Northern New York Waterfalls 

Hanging Spear Falls


From I-87, exit 29, proceed west on the Blue Ridge Road (CR 84)  for about 17 miles. The turn for Tahawus (CR 25) will be on your right.  From the other direction, this is about 1.6 miles from the intersection of CR 2 with NY 28N.  Follow 25 north  and it will become a dirt road leading to the parking area for hikers.

County: Essex
Town: Newcomb
USGS Map: Mt Marcy
Waterway: Opalescent River
Latitude: N 44° 06' 06"
Longitude: W 73° 59' 27"
Drop: 75'
Type: NA
Region: Off CR 2 between Newcomb and North Hudson
Parking: Unpaved lot
Trail type: Dirt/rock
Length of hike: 6-7 miles, one way
Difficulty: Difficult
Accessibility: Public
Name: Official

Keene Quadrangle

There are two approaches to this waterfall, 6 or 7 miles depending on which trail one takes.  The shorter route takes the Calamity Brook Trail to Flowed Lands and then goes down to the falls from the outlet to Flowed Lands.  The longer approach is a flat walk for 6 miles, and then a climb to the falls.  There are several major unnamed falls above Hanging Spear Falls.  Access to the base of the falls is very steep and dangerous, although there are a few viewpoints from the trail.

According to Tony Goodwin, Executive Director of the Adirondack Trail Improvement Society, this waterfall was named in 1838 by the English writer Charles Fenno Hoffman who changed the name from "East River Falls".  He also renamed the "East River" the Opalescent River while naming Mt. Marcy "Tahawus" - all because these names would seem more romantic to his English readership.

The Opalescent River empties into the Hudson River just south of Tahawus, a former mining community.  The Hudson flows into the Atlantic Ocean in New York City.

Last update:  April 8, 2016

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Hanging Spear Falls Hanging Spear Falls
Hanging Spear Falls Hanging Spear Falls
Hanging Spear Falls

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