Northern New York Waterfalls 

Harts Falls

Directions

From the corner by the Post Office on US 11 in downtown Canton, drive out Park Street past the St. Lawrence University campus.  Take a right at the first intersection outside of town which is CR 25.   After two major intersections, you will come to the Town Line Road on your right.  Take that right and drive to the end of this road.  Take a left onto the Pyrites-Russell Road and you will almost immediately see a mowed area on the right with a gate at the back.

County: St. Lawrence
Town: Russell
USGS Map: Canton
Waterway: Grass River
Latitude: N 44o 30' 09"
Longitude: W 75o 10' 08"
Drop: 13'
Type: Curtain Cascade
Region: South of Canton
Parking: Roadside       
Trail type: Dirt
Length of hike: 0.3 miles, one-way
Difficulty: Easy
Accessibility: Public
Name: Common

Canton Quadrangle

Waterfall videoHarts Falls got its name from the man who owned it many years ago.  Horace S. Hart ran some kind of a mill at this location.  There are still the remnants of the foundation of the structure there today.  Based on information provided by Tom Langen, President of the St. Lawrence Land Trust, Mr. Hart's mill and property were foreclosed upon in 1887.  He is the last Hart known to own the property although the plantiff foreclosing against him was Julius H. Hart.  No information has been found showing how, or if, they were related.  Horace Hart died in 1894.

For several decades, the land surrounding this waterfall has been owned by a retired teacher and her late husband.  In September 2015, she signed 33 acres of the area over to the St. Lawrence Land Trust which has designated the area as "forever wild".  Our kudos to Barbara Kelly for this significant environmental action.  The area is now open to the public but according to Mr. Langen there are some changes coming.

In collaboration with Grasse River Heritage, they will be improving "access and recreational and educational resources."  In addition, they are asking that motorized vehicles not be used.  Please park on the roadside by this mowed area.  As time and funding permit, a parking area will be built.

The gate is there to keep motorized vehicles out.  Pedestrian traffic can pass it and you will find a mowed path.  Follow this and it will take you to the falls.

The river-bed here is smooth rock which covers most of the width of the channel.  The waterfall slides through a narrow portion as it drops ten to twelve feet.  Although we visited in September, we were told that the waterflow was actually about what you would expect to see throughout most of the year.  An interesting feature here are a number of pot-holes which look like they could have been drilled in the rock, probably the result of thousands of years of erosion.  We have been told that this has been a popular swimming hole for years, but at this point, swimming is prohibited until they sort out the liability issues.  Fishing is allowed.

The Grass River flows into the St. Lawrence River in Massena, in St. Lawrence County.

Note:  Depending upon which map or sign you are using, this river is referred to as either Grasse or Grass.  Officially, it is Grass.

Last update:  June 19, 2017

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Harts Falls

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