Northern New York Waterfalls 

Clifford Falls


North of Keene on NY 73, take a right on route 40 (Alstead Hill Road).  Look for Bartlett Road on the right and then Clifford Falls Road on the left.

County: Essex
Town: Keene
USGS Map: Lake Placid
Waterway: Clifford Brook
Latitude: N 44o 16' 36"
Longitude: W 73o 49' 25"
Drop: 10'
Type: Step
Region: Off US 73 between Lake Placid and Keene
Parking: Roadside
Trail type: NA
Length of hike: NA
Difficulty: Easy
Accessibility: Private
Name: Official

Keene Quadrangle

Waterfall videoAs you approach the bridge over the Clifford Falls, there is a parking area on your left.  There is no need to cross the bridge because the property surrounding this waterfall is private and there are signs posted to that effect.  You have nice views of the falls from the bridge, although the foliage has increased in the past couple of years which does impede your view somewhat.  The road on the other side of the bridge is a dead-end.

This is pretty location.  The brook is actually coming down from two directions.  Part of the rock is extruding to form an island of sorts.  Since this is private land and you can only view the area from the bridge we have to draw some assumptions.  As you view the area upstream, the brook comes down from the upper left over massive sheets of rock.  The brook flows down a natural waterslide on river right (your left) and through an "S" curve.  The water disappears behind a rock and the water level above it is obviously higher than the exit so we presume there is a plunge of some sorts there.   From the other side of the brook, there is slide and the two parts converge into a pool.  From there, there is another "S", question mark sort of route, which drops into another pool a very short distance from the bridge.  As you look down from the bridge on the upstream side, you see the water plunge over a small free-fall of five or six feet.  There is a ledge there that almost looks like there is a cave under it, at least an overhang.

The water disappears under the bridge and a few feet downstream there is another cascade of five or six feet into a pool before heading downstream.  We do have a shot from under the bridge that was submitted by a contributor.  There is a wooden ladder built into the side of the embankment on the lower side.  It would appear that the owners access the area of the lower falls from that.

The Clifford Brook enters the East Branch of the Ausable River 1.8 miles, as the crow flies, from this locations.  The east and west branches join forces downstream at Au Sable Forks to form the Ausable River.  This waterfall rich river empties into Lake Champlain in the town of Peru.

Last update:  May 21, 2016

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