Water Wonderland right outside the Adirondaks!
The Adirondacks covers more then six million acres of land and are home to high peaks, lakes, and much more! Last summer I took a solo trip to the ADK for my birthday and discovered a water wonderland right outside the region.
What is this water oasis you may ask.... Stone Valley Falls. Stone Valley is located right in the town of Colton, NY and provides an up close and personal experience with the Raquette River.
Where to Start: The trailhead in the following photo was taken at the parking area located at the end of Riverside Dr. The parking lot is pretty small and may fill up fast. If it does, take Main street over to the other side of the river for more spots. **right off the 56
(If you park on the other side, you can choose to take the trailhead over there... but be warned I didn't explore that way)
When you start the trail, keep an eye out for the first little turn off. It comes up quick and trust me you aren't going to want to miss the view of Colton Falls.
*** It's marked by a small sign on the tree and a narrow dirt path
Right off the bat you are greeted with roaring whitecaps and a waterfall that stretches the whole width of the river.
Around this area and down a bit you can find cool pockets/pools of water carved in the rock. I saw a ton of people chilling in the water, so be sure to bring a towel if you plan on taking a dip.
Although this is a great spot to take in the views, don't spend to much time as there's plenty to be explored. Head back to the main trail and continue to make your way towards the Narrows.
The trail itself is well maintained and runs alongside the riverbead for most of it. When it comes to difficulty level, it's pretty easy with a couple sections of rise and declines.
Trail is marked by Blue Diamond Markers **
About a mile into the hike you should start to hear the water get louder. This means you are getting closer to the Narrows .... you'll know when your there!
If the water isn't to high, climb down and find a nice rock to take a break and eat some snacks. I was super lucky and even saw some kayakers riding over the rapids while eating lunch.
To this point of the hike, it's about 1.8 miles.
I thought this section was the end of the trail, until I saw a map on one of the trees nearby. It showed a bridge further down. What I found out later was the bridge that looked so close on the map wasn't indeed that close at all.
I walked for about another 2 miles after the Narrows before calling it quits and heading back. Mainly due to the fact I was almost out of water and hadn't seen another person for a mile or so.
If you want to hike the full trail, its about an 8 mile all the way round. This includes making your way from the Dam to Browns Bridge, crossing it and taking the trail on the other side of the river all the way back up.
To Note: There are many Trailheads you can actually take to start this hike. Two are located Near Main Street, one on each side of the Dam. Another one can be found on the 24 right near Browns Bridge and the last couple are located on Lenny Road.