet in a bedrock slide with a double fall line. Just upstream, a second falls crashes against the right bank as it drops another 12 feet. The river is relatively calm above and below the falls.