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Hiking in Adirondack Park
Grass River Wild Forest
Located along Tooley Pond Road in the Grass River Wild Forest of the northwestern region of Adirondack Park is the Rainbow Falls Trail. This 0.3 mile hike has a minimal elevation lgain/loss and can be enjoyed by everyone. This is a walk to a beautiful 25 foot waterfall with steep cliffs into a gorge with a raging river. Watch your step!
There is no hanging DEC sign along the road to assist hikers in finding the trail and can be easily driven by. There is plenty of shoulder parking along the side of the right side of the road (for those driving from NY 3/Cranberry Lake). The GPS coordinates of the start of the trail are N44 18.440 W74 59.651 for those who have a GPS devise in their vehicle. The trail is 10.8 miles along Tooley Pond Road from NY 3 and Cranberry Lake or about five miles from Tooley Pond.
About 0.2 miles before reaching the Rainbow Falls Trail is a small parking area on the left and an unmarked trail that leads just over 500 feet to the Grass River. This is a canoe carry trail and there are no rapids or waterfalls, but it is a nice walk to a scenic spot on the river. The GPS coordinates for the parking area for the canoe carry on Tooley Pond Road is N44 18.259 W74 59.642 for those who have a GPS devise in their vehicle.
Grass River from the canoe carry trail
The start of the Rainbow Falls Trail is marked with a small white paper sign that says "Rainbow Falls". There are some big boulders that have been placed at the start of the trail to block motor vehicles. The trail is an old tote road through the clearing and becomes a well worn footpath as you travel into a dense woods. The trail crosses a deep crevice on a good footbridge.
You are now on a small island and should hear the roaring rapids and waterfall. There are numerous herd paths on the island. The main trail ends at the edge of the impressive gorge that the Grass River crashes into, twenty feet straight down below. The best view of the waterfall is from a ledge about 75 feet downstream from the falls on the island. There is spray from the waterfall, making much of the area very wet and slippery. Watch your step, as this a dangerous area.
To return, simply cross the crevice from the island on the footbridge and retrace your steps back to Tooley Pond Road. Look below for a few pictures, a video and a trail map of this popular hike.
Trail heading from the road past the boulders
Footbridge over deep crevice
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