The North Fork of the Boquet River presents a number of waterfalls and swimming holes as it winds along before joining with the South Fork of the Boquet River.
One such swimming hole with a small cascade is Fern Gully; it is presumably named for the abundance of ferns growing in the area.
This location boasts tall granite walls and a deep pool, perfect for testing your courage to take a leap into the cool, clear water. The waterfall is formed as the river squeezes between massive boulders at the head of the pool.
The short trail from the road leads through two campsites and to the ledge above the pool. The trail also loops back along the river to another lesser-known and unnamed pool and waterfall before returning to the road.
There are also two other trails, one on each side of the river, that lead into the Dix Wilderness where hikers can summit the High Peaks of the Dix Range in their quest to become an Adirondack 46er. Following the trail from the campsites takes you on a steep climb, which levels out above the river where you can catch a great view of Dix Peak, the sixth highest peak in New York, at 4,857 feet. Continuing along this trail also leads to the North Fork Gorge, a lesser-known spot for rock and ice climbing.
The parking area is found in a pull-off along the road on the opposite side of the road. It’s best to arrive early as hikers and swimmers fill the area in the summer.
Swimming holes and cliff jumping can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable outdoor activities that pose significant risks regarding personal safety. Changing water levels, unseen rocks, and river bottoms that have shifted with currents and seasonal weather can turn a well-known jumping area into a serious hazard. Prior to engaging in these activities, extensively scout the current conditions, and understand the risks involved with serious injury and the logistical challenges of evacuation from the water so you can make safe decisions.