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The gorgeous and awe inspiring OK Slip Falls is certain to become a premier hiking destination, not just in Hamilton County but throughout the Adirondacks. It is a definite must-see. (Photo/Pete Klein)

Don't get confused or disappointed when stumbling onto a fairly wide and well-groomed gravel road on a hike to OK Slip Falls. It is part of an inholding owned by Northern Frontier Camp. Upon reaching the road, turn left and walk about 25 yards or so to pick up the trail to the falls. It is less than half a mile from the road to the falls. (Photo/Pete Klein)

The trailhead sign points the way to OK Slip Falls. (Photo/Pete Klein)

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Pete checks out OK Slip Falls

Sunday, August 03, 2014 - Updated: 1:13 PM

PETE KLEIN

Express News Staff

INDIAN LAKE -- The hiking trail to OK Slip Falls was officially opened when New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens led a group of hikers there 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 on the south side of State Route 28, approximately 7.5 miles east of downtown Indian Lake. The trailhead 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 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 half a mile up the trail you will see a sign with a blue trail marker on it, pointing to the 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. It 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 the State of New York purchased from The Nature Conservancy in 2013.

A MODERATE HIKE

This is a hike with no big ups or downs, but many ups and downs. Because of the distance traveled and with all the ups and downs, I would rate it as moderate.

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 one's 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 inholding owned by Northern Frontier Camp and leads to OK Slip Pond, part of the camp and the source of OK Slip Falls.

Reaching the road, turn left and walk about 25 yards or so to pick up the trail to the falls. The falls is less than a half a mile from the road.

It won't be long before you start hearing falling water. Every step brings you closer, and before you know it you are at the first of two very good outlooks.

It is gorgeous and awe inspiring.

GO ON A CLEAR DAY

If at all possible plan your hike for a clear day when sunlight on the falls creates a beautiful rainbow at about mid-point.

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 awhile, relax, implant the beauty into your mind and have the lunch or snacks I am sure you were smart enough to bring with you.

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.

3.5 TO 5 HOURS

So how long should you plan for the in and out hike? It depends on your physical condition and whether or not you are trying to make time. Plan on three-and-a-half to five hours. This includes the almost half-mile round-trip to and from the parking area.

A note on the parking area; it 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.

peteklein@hamiltoncountyexpress.com

     

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