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Hiking High Falls Gorge in Heels

With so much to see and so much to do in the Adirondacks, fitting it all in to your schedule can be a little difficult. For spectacular payoff in just one-half an easily accessible mile, High Falls Gorge must be added to your itinerary.

I suppose you can say I'm a bit of a Romantic.

That is to say, I am a Romantic with a capital "R"; the 19th Century American writers who embraced the exciting potential for our new and exciting continent and inspired the exploration of the American wilderness for the sake of experience over profit. Me? I'm only a bit of a Romantic. I'm not really a camper, I'm a glamper (Troop Beverly Hills style) but I am crazy-go-nuts for incredible vistas and sharing that with someone else. In my book, there is nothing better. So when I have family or friends visit (and I have a lot of family) I always, without question or fail, bring them to High Falls Gorge.

Among Native Americans, the gorge was called "the Ancient Valley of the Foaming Water" and by 1890 High Falls Gorge was known as an incredible sightseeing destination. These days, High Falls Gorge is not just a place to take in the awesome power of the Ausable River, it is also a place to learn about how sights like this are formed and what you are actually looking at, from the falls, to the potholes (not the ones killing your car's suspension) to the trees and plantlife. The half-mile walk along the falls travels a series of steel bridges and staircases set into the actual cliffs, a feat of engineering that allows you to safely experience the rush from a remarkable perspective.

What Makes High Falls Gorge Different

When I mentioned I was going to High Falls Gorge today to a co-worker, he admitted he'd never been. "Never been?" Never been. His reason: you can see waterfalls all over the Adirondacks. Well, that's true. But you can't see them like this, from every angle, or flow with them. And you can't get to them quite as quickly as you can High Falls Gorge (don't want spend all day hiking? don't need to!). And chances are, you can't do it in heels anywhere else (though, if you're like me and prefer to go everywhere in heels you'll want to bear in mind that some portions are gravel and dirt roads).

Great for adults?

You bet. I've been four times and every time is spectacular. Next visit? Winter Snowshoeing at High Falls Gorge.

Great for children?

Last year I visited the Gorge with several of my cousins, the youngest being 2. She had a blast. So did her 8 year old brother.

Great for grandparents?

If you would enjoy a 30 minute walk and few flights of stairs, this is a great spot to spend time with the grandkids without being concerned you'll wear out before they do.

Sunset through a set of wide bay windows.