Ausable Chasm – Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks
Ausable Chasm is nearly 2.0 miles long, with over 0.5 miles of it traversable by boat. Stairways and walkways enable visitors to descend into the interior of the Chasm along the Inner Sanctum Trail. In addition to waterfalls, including one of the largest Adirondack waterfalls, there are interesting rock formations in the Chasm, including Elephant Head, Jacob’s Well, Hyde’s Cave, the Devil’s Oven, and a number of other named features. For those who like to hike, rim trails follow along both sides of the Chasm, providing outstanding overlooks into the Chasm. There are even two dry chasms, long ago abandoned by the river, that parallel Ausable Chasm and that can be explored at length.
Visitors can also take on the Adventure Course which includes a traverse, cable bridge, rappelling, and more or take it easy while riding a tube or the guided raft tour through the Chasm.
Ausable Chasm is located at 2144 Route 9, Ausable Chasm, NY 12911 and can be contacted at (518) 834-7454 or through their website, www.ausablechasm.com.
To get there: From the Adirondack Northway (I-87) going north, get off at Exit 34 for Keeseville-Ausable Forks and turn right onto Route 9N. Head northeast for 1.3 miles into the village of Keeseville, continuing straight at the first traffic light (a 4-way intersection), and then turn left onto Route 9 at the second traffic light. Proceed north on Route 9 for 1.5 miles and, as soon as you cross over the Ausable Chasm Bridge, turn left into the entrance for Ausable Chasm and park [GPS: ~44°31.511’N 73°27.728’W].
From the Adirondack Northway going south, get off at Exit 35 for Peru/Port Kent and turn left onto Bear Swamp Road (Route 442). After driving east for 2.9 miles, turn right onto Route 9, and head south for 3.7 miles. Then, turn right into the entrance for Ausable Chasm.
If you want to get close up to Rainbow Falls and Horseshoe Falls, be sure to sign up for the Adventure Trail that takes you down to the section where these two waterfalls can be seen more intimately.
Arguably the most photographed of the Adirondack waterfalls due to the ability to view it from the bridge that spans the Ausable River, 70-ft Rainbow Falls makes for a perfect subject.
Rainbow Falls had been previously known as Adgate Falls and Birmingham Falls
To get there: As soon as you cross over the Route 9 Bridge spanning the Ausable River and Ausable Chasm, turn left, follow the road down and around, and park as close to the Visitor Center as space permits. Rainbow Falls can be seen by walking up to the Route 9 Bridge or by walking past the Visitor Center, staying close to the rim of the Chasm, for a lateral view. No one, however, should miss the opportunity of going into Ausable Chasm for a self-guided tour, which includes not only amazing close-up views of Rainbow Falls but many other natural features of the Chasm as well.
Horseshoe Falls [44°31.479’N 73°27.770’W] is a 6─8-foot-high waterfall formed on the Ausable River in Ausable Chasm, just a short distance downriver from Rainbow Falls. The name, Horseshoe Falls, comes from the horseshoe shape of the waterfall. It’s possible that it may also come from the horsenail factory that once operated just upstream from the fall. It’s no stretch to think of Horseshoes when you think of the horsenails that were used to secure them.
To get there: GPS: 44°31.420’N 73°27.625’W – From Keeseville (junction of Routes 9 & 9N), drive north on Route 9 for 1.5 miles. Immediately after crossing over the Ausable Chasm Bridge, turn left into the entrance for Ausable Chasm. Rainbow Falls can be seen from the Ausable Chasm Welcome Center or from the Ausable Chasm Bridge.
This location is found in Russell Dunn’s Keene Valley Region Waterfall Guide.
Closest Geolocated Address: 2144 U.S. 9, Keeseville, NY 12911, USA
Location Lat/Long: 44.524529
NOTE: Get Directions uses Geolocator for closest known address. Double check directions prior to the start of your journey.