November 20, 2017

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OK Slip Falls

OK Slip Falls ~ Adirondacks, NYRound Trip Distance  ~ 6.0 milesHiking Time One Way ~ 1 hr & 45 minDifficulty ~ Easy to Moderate with long fairly flat sections with several shortinclines.  Hike to the bottom of the falls, extremely difficult.

signpostOK Slip Falls is located in the Hudson Gorge Wilderness Area halfway between North River and Indian Lake, NY.  From the intersection of Rte 28 and 13th Lake Road in North River drive north toward Indian Lake for approximately 4.7 miles, parking for the trailhead will be on the left hand side of the road. The trailhead itself is a short hike a few hundred yards further north on the right side of Rte. 28. mudflats   The first thing you’ll notice is mud, lots of mud! Don’t let that discourage you after a few hundred yards you’ll be back on dry ground.  At 0.5 miles the trail to OK Slip Falls veers off to the right and continues through a hardwood forest of mostly beech and maple. beaver flow  At around 1.5 miles you will come upon a beaver flow on your right. This is a pretty spot and worth  spending a few minutes exploring for tracks in the muddy shoreline. I looked quick for any sign of Moose tracks but came up empty. Moose are making a pretty good comeback in the Adirondacks and I frequently find their tracks around these wet areas.   At the 2.0 mile mark you will come out to a dirt road where the trail turns left and follows the road for approximately 100 yards before turning and entering the woods again on the right. This dirt road leads to the Northern Frontier Camp for Christian Boys. The trail again here is a little muddy for a short distance.  The last mile of the hike starts winding its way down toward the falls and is the longest incline you will encounter.  There are two overlooks of which I felt the first overlook has the best view. OK Slip FallsWe got quite a bit of a late start to our hike and didn’t arrive at the overlook until a little after 12 noon. The nice thing about being late was the angle of the sun that was creating a rainbow  midway up the falls. This is getting to be a popular hike and you will most likely not be alone very long if at all while you’re there.  Don’t forget to be courteous and share the view. Ok Slip Falls is said to be the highest waterfall in the Adirondacks at 250′ feet tall.  OK Slip Brook continues from the base of the falls and flows about .05 miles further where it merges with the Hudson River. A short walk further down the ridge will bring you to the second overlook, still a beautiful view but not as good as the first.  At this point there is a trail that continues to the bottom of the falls. A sign posted says the trail is closed. Most people will not venture further than this sign which is a good idea. The trail itself is nearly vertical, slippery and muddy with few hand or footholds.  If your not an experienced outdoorsman with proper foot wear, physical ability and common sense do not venture down this trail!  While the bottom of the falls offers a different perspective it still does not compare with the awe of the first overlook, by far the best view and a great spot for a bite to eat. Green Headed Cone flowers, Snakeroot, Spotted Joe-Pye-Weed and Purple Fringed Orchid were the prevalent wildflowers growing around the stream bank on this August day. Helleborine was about the only woodland wildflower we spotted. A spring hike should have quite a bit of color on the wooded sections of the trail with Gaywings, violets, Spring Beauties and Hepatica being just a few of the wildflower species you should find. A hike into the falls in autumn should be spectacular with the amount of maples on the trail. I wouldn’t expect too much color at the falls themselves as the prevalent tree species is Hemlock but there should be a little color mixed in.  No matter which season you go the falls are truly a magnificent sight, I doubt you’ll be disappointed!

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OK Slip Falls is a true gem in the Adirondacks! Let’s keep it that way.  Enjoy and leave only tracks!

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