High Falls Gorge

Clear water. Crunchy leaves. Colorful foliage. These words aptly describe the scenic High Falls Gorge, a privately owned nature park. The gorge features stunning views of waterfalls that you can ogle from a safe distance on steel bridges, groomed walkways, and fenced trails.

There are four waterfalls at High Falls Gorge, to be precise, and take on distinctive personalities depending on the season. The water here gushes with so much force that sometimes an occasional tree limb shoots over the misty falls. Use this handy guide to learn more about the wonderful High Falls Gorge!

The History and Geology

High Falls Gorge, like much of the Adirondack region, is formed by heavy glacial activity over a period of millions of years. The mountainous regions continued to rise every two to three millimeters, giving High Falls Gorge its current shape. Straight valleys with rivers and lakes crossed the region northeast to southwest. The valleys feature glacial striations that may have formed along faults.

High Falls Gorge gained water from receding glaciers that melted to release massive volumes of water. The abundant supply of freshwater gradually replaced saltwater, creating the lakes and gorges we see today.

High Falls Gorge was eventually acquired by ROANKA Attractions Corp. The private establishment created groomed pathways, glass floor walkways, and sturdy bridges to make the waterfalls accessible to people of all ages.

It even features wheelchair-accessible paths so that wheelchair-bound guests can witness the waterfalls. The attraction also has a gift shop that provides souvenirs to make the trip even more memorable for guests.

Discover Wildlife

Fishing near High Falls Gorge

Fishing is a popular activity here with plenty of freshwater fish thriving in the gorge and riverbank. However, fishing enthusiasts are less likely to find rare game animals. The river is likely to contain trout and salmon.

The best time to fish in the gorge is Autumn. During these months, the cold water fishing heats up again and the foliage turns a shade of orange, red, and yellow. Most anglers focus on catching trout as the water gets colder, but there may be plenty of other species available.

Serious anglers are advised to look for more dedicated fishing spots. The surrounding Adirondack region boasts over 3000 lakes and ponds spread out over 1,500 miles of rivers. We recommend exploring  

Individuals over the age of 16 are required to have a fishing license – you should confirm this with the staff managing High Falls Gorge. It is easy to obtain a fishing license by visiting the official state website. You should also check in with the staff to see if they allow fishing when you visit them.


Boreal Chickadee, Bicknell’s Thrush, and Black-backed woodpeckers are quite common in High Falls Gorge, especially because of the abundant supply of freshwater for them to hunt prey. Birding enthusiasts can catch a glimpse of over 100 species including birds of prey, perching birds, waterfowl, and boreal birds.

The best month to visit High Falls Gorge for birding is June. The Green Heron may also be spotted in small numbers. They are known for dropping bait on the surface of the water to attract fish. The largest birds that are able to fly around in this region are ospreys.

Wild Animals

High Falls Gorge is a privately owned land, so it is unlikely that you will encounter any dangerous predators such as Black Bears and snakes. However, the surrounding region is teeming with wildlife including black bears, foxes, bobcats, and other small mammals. You may occasionally spot big cats such as cougars taking stock of their prey.

Visitors have also reported sightings of gray and red foxes with their brilliant coats and distinguished markings on their faces. Foxes are usually hidden inside the foliage and are hard to see. Their diet consists of birds, reptiles, apples, and small mammals.

It is important to not feed the animals, no matter how cute they may look. And remember, if you can spot juvenile animals of any kind, their much larger parents are bound to be close by! So keep your distance and use a pair of binoculars to observe nature from afar.

Popular Activities

High Falls Gorge offers breathtaking views, a gorgeous landscape, and multiple activities to take part in. By visiting the lake, you and your family can go into the water and take part in activities like boating, kayaking, and swimming.

Other things you can do in this privately owned nature park are hiking, camping, boating, or just gazing at the cascading waterfalls.

There are plenty of trails located throughout the 22-acre nature park. Since the park is privately owned, it receives no staff or federal funding to preserve the natural area or to maintain the walkways and paths. This allows you to view the path at your discretion – but you still have to follow rules as outlined by the staff.

How to Get There

Getting to High Falls Gorge is easy because the nature park features many groomed walkways and steel bridges. It is perfect for senior citizens and wheelchair-bound individuals who may not be able to physically make their way to public parks that don’t feature such amenities.

Visitors can start by visiting the kiosk style entrance and pay a small fee to use the park’s facilities. The entrance also features shops and restrooms to use. Visitors will come across a wide wooden bridge that crosses the Ausable River and come across the attractive forested area. The park comes alive in the Fall months with bright Autumnal foliage.

Once you get into the forest, follow the walkway you come across a metal bridge that splits into two. The trail takes you to the gorge, giving you breathtaking sights and views of nature. You will eventually come across a bridge that takes you through the mesmerizing waterfalls.

Wrapping Up

High Falls Gorge is an easy and beautiful nature park to access and photograph. The scenic waterfall is quite scenic and has a network of trails. You can spend several days just exploiting the gorge and making the most out of your vacation. However, we don’t recommend visiting High Falls Gorge if your sole purpose is to fish, birding, or observe wildlife.

But if you want a safe way of viewing the stunning waterfalls, High Falls Gorge should be on your list.

The McClain Family

We hope we helped. Please let us know of any place that you want to know about in NYS or if we did a poor job with any part of this. Our goal is to help as many people as possible.

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