Adirondack Park, NY: High Falls Loop
Score Lakeside camping at its best on this 19.2-mile, multi-day loop in the Adirondacks.
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Backpacker Map Contributor Lisa Densmore says you’ll want to spend at least four days on the leisurely, 19.2-mile High Falls Loop, a route packed with stay-awhile features. From the Wanakena trailhead, follow the Wanakena Primitive Corridor 3.7 miles to camp along the Oswegatchie River at High Rock. The short day allows late starts, swimming, or picking trailside blueberries (August).
Next day, continue southeast on the High Falls Trail, past beaver ponds and an old-growth white pine forest. Hit 20-foot High Falls on your way to Jannock’s Landing at mile 12.7. Settle in at this sandy beachfront lean-to (first come, first serve) on Cranberry Lake.
Day three, pack for a daytrip and retrace your route .9 mile to the Cat Mountain Trail, leading 1.1 miles (gaining 500 feet) to an open ledge with views of endless wild forest. Sleep at Jannock’s Landing again before following the Dead Creek Flow Trail three miles back to Wanakena.
Contact: Adirondack Mountain Club; adk.org
-Info provided by Lisa Densmore
- Distance: 30.8
Location: 44.131797, -74.921811
Park here, and it’s .1 mile (east, then a sharp turn to head south) to the trailhead to begin your loop.
Location: 44.130909, -74.922638
From the Wanakena trailhead, follow the Wanakena Primitive Corridor south.
Location: 44.121483, -74.925857
Continue as the trail meanders south, skirting the edge of a Dead Creek Flow tributary. From here, it’s 2.8 miles to camp along the Oswegatchie River at High Rock.
Location: 44.096235, -74.96362
Take the spur trail southwest to High Rock. Bonus: in August, watch for trailside blueberries.
Location: 44.095087, -74.965227
Set up camp at High Rock. The short day allows for late starts, or swimming in the nearby Oswegatchie River.
Location: 44.095075, -74.96139
Next day, continue southeast on the High Falls Trail, past beaver ponds and an old-growth white pine forest.
Location: 44.075728, -74.930289
Ariive at the trail Junction to Little Shallow Pond. Continue east for an elevation-steady 1.1 miles.
Location: 44.074692, -74.911274
Hang a right to head south on this .4 mile spur trail to High Falls.
Location: 44.069134, -74.910176
Hit 20-foot High Falls at the end of the spur trail, then retrace your steps to join back up with the loop.
Location: 44.110046, -74.891315
Dead Creek Trail leads you to the .2-mile spur trail toward Jannock’s Landing.
Location: 44.112164, -74.891557
Settle in at this sandy beachfront lean-to at Jannock’s Landing (first come, first serve) on Cranberry Lake. Day three, pack for a daytrip and retrace your route .9 mile to the Cat Mountain Trail.
Location: 44.099973, -74.886568
Dead Creek Trail arrives at a junction with Cat Mountain Trail. Take a right to follow Cat Mountain Trail for camping options, or for views of endless wild forest from an open ledge.
Location: 44.099338, -74.882653
A waterfront campsite next to Gatsby pond makes a great lunch spot.
Location: 44.100663, -74.876444
Cat Mountain Trail intersects with Cowhorn Junction Trail here. Follow the latter further east for even more places to pitch a tent and the open ledge dayhike view.
Location: 44.100463, -74.864972
Arrive at a summit tower site and catch views of Can Mountain Pond to the south.
Location: 44.100036, -74.864386
Hit the highest spot to spend the night: at 2250 feet, reach another campsite. Retrace your steps to HFL010 and rejoin the Dead Creek Trail. Sleep at Jannock’s Landing once more before heading the three miles back to the trailhead.
Location: 44.133278, -74.915042
After 3 miles, arrive back at the Dead Creek Flow Trailhead to close the loop.