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High Falls Gorge (A Hike & Photo Story)

This 22 acre nature park located in Wilmington, NY is the perfect destination for an easy, family-friendly walk in the woods and past four scenic waterfalls. High Falls Gorge is located at the foot of Whiteface Mountain and is the perfect quick stop when visiting Whiteface and the Lake Placid area.

How To Get There

High Falls Gorge is located off of Route 86 in Wilmington, NY. High Falls Gorge is easily accessible by car and there is free parking on the premises.

Address:

4761 NYS Route 86
Wilmington, NY 12997

How Much Time Should You Plan?

The walkthrough takes about 30 minutes to complete. There is also a cafe and gift shop to explore, so if you plan on visiting those you can add on another half hour to hour.

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Hours

  • Jan. 1st to March 15th: Friday-Tuesday 9am to 4pm
  • March 16th to June 5th: Closed
  • June 6th to October 25th: Friday-Tuesday 9am to 4pm
  • Oct. 26-Dec. 31st: Closed

***Hours may vary. Be sure to check the website before visiting***

Entrance Fees

Admission is $13 for ages 12+ and $10 for ages 4-12

The High Falls GorgeTrail

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High Falls Gorge Trail Map. Photo Credit: High Falls Gorge

The High Falls Gorge Trail is a 1 mile loop trail with areas of elevation gain and loss that is easily doable for hikers of all abilities. The gains are often accompanied with wooden staircases, making them easy to navigate. The trail begins with a bridge crossing the Ausable River. Along the bridge you can get some great photos of the river and surrounding terrain, especially in the fall months when the vibrant colors line the river.

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Ausable River. Photo Credit: Navigation Junkie.
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The Ausable River. Photo Credit: Navigation Junkie.

Continuing on you will come across a mostly flat trail that will take you along a wooded area and river and past Main Falls.

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A section of the trail. Photo Credit: Navigation Junkie.
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Main Falls (from further along the trail). Photo Credit: Navigation Junkie.

Located along the trail you will find many signs providing history and interesting facts about the area.

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A sign along the trail explaining the cause of the commonly seen tan foam in the water. Photo Credit: Navigation Junkie.

Next, you’ll across a wooden bridge where you will pass a lookout near the Master Pothole, Rainbow Falls, and Climax Falls. You will come across another bridge, which will take you back to the other side of the river and back up towards Main Falls.

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Looking towards Climax Falls from the footbridge. Photo Credit: Navigation Junkie.
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The stairway leading back up to Main Water Fall. Photo Credit: Navigation Junkie.

The Waterfalls

There are four waterfalls located along the trail.

Main Falls

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Main Falls. Photo Credit: Navigation Junkie.

Mini Waterfall

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Mini Falls. Photo Credit: Navigation Junkie.
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Mini Falls. Photo Credit: Navigation Junkie.

Rainbow & Climax Waterfall

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Rainbow Falls is the higher waterfall, followed by Climax Falls. Photo Credit: Navigation Junkie.
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Rainbow and Climax Falls. Photo Credit: Navigation Junkie.

Potholes

You can find two areas along the trail-The Master Pothole located near Mini Falls and the Porridge Potholes located near Main Falls.

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Pot Hole. Photo Credit: Navigation Junkie.
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The majority of the trail along the waterfalls is a wooden pathway with stairs, making it easy terrain for children. Parts of the trail line the gorge and waterfalls, while other parts cut back into the wooded areas surrounding the gorge.

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Part of the Trail. Photo Credit: Navigation Junkie.

Glass Floors

There are two sections of the trail that have a glass floor that you can walk out on to see the gorge beneath you. This is not for me, but if it doesn’t get your nerves going it is a great overlook of the gorge.

The Nature Trail

In addition to the one mile trail that follows along the river and waterfalls, there is a one mile nature trail that is suited for beginner to intermediate level hikers with steep inclines and uneven surfaces.

Things to Do Near High Falls Gorge

Looking for more to do in the Adirondacks? Why not check out these other great options:

At the foot of Whiteface Mountain sits the High Falls Gorge, the perfect destination for a family-friendly hike through the woods and past scenic waterfalls.
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20 Comments »

  1. What a truly lovely place High Falls Gorge is! They have done such a great job in making this beautiful spot a family-friendly trail, even making building the walkways and bridges to maximize the views for visitors. Like you, I’m not a huge fan of glass falls but you could sign me up for the nature trail as well any day! Love your images that really convey how beautiful the natural scenery is here.

  2. I love such places, especially during the fall. When you can admire such wonderful colors in the trees. So I add High Falls Gorge to my list. Climax Falls from the footbridge is so photogenic! Rainbow Falls is impressive too. I hope to visit it one day.

  3. A true fall-time wonderland! I love the look of the landscape in Northeast USA this time of year (New York in this instance). Gorgeous, I may have to make the drive up from New Jersey for the hike!

    • Hi Joe,

      It is beautiful, especially in the fall! Driving through the area was indescribable! If you are able to make it to the area I would recommend adding on Whiteface Mountain. It is just a short drive away and there is a highway you can drive up (or you can take the hike!) that will give you some more stunning views!

  4. Sounds like the perfect trail in Fall, the river and the trees in their fall best look so gorgeous! The waterfalls feel so refreshing already in the pics, I wonder how cool it must have been trekking past them in their natural shower sprinkles. Love forest trails like this one!

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