Shoebox Falls is contained in a massive area of exposed bedrock. Under normal flow, the waterfall consists of an 8–10-foot-drop into a narrow chasm carved out in the middle of the stream bed. You will observe that just below the chasm, the carved channel, now at a lower level, continues underwater, creating a perfect swimming hole in the summer. In fact, a photo of swimmers at the fall, including a jumper in mid-air, can be seen in Ben Stechschulte’s article, “Holy Waters” in the August 2005 issue of Adirondack Life.
During times of greater water flow, the entire section of bedrock spanning the stream turns into one enormous, 8−10-foot-high waterfall. Look for scattered branches and a large assortment of debris downstream from the fall, just before the point where the river bears right. Some of the debris is entangled in trees. This will give you a sense of just how high the river can get at times.
There are small, slide-like cascades directly above the main fall, as well as downstream from its base. Huge boulders are strewn all about. On one visit many years ago, we observed a number of artistic looking rock piles that had been erected by hikers on the bedrock; sort of like decorative cairns. The rock formations have long since disappeared, either swept away by the force of a spring freshet or knocked down by “forever wild”-minded hikers. – Russell Dunn