Chapel Pond Falls
Chapel Pond Falls is formed on a tiny stream that drops into 19-acre, 0.5-mile-long Chapel Pond from the upper reaches of Round Mtn. The waterfall is located approximately where Chapel Pond goes around a bend as it continues northwest for another 0.1 mile. In the early spring, you can hear the fall faintly in the distance if you stand near the shoreline and listen closely. Unfortunately, only under the right conditions of lighting can bits and pieces of the upper part of the cascade be seen. The bottom portion of the cascade remains completely hidden behind heavy growth.
What makes the cascade difficult to access directly is that it cannot be reached on foot. You must bring along a canoe or kayak if you want to see it when water is flowing. There simply is no way to get to it during most of the year unless you are a rock-climber.
Even if you are not looking waterfalls, a stop at Chapel Pond is well worth the investment of time. The pond is probably the most well-known, frequently visited body of water in the heart of the Adirondacks. As James R. Burnside writes so poetically in Exploring the Adirondack 46 High Peaks, “The fluted columns of the cliffs on either side soar like organ pipes in a natural cathedral.”
To get there: From Underwood (junction of Routes 73 & 9), proceed northwest on Route 73 for 4.1 miles (or over 2.7 miles from where Route 73 crosses the North Fork) and turn left into the parking area directly in front of Chapel Pond [44.14058, -73.74666]. Look for the waterfall on the opposite side of the pond, slightly to your right.
There is a second, less known approach to Chapel Pond. Form the parking area, continue driving downhill on Route 73 for another 0.3 mile and then turn left onto a short dirt road that ends by the northwest end of the pond. From there, you can bushwhack southeast, following the shoreline, until you reach the point where the pond suddenly widens out.