OK Slip Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Adirondack Park and provides a great pay-off at the end of a lovely 3-mile hike through rolling hills
OK Slip Falls
3 miles (6 miles round trip)
Indian Lake, Hamilton County
Central Adirondack Park between North Creek and Indian Lake
OK Slip Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Adirondack Park. It’s on the south side of the Hudson River, formed from the outlet of OK Slip Pond. This trail is on public Forest Preserve lands and was newly opened after the State of New York purchased this tract from The Nature Conservancy in 2015 as part of the 69,000-acre land deal with the former Finch, Pruyn and Company of Glens Falls. The trail to OK Slip Falls is part of the Hudson Gorge Wilderness Area. This is a popular and highly used trail.
The trail is in the Town of Indian Lake in Hamilton County and is accessed from a trailhead and parking area on Route 28 between North Creek and Indian Lake. The trail to OK Slip Falls also provides access to Big Bad Luck Pond, Whortleberry Pond, and Ross Pond. The parking area is on the south side of the road and the trailhead is a couple hundred yards west of there on the north side of the road. The 3-mile hike to OK Slip Falls is on an easy, well-worn, and well maintained trail that culminates in a spectacular overlook of the falls. The trail also extends to the Hudson River.
The trail begins on boardwalks through a patch of conifers before transitioning to a mixed forest of predominantly spruce, hemlock, beech, and sugar maple. The trail is wide, easy to follow, and well-marked. A few hundred yards in is a stand of conifers including some particularly massive white pines that hikers will not miss. About two-thirds of a mile in there’s a trail junction with the trail going north to Big Bad Luck Pond, Whortleberry Pond, and Ross Pond.
From there, the trail crosses a few streams and trends upward through a predominantly hardwood beech forest of rolling hills, eventually reaching a ridgeline topped with another larger conifer stand. In the early season before full leaf cover this offers a welcome break from the sun. These lands have been in the Forest Preserve for decades and the forests are mature with many large trees and a full canopy.
Upon exiting this hilltop, the forest changes drastically as the trail passes through areas that were recently logged. This part of the trail is marked by post-logging new-growth of hardwood forest of slim beech, birch, and maple that trend downhill into a valley. After a few more stream crossings, the trail intersects with a dirt road. This road leads to a private inholding around OK Slip Pond owned by the Northern Frontier children’s summer camp. Only camp staff can drive automobiles on this road. Hikers walk on this road for less than 100 yards before turning off onto the trail and soon crossing a foot bridge. The road is approximately two-thirds (2 miles) from the trailhead to the waterfall overlook.
The final stretch of hiking trail passes through northern hardwood forests. There are some wet areas. The approach to OK Slip Falls is on a switchback trail through large hemlocks and white pines that descends a steep ridge. There is a junction at the overlook that leads .75 miles further to the Hudson River. There is a well-worn and well defined viewing area of exposed bedrock and tree root benches that overlooks the waterfall. This is a popular place for a picnic, where hikers rest, and for picture taking. On weekends and summer days there are almost always people at this location.
The viewing area is safe, framed by large trees, but it’s on a cliffside. Worn paths lead to the edge of the cliff where the fearless have walked. There have been serious injuries to hikers who fell off this cliff so use caution and be smart. Overall, this is a popular and well-marked trail that is accessible to anyone who can walk the requisite 6-mile round trip. OK Slip Falls is beautiful and provides a stunning pay-off that compliments an enjoyable hike.
There are no campsites along the OK Slip Falls trail, but there are campsites in the area at Big Bad Luck Pond, Whortleberry Pond, and Ross Pond.
Click here to download a map and trail directions for OK Slips Falls.
Help Protect the Forest Preserve and Be Prepared When You Hike: Please follow “carry in, carry out” rules for all trash and other Leave No Trace principles when hiking in the public Forest Preserve and other wild areas. The seven Leave No Trace principles are: 1) Plan ahead and prepare; 2) Stay on hiking trails and camp at designated areas; 3) Dispose of human waste and trash properly; 4) Leave what you find; 5) Minimize campfires; 6) Respect wildlife; 7) Respect other hikers.
Educated hikers do not damage the environment. Prepared hikers do not need search and rescue unless injured.
Winter Use: The trail to OK Slip Falls is a fine trail for snowshoeing in the winter, and is a great trail for a beginner snowshoer. Some people use the trail for cross-country skiing, but it is not recommended. In the cold months of early spring and late fall, micro-spikes would be useful on the steep sections and open bedrock near the cliffside viewing area overlooking the waterfall.
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