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Auger Falls

 

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Auger Falls is really a serious of impressive rapids along the Sacandaga River channeled through a narrow flume as the river travels into a gorge.  It's not a normal drop waterfall that we are used to seeing, however it is still worth exploring. The toughest part is finding first the parking area along NY 8/30 and then the main trail to the falls. 

There are two trails to Auger Falls (both are called the Auger Falls Trail), one from a side road off NY 8.  This trail travels along the river bank past the falls and further upstream.  This trail is sometimes regarded as the Auger Falls Trail Eastside.  The other trail is a marked trail up to the falls and then if one followed the unmarked but well worn path upstream, the hike can be a loop hike.  This trail is sometimes called the Auger Falls Loop Trail or Auger Falls Trail Westside. The main parking area is marked off NY 8/30 with a DEC sign. 

Here's information on both trails:

Auger Falls Trail Eastside (Trail 1 on map at bottom of page)

From NY 8 walk 0.5 mi along the one lane dirt road (Teachout Rd.) and cross the bridge over Griffin Gorge. Pause on the bridge to enjoy the beautiful view.  Just past the bridge turn left, this one lane dirt road is Auger Falls Way.  Please be respectful of privately owned lands along both Teachout Rd. and Auger Falls Way, much of which is marked with yellow paint on trees. 

After 0.5 miles you will pass a privately owned camp on the left and see a barrier at the end of the road.  Pass through the barrier and follow the red snowmobile markers. The old road quickly becomes a grassy lane through the forest.  After over a mile of hiking, an unmarked side trail on the left leads to the river above Auger Falls.  You will know you are near the falls when you hear it on your left.  Several herd paths lead to numerous views of the falls, however you should be very careful in this area. 

The trail does continue upstream and crosses Macomber Creek on a snowmobile bridge at 1.5 miles.  Just past the bridge is a nice big boulder next to the river that is perfect to relax and have lunch on. The trail continues on to International Paper Company land.  If you walk through the woods in the area where the old town of Griffin once stood, be cautious because abandoned, open wells can still be found.

Directions:  From the junction of NY 30, drive northeast on NY 8 for 2.6 miles. To make the trip more enjoyable and safer, parking on the widened, paved shoulder on the right side of NY 8 directly across from Teachout Rd is a good idea. At times there are up to fifteen cars trying to park on the sides of the one lane dirt roads, which makes it difficult to get past or turn around. Backing out of these windy, muddy roads can be dangerous.  After parking, walk down the dirt road (Teachout Rd) toward the abandoned old town of Griffin. The GPS coordinates for the dirt road is N43 28.253 W74 13.479 for those with a GPS devise for their vehicle.

Auger Falls Loop or Auger Falls Trail Westside (Trail 40 on map at bottom of page)

When we did this hike on a beautiful summer Sunday, we were the only ones in the large parking lot off NY 30 (although a few cars were there when we finished our hike).  We believe its because the parking area is unmarked, so most visitors just drive by.  There are even a few marked (with DEC disc) primitive camping spots in the parking area further on down.  This is a huge parking area!

From the parking area, walk back toward NY 30 and turn left on rough dirt road prior to reaching NY 30.  This is the former dirt road to the trailhead that we suggest you don't drive on.  At 0.2 miles reach a small parking area and you should see the well worn trail entering the forest on your left.  There are yellow DEC trail discs to follow also.

At 0.4 miles pass by the tree with arms.  A definite picture opportunity at this unique tree.  Soon pass by a huge log on your right and if you look up the huge log you'll see a tree growing on top of a boulder.  Suddenly the noise from NY 30 disappears as the sound of gushing water takes over.

Soon the well worn trail spreads out into numerous side trails that all lead to the edge of the top of the gorge.  Take extra care in this area as one slip or wrong step could lead to a serious injury if not death.  The falls can be easily seen without taking any risks.  The whole area is covered in "No Camping" signs.  A few more yellow discs lead you upstream, but the trail quickly becomes unmarked.

You can either turn around and walk back to the parking area, or follow the well worn trail (sometimes multiple trails) along the river to continue the loop.  The trail looks to be an unofficial trail as you'll be climbing over and under some huge blow downs.  Sometimes a new trail goes around a blow down.  As long as you stay close to the river bank you'll be ok.  Watch the video to see some of the huge logs.

Eventually a trail (actually a couple of trails) will lead you back to the large parking area.  You'll really see how huge this parking area was as you walk down an area you didn't see when you first parked (if you parked closer to NY 30).  Believe me this is the same parking area.  I even noticed a "Camp Here" DEC disc among all the No camping signs in the parking area.  Didn't look like anyone had camped there before.

The whole loop is a 1.2 mile hike with a limited elevation gain.  Look below for pictures, a video and a couple of maps of the Auger Falls area.

Directions:  From the NY 8/NY 30 junction drive 1.7 miles north to an unmarked dirt road on the right that leads to a very large parking area.  The GPS coordinates are N43 28.172 W74 15.120 for those who have a GPS devise for their vehicle.

 

http://cnyhiking.com/HPIM5913.JPG

Well worn trail to Auger Falls

http://cnyhiking.com/HPIM5917.JPG

Auger Falls

http://cnyhiking.com/HPIM5928.JPG

Sacandaga River

 

 

NOTE: Trail #1 is Auger Falls Eastside Trail, Trail #40 is Auger Falls Westside Trail

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