Adirondack Daytrip Part Two: A Day of Waterfalls, Geology, History, and Adventure!
By John Haywood
Adirondack Waterfall Daytrip part 2!
While this may be a short road trip, its size is made up in content. Keeseville is rich in history and Ausable Chasm has enough entertainment to last the entire day! Whether you hike the trails, ride a raft, or traverse the Ausable River on a cable line, you will not leave disappointed!
In addition to the exciting attractions, Ausable Chasm also has a campground and motel for those that want to spend a few days exploring all that is offered!
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Anderson Falls is a very broad 10-foot waterfall formed on the Ausable river in the heart of Keeseville. Keeseville was, for a while, named Anderson Falls after an early settler, John Anderson. In 1812 the name was changed was to Keeseville to honor a local businessman, Richard Keese.
From Exit 33 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87), head north on Routes 9/22 for 4.2 miles. Turn left onto Clinton Street and drive west for 100 feet. You will come to Mill Street. Park to your right. From the parking area, walk down Mill Street for less than 100 feet to a park that overlooks the falls.
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Indian Falls is a picturesque waterfall that stands between 6 and 8 feet high as it forms on the Ausable River. For anyone interested in Geocaching, there is said to be a cache located here.
From Keeseville, continue north on Route 9 from the intersection of Routes 9 and 9N for just under a mile. As you pass the motels, you will begin up a slight incline. Park along the road near the top and look for a well-worn footpath leading to the river.
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The 40-foot Alice Falls is formed by a hydro-electric dam on the Ausable River just upriver from Ausable Chasm. This particular waterfall occupies two counties; one-half Essex and the other Clinton!
From Indian Falls, continue north on Route 9 for a short distance until you reach a road on the right with a sign that read “Alice Falls Hydro”. Turn right onto this road and park on the left.
There is usually a Plant manager on duty who is said to be very friendly and willing to answer any questions you may have.
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Now the crown jewel of this trip; Ausable Chasm! Ausable Chasm is the well-known Adirondack attraction that is home to a number of geological wonders, and Adventure Course, Raft Ride, Tubing, Hiking, and of course, waterfalls.
The star of the show is 80-foot Rainbow Falls that can be seen from the bridge that carries Route 9 over the Ausable River. This is also the largest Adirondack waterfall. Directly below the bridge can be seen 6 to 8-foot Horseshoe Falls, and directly behind Rainbow Falls is a waterfall that is formed from a dam where water from the river is diverted into a hydro-electric plant that can be seen on the right.
Along the river are numerous rapids and tiny waterfalls that can be seen while walking the trails or taking on the Adventure Course.
With so much to do at Ausable Chasm, it will take the remainder of your day to experience it all. For more information, click here.
To learn more about the history and geology of Ausable Chasm, pick up a copy of Ausable Chasm: In Pictures and Story, written by Russell Dunn, John Haywood, and Sean Reines, from the Visitors Center.
There you have it! Another great waterfall day-trip in New York’s North Country! Keep an eye out for day-trips for Central and Western New York as we continue to add to outgrowing waterfall database.
Always remember: As with any outdoor activity, hiking can be dangerous. Please use extreme caution, especially near waterfalls and always respect private property.
For a printable version, please click the “DTF to PDF” near the top of the page between the two maps.
For more information on New York State waterfalls, please visit our New York waterfall map.
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