Mud Season? Psshhh, Spring is Waterfall Season in the ADKs

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Mud Season? Psshhh, Spring is Waterfall Season in the ADKs

Spring in the Adirondacks is a beautiful time of year, but it didn’t earn the nickname “mud season” without reason. As rising temperatures soften the ground, and melting snow runs off the mountains, high elevation and densely populated trails can turn into natural Tough Mudder courses. While getting dirty can be a lot of fun, hiking these trails accelerates the pace of trail erosion and damages delicate alpine vegetation on summits. That said, these same spring conditions result in another, more beautiful phenomenon – waterfall season.

Due to the unique landscape of the Adirondacks, snowmelt from the top of peaks creates runoff which fuels existing waterfalls and creates new falls that you can only see for a few short weeks. Just imagine the engagement you’ll get on that Instagram pic after visiting a waterfall that’s only visible for two or three weeks! Spoiler alert – it will be huge and make all your followers jealous.

We’ve put together a list of awe inspiring waterfalls and roadside beauties to sate your adventure appetite while you wait to get back on the high-elevation trails. And you’re not only doing the environment a service – all of these incredible falls are truly ADK unique and ready to share! To help you make the most of this Instagram gold, I’m laying out the perfect rugged explorer, look-how-adventurous-I-am-without-saying-it images for you.


Heart of the Adirondacks: OK Slip Falls and Buttermilk Falls

OK Slip Falls Instagram Shot: Have a fellow hiker stand at the high overlook of the falls. Take your camera or phone and raise it up as high as possible to capture the entire waterfall and the hiker, mesmerized by its cascading beauty.

Buttermilk Falls Instagram Shot: Set up a picnic on the banks and crouch down low (or lie on your stomach, depending on how artsy you want to get) to get a low angle. Looking for the next level shot? Have a picnicker sit perfectly still and grab a long exposure photo – you know, the ones where the water looks like silk?


Lake Champlain Region: La Chute River

La Chute River Instagram Shot: Get artsy with this one! The viewing platform allows you to sit on the railing, lean against it, or show off your perfect Rose from Titanic form. Have a friend position the camera or phone at a low angle or mid height so you are the larger subject in the image. After all, the photo is about you, right?


Lake Placid: Roaring Brooke Falls

Roaring Brooke Falls Instagram Shot: Feature a hiker or children welcoming the falls. Crouch or kneel with your camera or phone for this one. Have the hiker or children face the falls, open their arms, and throw their heads back, welcoming the falls. Then, think of your wittiest comment. I prefer my water triple filtered.


Malone: Chateaugay Chasm Falls

Chateaugay Chasm Falls Instagram Shot: Don’t be afraid to use some props! Line your camera or phone up with a coffee mug, thermos, or water bottle to make it look as though the water from the falls is going directly into the cup.


Saranac Lake: Raquette Falls

Raquette Falls Instagram Shot: If ever there was an image that says, “I’m adventurous and in tune with nature,” it would most likely be taken here. Good news – you can come do that! Position your camera or phone so there is rock showing right next to the lens. Put your camera on a timer and go stand on the rocks in the distance, right by the flowing water, looking downriver. Inside tip: wear a bright color so you pop more in the photo!


Schroon Lake Region: Blue Ridge Falls

Blue Ridge Falls Instagram Shot: You are one with the woods and the water (insert zen sound here). Stand on the banks of the river while a hiker explores upriver, picking one of the higher rocks to stand on top of. Think of the saying “we are small compared to the world around us” with this image.


Tupper Lake: Bog River Falls

Bog River Falls Instagram Shot: This location boasts a bridge and setting that will give you all the feels and thrust you into living in the moment. Stand downriver, making sure you have the entire bridge in the frame. Have a model peer over the bridge’s side, or even a couple enjoying the view together. *Note: sitting or standing on the edge of a bridge is dangerous – please exercise extreme caution. A picture is only a picture after all.


Whiteface Region: High Falls Gorge

High Falls Gorge Instagram Shot: The “I live life to explore and step outside my comfort zone” image. Set your camera up on any of the suspended bridges, set your times, and take a photo of yourself standing on another suspended bridge with the massive waterfalls cascading right under you. The chasm you are in, with the jagged rocks and trees overhanging, speak to the adrenaline you seek.


We love mud season!

There you have it – nine waterfalls in the Adirondacks perfect for your Instagram feed. While these hikes are far from clean-guaranteed, you can rest assured that you are doing the environment a service while you get your adventure on. So get out your hiking boots, pack your day pack and camera, and start planning your spring Adirondack trip!

Pro tips:

  • If you come across mud, do the rock hop! Staying on dry rocks not only leads to a cleaner adventure for you, but it also saves the trails from erosion.
  • If there are no rocks, walk THROUGH the mud, not around it. Yes, you’ll get dirty, but at least you aren’t making the trail wider! Plus, you’ll look more rugged.
  • Gators (not the reptiles with many teeth). They aren’t cute, but they save your shoe laces and your pant bottoms from getting wet and muddy!