Ashcraft Brook Falls

Thousands of automobile drivers, while heading south on the Adirondack Northway (I-87) from farther north, have undoubtedly glimpsed, in passing, a small cascade to the right (west) side of the highway, several hundred yards from the road. The waterfall comes into view roughly 0.5 mile before Exit 30. What you are glimpsing is Ash Craft Brook Falls, a double cascade formed on Ash Craft Brook. As seen from afar, the upper cascade appears to be ~6 feet in height. The lower cascade, perpendicular to the first, is~ 6−8 feet high and significantly inclined.

Ash Craft Brook rises from Ash Craft Pond, which lies next to the Adirondack Northway some 2.0 miles distant, and flows into the Schroon River.

There is one catch. The waterfall can only be accessed from the Adirondack Northway—a superhighway where cars are not permitted to pull over and stop except at rest areas or in an emergency. The end result, then, is that while you can catch a glimpse of the waterfall, you cannot stop to hike up to it. While Ash Craft Brook Falls teases, it never fully pleases.

The only possible way of accessing this waterfall—and there may be legal prohibitions against it—is to park next to Route 9 by Exit 30, and then follow the Northway north on foot for 0.5 mile, keeping away from the highway, and as close to the woods as possible. Whether this is strictly permissible is unknown.

To get there – Driving south on the Northway between Exits 31 and 30, look for a green sign on your right that states that Exit 30 is one mile away. Clock off 0.5 mile from the sign and watch for the cascade to appear on your right, upstream from a marshland [44.08153, -73.65177]. Look quickly, for the window of opportunity closes quickly.

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