Northern New York Waterfalls 

Rainbow Falls

Directions

The north end of the Tooley Pond Road is less than 1000' from the junction of CR 17 and CR 27 in the hamlet of Degrasse.  Proceed northeast on CR 27 and take a right. You will reach Rainbow Falls in 6.1 miles.

County: St. Lawrence
Town: Clare
USGS Map: Tooley Pond
Waterway: Grass River South Branch
Latitude: N 44° 18' 24"
Longitude: W 74° 59' 57"
Drop: 35'
Type: Flume
Region: South of Canton
Parking: Roadside
Trail type: Dirt
Length of hike: 1/4 mile
Difficulty: Easy
Accessibility: Public
Name: Official

Tooley Pond Quadrangle

Rainbow Falls is one of eight well-known waterfalls on the South Branch of the Grasse River which are fairly easy to access from the Tooley Pond Road.  This road, which has significant lengths that are unpaved, connects CR 27 in the hamlet of Degrasse to NY 3 near Cranberry Lake.  Like many of the falls on this road, it is on DEC maintained state land, accessible to the public.  It is also possible to reach this location from the Route 3 end but our information details access from the north.

When you reach this point, there is a clearing marked with boulders so that motorized vehicles won't go on the road.  A moderate 5 minute walk down a fairly well maintained path brings you to a foot bridge.

The river goes around an island at this point and you will encounter some rapids on the front side of the island beneath a footbridge.  There is actually a small waterfall just downstream from this point that you can easily find.  The falls on this side is actually larger than some other falls, at least during spring run-off.  Cross the bridge and continue walking on the path until you see the falls.

Rainbow is actually the second most popular waterfall name in northern New York.  This one, one of two in St. Lawrence County, is also known as Large Marge to the whitewater community.

The falls drop into a narrow but fairly deep gorge.  I almost felt like I was at Niagara in the Maid of the Mist because of the spray, just on a smaller scale.  When we were there in early November, even though temps were well above freezing, ice was forming on the edges of the rocks.  If you are there during spring run-off, there is so much power to the water coming through that you are going to get wet standing on the edge of the gorge.

These falls got their name because rainbows form in the mist on sunny days.

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:  September 21, 2015

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