Adirondacks of Hamilton County

Books, opinion and photos by Peter Klein

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Hike to OK Slip Falls.

Posted by peteklein on September 25, 2014 at 3:35 PM

A hike to OK Slip Falls

PETE KLEIN

INDIAN LAKE–It’s official. The hiking trail to OK Slip Falls was officially opened when NY

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens led a group of hikers into

the falls on Sunday, July 20, as part of the second annual Adirondack Challenge.

A few days later on Thursday, July 24, I took the six mile round trip hike to see the falls.

The parking area for the trailhead is located on the south side of Route 28, approximately 7.5

miles east of downtown Indian Lake. The trailhead itself is on the north side of Route 28, 0.2

miles west of the parking area. The trail also provides access to Ross, Whortleberry and Big Bad

Luck Ponds, places I have been to and can highly recommend for another day after you have seen

the falls.

The start of the hike is a steep drop from the road. Next you will see the trailhead sign where you

should sign in.

From this point you will be following red trail markers along the well tread trail to the popular

fishing ponds.

Approximately a half mile up the trail, you will see a sign with a blue trail marker on it, pointing

to your right and informing you it is 2.4 miles to OK Slip Falls. Follow the trail with blue trail

markers to the overlook on the east side of the OK Slip Gorge.

OK Slip Falls is considered one of the highest falls in the Adirondacks and is commonly listed as

falling 250 feet to the boulders at its base. Its waters flow into the Hudson River near the center

of the Hudson Gorge. The falls are located on the 2,780-acre OK Slip Falls Tract which the state

purchased from The Nature Conservancy in 2013.

This is a hike with no big ups or down but with many ups and downs. Because of the distance

traveled and with all of the ups and downs, I would rate it as a moderate hike.

Don’t rush it. Enjoy the woods you are hiking through. The forest has about every tree you’ll ever

see in the Adirondacks with the exception of oak. Here you will see some very large spruce,

maple, beech and ash, some with trunks wider than a large refrigerator and tops rising higher than

your ability to see them from the ground.

Don’t get confused or disappointed when you stumble out onto a fairly wide and well groomed

gravel road. It is part of the in-holding owned by Northern Frontier Camp and leads to OK Slip

Pond, part of the camp and the source for OK Slip Falls.

Reaching the road, turn left and walk about 25 yards or so up the road and you will pick up the

trail to the falls. Trail distance from the road to the falls is less than a half a mile.

It won’t be long before you start hearing falling water. Every step brings you closer and before

you know it, you are there at the first of two very good outlooks.

It is gorgeous and awe inspiring.

If at all possible, try to plan you hike for a clear day when sunlight on the falls creates a beautiful

rainbow at about mid point on the falls.

It should be needless to say but don’t forget your camera. You will want to capture one of the

most beautiful and wild views you will ever see in the Adirondacks. Then just sit for awhile,

relax, impregnate the beauty in you mind and have the lunch or snacks I am sure you were smart

enough to bring with you.

On the day I went, I was soon enjoying my lunch with an extended family of 17 and two dogs.

They weren’t the only ones hiking that day. When I signed out, I counted 49 who had signed in

between the time I signed in and out.

So how long should you plan for the in and out hike? It depends on how good a shape you are in

and whether or not you are trying to make time. Considering taking the time to relax and enjoy

the view, figure on a minimum three and a half hours to a maximum of five hours. This includes

the almost half mile hike to and from the parking area.

A note on the parking area. This is a very good parking area but as one man said to me, “It’s too

bad it is so far away from the trailhead. With traffic on the road moving at 60 and above, it might

be dangerous for people to hike along and cross the road.”

Until and if such a move of the parking area happens, be careful walking along and crossing the

road.


 

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