Three Waterfalls Worth the Hike in The Northeast

Three Waterfalls Worth Hiking to in The Northeast

What is going on Road Trip Warriors!? I wanted to share with you the top three waterfalls I have been to over the past year in the Northeast. While hiking, I have seen some first-rate waterfalls in the Adirondacks and in the White Mountain National Forest. I have been to Niagara Falls, and yes it is large, and impressive. However, for me, it is too commercialized, developed, and you do not have to hike to it. My preference are waterfalls that you need to work for. Therefore you appreciate their beauty and isolation that much more. Alright, enough talk…here are my top three waterfalls I have hiked to in the Northeast!

Arethusa Falls

Arethusa Falls is located in Crawford Notch, NH. It is the tallest waterfall in New Hampshire at roughly 150 feet. It is about an hour hike to these falls and the hike is not strenuous. People of all different age groups were on this trail from children to the elderly. For more info, I have a blog post dedicated specifically to Arethusa Falls. If you find yourself in Crawford Notch with a few hours to kill, I highly recommend making your way to these falls. You will not be disappointed!

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Kaaterskill Falls

Kaaterskill Falls is located in the Catskills, NY near Palenville. This is a relatively easy hike and you will be treated to two waterfalls. The first one, Bastion Falls, is right at the trailhead. It drops about 70′ and has three drops within the waterfall itself. The real gem is a half-mile down the trail where you will find yourself at the lower section of Kaaterskill Falls. Between both tiers, the water plunges over 230 feet! It is loud and powerful, but beautiful. If you would like a better view of the upper falls, hike another half-mile up to the viewing platform. I suggest doing this because every angle of these falls are magnificent. For more on Kaaterskill Falls, check out the full blog on it here.

Kaaterskill Falls: Lower Falls

Kaaterskill Falls: Upper Falls

Rainbow Falls

Lastly, Rainbow Falls in the Adirondacks is an absolute must. It is the longest of the hikes on this list with the round trip total being 9 miles. Do not let the mileage discourage you. The majority of this hike takes place walking down a dirt road (Lake Road) for about 3.5-4 miles one way. Rainbow Falls cascades nearly 150 feet, and I am sure on a warm summer day the mist from the falls feels refreshing. Personally, Rainbow Falls is my favorite waterfall in the Adirondacks. 

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RTW Note

Thanks again for taking the time to read this fellow Road Trip Warriors! I have big plans for 2019 in regard to travel and hiking. I look forward to sharing more photos and information with you about the Adirondacks, White Mountains, and wherever else I may be exploring. I am also excited to share that I am getting a camera to capture better images! 

Comment your favorite waterfall in the comment section. It will help give me some travel ideas! Don’t forget to hit the like and follow buttons! Thank you for your support, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year everyone!

-Ant

Kaaterskill Falls: 230 Feet of Falling Water!!

Rippin a Quick Trip to Kaaterskill Falls

What up Road Trip Warriors!? This past Sunday (11/11/18), my brother and I were limited on time. Despite this, we still found an adventure we could go on an hour and a half south of us in the Catskills of NY. We had both heard great reviews of a waterfall by the name of Kaaterskill Falls. The hike was relatively short and we could get in done in a few hours. Needless to say, we packed our bags quickly and left the house around 7:00 AM. This waterfall was unreal…

Short Summary of The Hike

  • Difficulty: Easy – Slightly Moderate
  • Distance: Roughly 2 miles (.5 miles to the lower falls, .5 miles to the viewing platform above the falls)
  • Photo Opportunities: Bastion Falls (waterfall at trailhead), lower falls area, base of the upper falls a little ways up from the lower falls, the viewing platform above the upper falls
  • Note: there was a lot of ice, be careful not to slip on any rocks or frozen stairs

Palenville & The Trailhead

Driving along route 23A you will pass through a small town by the name of Palenville. As you keep moving along, you will end up on a beautiful scenic byway. It winds its way through the woods with small waterfalls and creeks on your flanks. As you near the parking area you will see Bastion Falls and this is where the trailhead starts. Just witnessing these falls from the car is a wonderful sight to see. Another minute up the road from Bastion Falls is the parking area. Please take note that to get to the trailhead, you will have to walk down route 23A and cross the road. The road is a bit windy so be sure to eye for any traffic! We absolutely cannot have Road Trip Warriors getting injured!

Bastion Falls – The Start of Your Trek

Immediately at the trailhead of the hike you encounter a rather appealing waterfall, Bastion Falls. The water falls about 70′ and has three drops within the waterfall itself. The sign-in sheet is by the falls and taking pictures of these falls is a must in my opinion.

Bastion Falls

You’ll hike along the right side of these falls following the trail markers. This is a rather developed trail with stairs and it is also heavily trafficked. For that reason, I am not going to delve into the trail itself, photos of signs along the trail, etc.

Lower Kaaterskill Falls

After an easy half-mile of hiking, you will be at the lower falls part of the hike. As you approach, if you are anything like me, you will find these falls impressive to say the least. The water was running heavily, crashing into the pools below them like thunder. The wind at the falls whipped mist in the air freezing the nearest plant-life. The icicles hanging around the upper falls seemed to shine. I recommend going around this time of year just to witness something as beautiful as this.

Me Looking at Lower Falls

Continuing Along the Trail: Base of The Upper Falls

Right next to the lower falls, you will notice stairs that you will need to ascend to reach the upper falls. Not far up the stairs, to your left, will be a path to the pool of the upper falls. Unfortunately, this path was completely frozen and extremely slick. I did not have crampons with me so I decided that the pictures were not worth the risk of myself or my brother getting hurt. On the bright side, I was able to take a photo of the path with some frozen crystals in it!

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The Viewing Platform Above The Upper Falls

After checking this area out you will continue onward to ascend up the stairs following the trail markers. The trail does level out not long after the stairs and some hiking. One of my favorite parts of this hike was the bridge we crossed before reaching the viewing platform. 

Bridge to Viewing Platform

After crossing this bridge, you will find a sign pointing in the direction of the viewing platform. From the viewing platform, you are rewarded with an impressive vantage point of the upper falls of Kaaterskill Falls. It is worth the mile hike, I promise.

Upper Falls From Viewing Platform

As you can see, these falls are quite amazing. In fact, this picture does do Kaaterskill Falls the justice it deserves. So go visit! Just make sure to follow leave no trace principles!

Descent

This is self-explanatory as you will go back the way the same way you hiked in. There are other trails in the area that go off of this trail if you wish to explore further.

Dog-friendly

This hike is dog-friendly and I did see dogs on this trail. Please keep them close there are drop-offs near the base of the upper-falls if you decide to go there. 

Family-Friendly

This hike is definitely family friendly. It is a well-developed and highly-trafficked trail. With a distance of only two miles round trip, it is very doable. Children would definitely marvel at the sight of these tall falls. 

Gear Brought & Clothes Worn

I will keep this concise since it is a short hike. I brought a liter of water, some snacks, extra layers for the cold, and a first-aid kit. I dressed in warm attire since it is now heading towards winter. Just make sure you dress appropriately for the weather and have some water and snacks. A first-aid kit is always a good item to carry as well no matter how easy and short the hike. 

History

The falls area was purchased in the 1820s by Peter Schutt where he built a platform and cabin at the top. Up here, refreshments were sold to visitors. In 1852, Schutt added a 50-visitor boarding house and named it the Laurel House. During the 19th century, many people visited Kaaterskill Falls. Among these individuals were painters, poets, and writers. Due to this, the Laurel House increased its size in 1881 to hold 300 visitors. 

The Laurel House was closed in 1963. The NYSDEC bought the building and falls in 1965. The hotel burned in 1967 and now only parts of its rock foundation remain. 

RTW Note

I hope you found this helpful and enjoyed the pictures. Kaaterskill Falls was absolutely worth the drive. These falls have an interesting history and it is easy see why painters, writers, and poets traveled here to spark creativity. Keep on adventuring Road Trip Warriors and keep those trails clean! 

Don’t forget to like this post (if you liked it), comment your thoughts, and hit the follow button to see more awesome pictures and hiking tips!

-Ant

 

Sawteeth Mountain In The ADKS: Trekking Through a Snowstorm

Sawteeth Mountain Via The Scenic Route

What’s happening Road Trip Warriors!? This past Sunday (10/21/18), we took on Sawteeth Mountain in the Adirondacks. It was a cold one and it ended up being pretty snowy and windy! Fortunately, being the warriors that we are, Alex, Sleezer, and I (my brother and best-bud) were well-prepared for the adverse weather! The snow was beautiful and the views of Lower Ausable Lake from the outlooks along the trail were mesmerizing. Let’s dive into this Adirondack High Peak hike!

Short Summary of Sawteeth Mountain

  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Length: Roughly 13.1 Miles
  • Outlooks: There are six outlooks along the scenic route offering beautiful vantage points of Lower Ausable Lake
  • Sawteeth Summit (4,110′): The summit is wooded, but still offers a great view of Gothics in the near distance
  • Rainbow Falls: Near 150 foot waterfall

Lake Road

Once parked in the Ausable parking lot, walk the half-mile up to the Ausable Club and take a left in-between the two tennis courts. You will sign in and walk past the wooden AMR gate. For this hike, you will walk the whole length of the road which is roughly 4 miles. Make the most of the trek up the road. It can seem long, but find a way to enjoy it by sharing stories, taking pictures, etc. I was able to get some great photos while on the road. (Note: this photo was taken at the end of the hike, heading back to the parking lot)

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End Of Lake Road

Once you hit the end of Lake Road, you’ll head towards the gravel/dirt road on your right that descends towards a long wooden bridge.

Once across this bridge, walk up to the concrete wall just before Lower Ausable Lake to take in the views. When we hit this area, some snowflakes started to fall. It was not supposed to snow, but we brought snow gear anyway. Remembering to be prepared for anything is important. Below is the view once crossing the bridge.

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Sawteeth Via The Scenic Route (2.9 miles to summit)

After spending some time putting on warmer clothing, we took a left in the direction the sign pointed us for Sawteeth Mountain via the scenic route.

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This is my opinion based off of what we did, but I suggest taking the scenic route to the summit. There are six outlooks along the way and they make for great places to take photos and recoup. You will be following yellow trail markers on this path.

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Initially, this trail will bring you along the edge of the Lower Ausable Lake. While you make your way, you will gain sight of the cliffs that tower above the lake. Watch your step when on the perimeter of the lake. The last thing that you want to do is soak your foot.

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As you make your way up in elevation and into the woods, be sure to keep your eye out for those yellow trail markers. We initially had trouble spotting one or two of them and it took us a few minutes to find the trail. This is also because many leaves had fallen over the trail in this area. I am sure that during the summer (or winter when someone has already blazed a path through the snow) the trail is much easier to follow.

While on this hike, take notice to the green “Outlook” signs. They provide great vantage points of Lower Ausable Lake. One in particular that was our favorite was the first outlook. We took a majority of our pictures at this spot.

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The trail after this was self-explanatory as the leaves were not nearly as prevalent. Keep moving forward and stop at the indicated outlooks. Eventually, you will hit a ladder. These are always fun, just be careful not to slip if the rungs are wet/icy. Also, the wires that tie off these ladders are sometimes difficult to see after climbing them. Make sure that you watch your step to avoid tripping.

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Keep making your way along the trail and you will eventually hit a green sign right in front of you that says “Marble <- Point.” To continue to Sawteeth Mountain, you are going to want to take a right.

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Shortly after taking this right, you will see a sign that says “Cougar’s Gulch.” Be careful on this part of the hike as there is a little bit of rock climbing that will require your hands. My brother almost slipped here and had a mini heart-attack. Once I saw that he was okay I laughed hysterically, but please be careful!!

Within the next hour or so of hiking, you’re likely to hit a sign that will boost your morale. It notifies you and your group (if you are with a group) that the summit of Sawteeth is a 0.1 miles away. This should take you about four to five minutes depending on your pace.

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Summit of Sawteeth Mountain (4,110′)

I had read that the summit of Sawteeth was wooded and the view would not be that spectacular. I was glad that a majority of what I read was wrong. Whilst on this summit, Gothics Mountain towers above in the near distance.

This summit is not that large, but we had it to ourselves which was great. Not many other people are willing to hike 6.9 miles through wind and snow, but we’ve always been a group known for our commitment. We hung out for fifteen minutes or so to snack, rehydrate, and take some pictures. Also, there is a sign on the summit of this mountain that states how far it is to get back to the St. Hubert’s parking area. If you head back down the scenic route, it will be 6.9 more miles. If you continue forward, it will be 6.1 miles.

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This shot of Gothics was taken just past the summit of Sawteeth Mountain

The Descent Down to Rainbow Falls

Around this time of year (Late October to mid April), it will be icy once you’re up in the mountain ranges. This was the case for our hike down. Most of the large rocks had become covered in an inch or more of slippery ice. Take your time and watch your footing so you do not get hurt. Crampons or ice spikes would have been helpful in this scenario.

After gaining some distance, you will hit a sign pointing you in the direction of St. Hubert’s parking area. I apologize for not having a high-quality photo of the sign. Take notice that at this point, you will be following blue trail markers on your way down like the one on the sign.

Keep following the blue trail markers and after about roughly an hour of hiking, you will hit my favorite sign in the Adirondacks. It is a cliff that overlooks Rainbow Falls that has a hand-built railing.

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Please do be careful here as the drop-off from this cliff is very steep and falling would most likely result in…well…you know.

Hike ten more minutes down the trail and you will reach the sign that will point you in the direction of Rainbow Falls. It is about a five minute walk to the falls from this sign and I highly recommend visiting it. The waterfall is nearly 150 feet tall and it truly is amazing.

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Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls is roughly 150 feet tall and is one of the coolest waterfalls I have seen to date. In all honesty, and this is my opinion, I liked it more than Niagara Falls just because it is not in a developed environment and not commercialized.

Also, if you would like to just walk to this waterfall, it is a very short walk from that bridge mentioned earlier in this post. It would not be anything too strenuous besides walking the entirety of Lake Road and a little bit of distance in the woods.

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Back to St. Hubert’s Parking Area

At this point, it is very easy to get back to the lot. You will walk back to the Rainbow Falls sign shown above and it shouldn’t take you more than ten to fifteen minutes to emerge from the trail to the bridge. At this point, you will just have the 4 – 4.5 mile walk down Lake Road back to your vehicle.

Dog-Friendly

Dogs are absolutely PROHIBITED on the AMR property. I do not want to see anyone getting in trouble for having their furry friends with them. There are many other trailheads in the Adirondacks where you could bring your pal and have a great time.

Fam-Friendly

I would say that this is not a hike that is entirely family-friendly. The distance of 13.1 miles alone would be difficult for young ones and out-of-shape hikers. There are also some spots that will involve having to do a little climbing with your hands. However, if you want to bring the fam to Rainbow Falls, it would be about 8 miles total and the entire trek would be relatively flat terrain.

Clothes Worn

  • Timberland Boots
  • Nike Compression Shorts
  • Long-johns
  • Adidas Sweatpants (joggers)
  • Adidas T-shirt
  • LL Bean Jacket
  • Beanie
  • Ushanka hat
  • Gloves

Gear Brought

  • 3L of water
  • Granola bars, trail mix, peanut butter sandwiches
  • Wind/Rain pants
  • Extra layers (UnderArmour)
  • Extra hiking socks
  • Knife
  • Paracord and two carabiners
  • Water-proof matches
  • LifeStraw (water filtration, costs about $20)
  • Adhesive body warmer
  • Balaclava
  • Trekking poles (A MUST => weight off knees, helpful when dealing with ice)
  • First-Aid Kit

Map

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RTW Note

My Road Trip Warriors. This was a great adventure and I highly recommend it. The views of the mountains, trees, and waterfalls are what make hiking one of the best activities out there. This Adirondack High Peak was number 19/46 for me and I look forward to completing and writing about more. I wish you all the best, and remember to leave no trace! Keep on adventuring!

Sidenote: I always mention Sleezer and Alex, but I have not included a decent photo of them. I feel that it is important that my audience knows the people I adventure with. The Dirty Sleez is on the left and Brother Alex is on the right.

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Arethusa Falls: 160 Feet Of Cascading Water

An Hour Hike to a Magnificent Waterfall

Road Trip Warriors, what is good!? I know I recently posted about my Franconia Ridge hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, but that was not the only adventure we went on! On Saturday (10/13/18), we were waiting out the dismal weather before we went on an adventure. Our initial plan was to hike Mount Washington, but it was so overcast that I decided it be best to do the Arethusa Falls Trail once the weather let up. My goal is to hike Mount Washington where I will be able to appreciate the views it offers, but I digress. Arethusa Falls was legendary and a great reward for only an hour hike.

Short Summary of Arethusa Falls

  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
  • Distance: Roughly 3 miles
  • Average Hiking Time: 2 hours (if only doing Arethusa Falls)

Crawford Notch State Park

Arethusa Falls is located in Crawford Notch State Park and it is beautiful. On our way to the park we passed the Mount Washington Resort, and the Conway Scenic Notch Train Station. Given the chance, I would love to have a ride this beautiful train through the White Mountains. For more information on this train click on this link: Conway Scenic Railroad.

Within Crawford Notch State Park, you can also find the Willey House. It is a historic location where you can shop for souvenirs, get some food/coffee, and take in the scenery. A brief history on the Willey House:

  • Built in the late 18th century or early 19th century
  • In 1825, became the homestead of Samuel Willey, Jr. and his family where the house was operated as an inn to accommodate travelers passing through the mountains
  • August, 1826, a violent storm hit the area. The family left the house to escape the storm, but they were buried when a landslide hit. Nine people perished in this landslide, including the Willey family. The house remained untouched from this landslide and has now become an area for picnicking, photography, and plentiful hiking in the area. Sources: newhampshire.com , robertballhughes.com

Trailhead/Parking

The trailhead is very easy to find as there is a large wooden sign that says “Arethusa Falls.” This sign will be easily visible while driving along route 302, otherwise known as Crawford Notch Road. This is the sign for those whom would like to know what it looks like.

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The lot here is pretty large, but I would still get here earlier in the day as it seemed like a popular hike in the area. This makes sense as it is only a one hour hike to the tallest waterfall in New Hampshire. In the parking lot, there are cliffs that tower above. We had the luck of seeing the trees under the cliffs in various shades of color. It made for a picturesque view.

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The Hike

So, from the large lot where you pull in, there is a paved road that you will walk up. You will walk across the train tracks and the trail will be on your left. Take advantage of the train tracks because it can make for some great photographs.

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Once you are on the trail itself, it is VERY easy to follow. This is due to the blue markers on the trees and the fact that many people hike this daily. There is also pretty prevalent signage along the way.

While trekking, you’ll notice that there is not much elevation gain or loss and you will cross two bridges along the way.

After these two bridges, there will be one more sign stating that Arethusa Falls is only .2 miles away. The trail drops down to the base of Arethusa Falls and this part can get pretty crowded. Be sure to be courteous and safe.

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Arethusa Falls

Arethusa Falls is the tallest waterfall in the state of New Hampshire. The water cascades down a large stone face and it is absolutely beautiful. The water falls 160 feet (some websites say 140 feet, others say 200 feet) making the waterfall that much more dramatic. There was plenty of room to walk around despite the crowd, and my brother and I eventually found a spot to sit and eat. We even had the opportunity to take pictures of the falls with no one else in the background!

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Dog-Friendly

We saw numerous dogs on this trail. There is absolutely no difficult spot for a dog and it seemed that they enjoyed the waterfall. The one dog we watched seemed to be more interested in chasing a squirrel than anything. 

Family-Friendly

My brother and I saw people of all ages hiking this trail. As mentioned, it is only an hour hike to the falls. The total mileage for the hike in its entirety (there and back) is roughly 3 miles. My brother and I did it in about two hours and that was with stopping at the falls to eat and take pictures. 

Gear/Clothes Worn

I am not going to put a long list here since this is a relatively short and safe hike. Just make sure you are dressed for the weather, bring some snacks and enough water. Carrying a first-aid kit doesn’t hurt either if you have children with you that may get a scrape. It ended up raining on us so it is always good to have a rain jacket as well even if the chance of rain is slim. 

RTW Note

I hope all you Road Trip Warriors enjoyed this post about Arethusa Falls. She truly is a beauty in the White Mountains. I will always encourage outdoor activities because of the great exercise and the fun stories that come from it. Please remember “Leave No Trace” principles and encourage environmental protection. Keep on exploring, hiking, and rippin peaks!

-Ant

 

 

 

Gothics, Armstong, Upper Wolfjaw, Lower Wolfjaw: Four More High Peaks!!!!

*Note*

From now on I am going to try and be even more detailed in regard to the hikes/trips that I take on with my pals. I want to offer as much information as possible so people feel better prepared if they head onto any of these trails. On the bottom of each post, there will be tips for each specific trail, a picture of the trail on a map (with our route highlighted), if a hike is dog-friendly, and if it is family-friendly. As usual, I will include the time it took for the hike in its entirety as well as how long it took to get from peak to peak if we bagged more than one mountain. I will also be updating my previous posts in the near future to include said information. If anyone has any other info they think I should add, don’t hesitate to offer your input.

We Bagged Four More High Peaks Baby!!

What is good my Road Trip Warriors!?!? This past Saturday (9/29/18) my brother and I headed back into the Adirondacks to take on some more mountains. The four peaks we were after were Gothics Mountain, Armstrong, Upper Wolfjaw, and Lower Wolfjaw. It was an amazing day and the weather could not have been more perfect at a cool 59º. We hopped out of the car at 6:30AM and did not get back until 12 hours later. That being said….I clearly have a lot to talk about! I am excited to share information and photos with you from these four lovely mountains!

6:30AM at the St. Huberts Parking Area

My bro and I hit the St. Hubert’s parking area at 6:30 in the morning when the sun was just starting to rise above the mountains. The parking lot was already three quarters full at this point. I assumed it would be as the weather was supposed to be perfect and the fall foliage in the Adirondacks is to die for. The colors that you’re able to witness when you climb these mountains in the fall is absolutely stunning. We watched other individuals getting themselves ready for their treks as we did the same. We put any remaining items that we would need in our bags and made our way.

After parking in the lot, you’ll head up the dirt road for about a half-mile. Once you hit the tennis courts, you take a left in between them and walk down the road for a short while. Eventually, you will hit the small building with the sign-in sheet just outside of it. Don’t forget to sign in and leave your information!

Down Lake Road Way & Beginning of the Trail

After signing in, you’ll walk down Lake Road Way for two miles. Just after the little green two mile marker on a tree, you’ll see the sign where you’ll take a right into the woods to head towards Beaver Meadow Falls and Gothics.

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Sign you’ll see 2 miles down Lake Road Way

After hiking through the woods for 0.5 – 0.6 miles, you’ll reach another sign. This sign points you in the direction of Beaver Meadow Falls as well as Gothics. You’ll drop down to cross Beaver Meadow Bridge and at this point you’ll be very close to Beaver Meadow Falls.

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Beaver Meadow Falls!

Continue on the trail for another 5-10 minutes and you will find yourself at the bottom of Beaver Meadow Falls. My brother and I got here around 7:45AM (roughly an hour and twenty minutes after leaving the car). The waterfall here is amazing and if you hit it at the right time, the sun hitting the mist will create a gorgeous rainbow. My brother and I stopped here for about a half-hour to admire the falls, eat some food, and take tons of photographs/videos of the falls.

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Hop back on the trail and near Beaver Falls, you will find this sign pointing you in the direction of Gothics and Armstrong.

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Following the Trail

This trail has numerous ladders along with some steps and they start right after leaving Beaver Meadow Falls.

Take notice that you will be following blue trail markers like this one below.

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This trail is well-marked with these blue markers as you continue to ascend towards Gothics. The signs are hard to miss and I took pictures of each one we came across to make sure this post was explicitly detailed.

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Another sign you’ll come across while on the Beaver Meadow Trail towards Gothics

The trail continues to steepen and it does not let up. There aren’t many spots that flatten out on the way to Gothics so be prepared for a leg workout. Eventually, you’ll reach an opening and this is where my brother and I stopped to rehydrate. The opening does not offer many views. It looks more like an open slide caused by erosion.

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Ladders, Ladders, Ladders

As you continue to finesse this trail like a Road Trip Warrior would, you’ll come across a few ladders. None of them are too difficult, and I find them fun to climb up and down. Here are some photos of said ladders.

While you’re having fun going down these ladders, take a look out to admire some of the views. At this point, you’ll be able to see Gothics. We were also able to take in some fall colors.

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Gothics

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Last Sign Before Gothics and Summit of Gothics

You’re going to reach a sign in which you can take a left and continue to Gothics, or take a right and head towards Armstrong. We took a left to head towards Gothics Mountain. It is only 0.4 miles away and it should not take more than 20-30 minutes to hit the summit. Gothics is number 10 of the Adirondack 46er’s sitting at an elevation of 4,736′. It boasts some amazing 360º views and you’ll be able to see many other High Peaks such as Giant, Whiteface, Armstrong, Sawteeth, etc. If you take off the 30 minutes that we spent at Beaver Meadow Falls, it took us roughly 4 hours to reach the summit of Gothics. This can take more or less time depending on your fitness as well as how much you want to push yourself. We had all day so we were in no rush.

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Summit of Gothics Mountain

Next: Armstrong Mountain

To reach Armstrong Mountain, you’ll head back down Gothics the way you came until you reach that sign pictured above. If you want to continue, Armstrong is only another 0.4 miles away as the sign indicates. Take notice that the trail signs have turned yellow once you head this way. Another important note is that the trail is very muddy from here on out. I did not use gaiters, but it would probably be helpful to have them. We were careful where we stepped so we didn’t bury our boots.

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Summit of Armstrong

We hit the summit of Armstrong Mountain at about 12:30PM. This was about an hour after we left Gothics. The summit of this mountain does not have a marker, but you’ll know you hit it when you reach the lookout on a large rock. You’ll be rewarded with views of Gothics as well as other mountains in the area. It is a nice place to stop and rest before heading towards the Wolfjaws if they are on your itinerary. Armstrong sits at 4,410′ and is number 22 on the list of ADK 46ers.

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Gothics is in the upper left

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Some beautiful fall foliage

Moving Towards Upper Wolfjaw Mountain

Trekking from Armstrong Mountain to Upper Wolfjaw is rough. It is muddy for a majority of the way there, you’ll descend steeply into a col, and then have to ascend again to reach the peak. We left Armstrong at roughly 12:50PM. The trail is roughly a mile to Upper Wolfjaw, and there is a one ladder you will have to descend. There is also one sign you will encounter very close to the summit of UWJ.

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Summit of Upper Wolfjaw

The summit of this High Peak is not as admirable as the two mountains before this, but it still offers a decent view. We hit the summit at 1:50PM which was about an hour after leaving Armstrong. This peak sits at 4,203′ and is number 29 on the list of Adirondack 46ers.

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View from summit of UWJ

Onward to the Last High Peak of the Day

We left UWJ at 2:00 PM and started heading towards Lower Wolfjaw. We were unsure about doing this mountain because the weather was looking iffy and I had known the views of this High Peak are subpar. The sun decided to come back out and we thought it be best to tag this peak while we were in the mountains.

LWJ is about 1.4 miles away on the trail from UWJ. You’ll encounter three signs as you make your way to this High Peak. These signs can be seen below.

Lower Wolfjaw Mountain

The summit of this ADK High Peak has limited views, but its completion is necessary if you wish to be a 46er. The peak sits at 4,175′ and is number 30 on the list of High Peaks. There is no marker for LWJ, but you’ll know when you get there. There is a large rock you can stand on to look over the trees/vegetation to get some half-decent views. I personally did not think the sights were as limited as I have heard from others. It was 3:40PM when we hit this last summit of the day, roughly an hour and a half after leaving UWJ.

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View from summit of Lower Wolfjaw Mountain

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Getting Back to St. Hubert’s Parking Area

The trail does continue from the summit of Lower Wolfjaw back to St. Hubert’s and as the sign states, it is about 5.1 miles away. We left the summit around 3:55PM.

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Follow the trail for 1.5 miles and you’ll reach your second sign. In-between these two signs, you’ll be dealing with some ascending with your descent so don’t be alarmed when you find yourself climbing. My brother started to wig out because we had to go up to go down and was worried that it was the wrong way. Also, the trail down has some steep sections so take caution. Once you hit the second sign, it is 3.6 miles to the St. Hubert’s parking area and you’ll be following red trail markers.

After following the red trail markers for 2 miles you’ll hit another sign that will be a morale boost. It informs you that you’re only 1.6 miles away from your vehicle.

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In between this sign and the trailhead you emerge from you will encounter one more sign, two bridges (one over running water that I do not have pictured), and finally, the sign-in sheet area.

We hit the sign-in sheet at 6:30PM. Our entire day was around twelve hours, but you could cut a few hours off of that if you make haste. My brother is a slower hiker than me and he also tweaked his knee which further slowed his pace. We had plenty of time so it was no big deal and he’s fine now. I just want you all to know that this entire hike could be done in less than the time it took us or more. Make sure you plan accordingly.

Summary

  • The total mileage was roughly 15 miles (give or take)
  • Hike includes Beaver Meadow Falls and four Adirondack High Peaks being Gothics, Armstrong, Upper Wolfjaw, and Lower Wolfjaw
  • Total time spent on the trails was 12 hours
  • Trail was heavily trafficked, at one point on Gothics there were twenty other individuals

Dog-Friendly

Dogs are absolutely PROHIBITED on the property of the AMR. If you would like to bring your dog on these High Peaks, you’ll have to take a different trailhead to these mountains. We did see two or three large dogs and they seemed to be doing well. Just be aware that there is a large ladder that descends on the way from Armstrong to Upper Wolfjaw.

Family-Friendly

Due to the length of this hike, it may be difficult for younger children. You might be able to bring them up to Gothics if they have the endurance for that. I do suggest introducing a family member or child to Beaver Meadow Falls as it is stunning and the round trip to get there and back would be about 5 easy miles.

Clothes Worn

  • Timberland hiking boots ($100)
  • Hiking socks
  • Nike Pro spandex (full leg length)
  • Long-johns
  • Athletic shorts
  • Adidas sweats
  • T-shirt
  • Occasionally I tossed on my windbreaker

Gear Brought

  • 4.5L of water
  • Granola bars, trail mix, peanut butter sandwich
  • Wind/Rain pants
  • Gloves
  • Extra layers (UnderArmour)
  • Extra hiking socks
  • Knife
  • Paracord and two carabiners
  • Water-proof matches
  • Map
  • LifeStraw (water filtration, costs about $20)
  • Adhesive body warmer
  • Balaclava
  • Winter hat
  • Trekking poles (A MUST => weight off knees, test how deep mud is, etc)

Map of Route We Took

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Map is the Nat Geo’s map of the Adirondacks

RTW Note:

Thanks for taking the time to read this and feel free to reference this post if you know anyone in New York looking for an outdoor adventure. Don’t forget to practice “Leave No Trace” and protecting our forests. I wish all you Road Trip Warriors safe travels and amazing adventures. I’ll end this post with a question. How have the outdoors benefitted you personally whether it be sparking creativity, alleviating stress, getting exercising, etc?

-Ant