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OK Slip Falls

OK Slip Falls

The Adirondack Park, located in Northern New York, offers an expansive network of boreal forests, fresh waterways, and humble mountains. In 1894, the Adirondack Forest Preserve was established and recognized as a constitutionally protected Forever Wild area. With just under half of the land owned by New York State and the other portion owned privately, the resulting landscape is a mixture of small and rustic towns, large swaths of wilderness, and networks of trails to explore all parts of the region.

OK Slip Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in the Adirondacks, was inaccessible for public exploration until the state bought the land from the Adirondack Nature Conservancy in 2013. The 161,000-acre parcel of land purchased by the conservancy was previously owned by Finch, Pruyn & Company and, as such, was off limits to the general public for more than a century, creating an intrigue surrounding the OK Slip Falls.  New York State purchased a part of the large parcel - the 2,800-acre OK Slip Falls Tract - located in the recently established Hudson Gorge Wilderness. The state opened an official trail to the falls in July 2014, leading from a parking area along NY 28 to the falls and resulting in a 6.4-mile round trip hike.  

After hearing so many good things about the falls, Evan and I decided to check out the trail for ourselves. On a cool and overcast day we layered up headed out from the parking area, about 0.2 miles down the road from the trailhead, and about 7.5 miles east of Indian Lake village. From the trailhead, we followed an older trail en route for Ross, Whortleberry, and Big Bad Luck ponds. After about 0.6 miles and off of the existing trail toward the ponds, a new and marked trail splits off to the right. The path is smooth and gently undulating with only a few slightly steep areas.  

OK Slip Falls is reached about 2.4 miles after the split. The trail ends with a couple scenic overlooks that offer great views of the waterfall that drops over 200 feet into a gorge. An additional short, but strenuous, trail branches off from the OK Slip Falls trail and leads hikers over OK Slip Brook into the Hudson Gorge. Overall, the hike was a nice and easy jaunt that resulted in excellent views of the waterfall and the surrounding forest.

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