High Falls on the Oswegatchie River


High Falls on the Oswegatchie River

Infobox Waterfall
name =



caption = High Falls on the Oswegatchie
location = Adirondack Park, New York, USA
type =
height = 15 feet (4.6 m)
height_longest =
number_drops =
average_flow =
world_rank =
elevation = 1,601' (488 m)

High Falls is a small but picturesque waterfall on the upper Oswegatchie River in the Five Ponds Wilderness. It is located in a remote part of Adirondack State Park in St. Lawrence County. The falls drops about 15 feet (4.6 m). [p. 140, McMartin, Barbara, et al, Discover the Northwestern Adirondacks, Backcountry Publications, Woodstock, Vermont, 1990, ISBN 0-942440-48-X.] Access is by canoe or by maintained hiking trails. The closest public road, near Wanakena, is almost six miles (circa 9 km) to the north. Trail access is by a short spur from the High Falls Loop Trail. The most direct canoe access is by way of the Oswegatchie River from the Oswegatchie River Inlet on Inlet Road. The waterfall has been designated a scenic special interest area in the New York State Land Master Plan. [p. 27, DEC, [http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/fiveponds.pdf Five Ponds Wilderness Area Unit Management Plan] , 1994 - accessed 29 April, 2008]

History

At the falls the Oswegatchie flows northwest over glaciated granite gneiss bedrock. [p. 156, O'Shea, Peter V., Northern Region: Guide to Adirondack Trails, vol. 2, The Adirondack Mountain Club, Inc., 1986, 1994, ISBN 0-935272-63-1.] They are surrounded by white pine forest, somewhat more open than one might expect in an area characterized as old growth forest. However windstorms in 1950 [p. 10, DEC, [http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/fiveponds.pdf Five Ponds Wilderness Area Unit Management Plan] , 1994 - accessed 29 April, 2008] and in 1995 [Lamb, Ruth, "One Year After the Big Blowdown," in: Adirondack Voices, Vol. 6, No. 1, Dec. 1996] devastated this part of the Five Ponds Wilderness. The region has been logged and remnants from that era may be found nearby. A logging railroad once ran between Wanakena and High Falls. [DEC, [http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/34719.html Five Ponds Wilderness webpage] - accessed 15 May, 2008] The Rich Lumber Company built the standard gauge railroad along the Oswegatchie River about 1902 and operated it until 1912. [p. 143, McMartin, Barbara, et al, op. cit.] [ [http://www.steaminthewoods.com/LoggingRRs/ny.htm New York Logging Railroad List] - accessed 15 May, 2008] [pp 9, 10, DEC, [http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/fiveponds.pdf Five Ponds Wilderness Area Unit Management Plan] , 1994 - accessed 15 May, 2008] That part of the Five Ponds Wilderness to the south of High Falls still has the largest area of virgin forest in the US Northeast however. It is also the largest trailless area in New York state. [p. 28, DEC, [http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/fiveponds.pdf Five Ponds Wilderness Area Unit Management Plan] , 1994 - accessed 29 April, 2008] [p. 137, O'Shea, Peter V., op. cit.]

There is no longer a bridge at High Falls, [p. 156, O'Shea, Peter V., op. cit.] and a canoe is required to gain access to the region further south. The portage around the waterfall itself is short. The former bridge was the crossing for the long-abandoned middle section of the Red Horse Trail. The original trail ran from Wanakena to the Beaver River, now the Stillwater Reservoir, ten miles (16 km) south of the falls. The Red Horse Trail was one of the oldest Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) hiking trails in Adirondack Park, dating back to the 1920s. [p. 9, Cooper, James W., [http://www.adk.org/trails/documents/ADKTrailsHistory.pdf ADK Trails Program History] , Aug. 1995, monograph - accessed 29 April, 2008] The five-and-a-half mile (9 km) section running north from Big Burnt Lake / Trout Pond is all that remains of that trail. The Red Horse Trail intersected the old Albany Road, known as the Old Military Road, a half-mile south of High Falls. [p. 142, McMartin, Barbara, et al, op. cit.] The Old Military Road was built between 1812-1815, following a much older Indian trail. [p. 7, DEC, [http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/fiveponds.pdf Five Ponds Wilderness Area Unit Management Plan] , 1994 - accessed 29 April, 2008]

Gallery

References

Maps

USGS 7.5' Newton Falls 1:24,000

External links

* [http://www.co.st-lawrence.ny.us St. Lawrence County webpage]
* [http://www.stillwaterreservoir.com Stillwater recreation forum]
*

See also

* List of New York rivers
* List of Wilderness Areas in the Adirondack Park


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