Great Falls Loop

  • Ausable Road, Lake Placid

Hike Features


This trip offers some of the most spectacular sights of the Adirondacks. You hike it alone or it can be part of a "must-not-miss" side trip to nearby Gothics and Upper & Lower Wolf Jaw.


This hike is accessed through a conservation easement with the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR). A parking reservation is needed from May 1 - October 31. Although it is called a “parking reservation,” everyone will need a reservation to access hikes leaving from AMR, whether you drove yourself, rode a bike, got dropped-off, or walked. These reservations can be made online via the AMR website. For more information, please read these FAQs or contact the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Getting there

This is part of the St Huberts parking area/trailhead. The parking area is 7.5 Miles west on Route 73 from exit 30 on I-87 or 3 miles south of Keene Valley a the southern end of Ausable Road. From the parking area, follow the dirt road that turns to pavement next to a golf course. At 0.5 mi. from the parking area, turn left and down between two tennis courts on Lake Road Way to the gate house and register at 0.6 mi. from the parking area. Go right at the Gate house, cross the Ausable River, and turn left on the West River Trail.


This hike full of waterfalls includes two great falls, the impressive Beaver Meadows and the grand Rainbow Falls, which is fifteen stories of waterfall which cascades into a deep, short, gorge. There's also other, smaller, falls. However, there is no set of trails marked as the "Great Falls Loop", so you have to follow the directions closely.

This entire hike is on the private property of the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) where dogs are absolutely prohibited in this game preserve.

This trail leads past Beaver Meadow Falls and at 3.7 miles from the gate house comes to a trail that leads right to Rainbow Falls. One can return by recrossing the Ausable River below the dam and walking the Lake Road or go over Indian Head and down along Gill Brook with its many waterfalls.

By the numbers

  • Elevation: 1500’
  • Distance: The length of 9.4 miles RT makes this a moderate hike.