Lampson Falls on the 4th of July

Emily and Cheryl on top of the falls

Lampson Falls

Difficulty: Extremely Easy!
Date of Summit: 7/4/2008
Trailhead to Falls: .44 miles
Trip Time: 45 min
Ascent: 100 ft
Temperature: 78 and sunny

It was the perfect day to enjoy the 4th of July with family. We were blessed to have Emily's mom, Cheryl Bennett, visiting us from Minneapolis! Knowing that Cheryl was a big fan of waterfalls, we figured that this would be the perfect excursion for the afternoon. Not bug, nor crowd, nor firework was anywhere near Lampson Falls, which is hidden just inside the blue line of the Adirondack Park boundary line. I can't believe it's taken this long to discover such a gem! The less than half-mile walk from one's parked car alongside Route 27 in Clare, NY is extremely easy-going for hikers of any age and skill level. Thanks to the trail blazers covering an old logging road with fine gravel, this hike is accessible for wheelchairs and bikes as well.

A felled tree with it's exposed root system (it grew on the rock!)

After about 10 minutes of hiking, we suddenly heard the muffled roar of the falls that were waiting for us around the next bend (I actually thought it was the engine of a plane or truck at first). Before revealing a final view of the falls, the well-groomed trail took us past a MASSIVE tree that has collapsed, exposing it's root system and demonstrating how it had somehow grown on top of the surface of a large boulder.

View overlooking Lampson Falls from end of accessible trail

The view at the end of the accessible trail was very nice, as it looked over the side of the falls, as they spilled into a small pond below. The proximity of a gradually steep dry rock face (which is the reason for the falls' formation) invited us to take a few steps off of the path and onto the side of the falls to get a closer look. Once we got out onto the rocky surface, we discovered that we actually were experiencing a somewhat mediocre view in comparison to other groups experiencing the falls. There were small clusters of people across and below the falls, both on the pond (in Hornbeck Boats (a cool 10' canoe/kayak hybrid made only in the Adirondacks!)) and across the water on the rock shelf. After spotting these other viewpoints, we quickly descended to the pond shoreline, via a more primitive trail (no gravel or logging road anymore).

Emily and me, at the campground near the base of the falls

Fishing in a Hornbeck Boat below the falls

The view from below the falls was well worth the short hike. It was the perfect picnic spot (if we had a basket), the perfect fishing spot (if we had a pole), and the perfect camping spot (if we had a tent). We had a our cameras, so this trip definitely served as a reconnaissance mission, so that we'll be prepared for our next visit - which will definitely be soon!

Emily and Cheryl up by the accessible trail's end, taken from below