Northern New York Waterfalls 

Butter Tub Falls


From NY 3, a few miles west of the village of Star Lake, proceed down the Browns Falls Road.  About 1.2 miles from the intersection, you will come to a bridge.  Park on the right just before the bridge.

County: St. Lawrence
Town: Clifton
USGS Map: Oswegatchie
Waterway: Oswegatchie River
Latitude: 44° 12' 52"
Longitude: 75° 02' 34"
Drop: 20'
Type: Slide
Region: Star Lake area
Parking: Roadside
Trail type: Dirt
Length of hike: 3/4 mile, one-way
Difficulty: Easy
Accessibility: Public
Name: Common

Clifton Quadrangle

We have recently found out that this area is now posted, we assume by Erie Boulevard Hydropower, a division of Brookfield Power.  They operate the hydro-electric facility there.  We have been told by some people that they have contacted them and gotten permission to access the area.

Take the trail to the right of the bridge upstream.  You will come to the remains of an old mill of some type.  Browns Falls is located in this area.  Upstream another few hundred yards, you will find Butter Tub Falls, which may be one of the best kept secrets in the Adirondacks.  Although a bit of a hike, it is a beautiful location and really isn't that far off the beaten path.  Butter Tub Falls gets its name from several holes that resemble butter tubs that have been worn in the rocks over the centuries.

When you first approach the falls, you will be high above the water level.  Continue walking along the ridge and you will eventually find a path to the base of the ravine.  The falls itself are actually comprised of three parts.  The top section is a nice waterfall sending water down to a second section that looks somewhat like a natural waterslide.  From the looks of the smoothness of the rock in the middle of this center section, at one point it was probably all covered with water.  Keep in mind that the oswegatchie River at this point is only a portion of its potential because a penstock diverts most of the water around these falls.  Today, the rocks in the center of the river are exposed.  There is a smaller waterfall on the south side of the channel.  At the bottom is another falls, completing the experience.

The Oswegatchie River flows into the St. Lawrence River in Ogdensburg, New York.

Last update:  October 28, 2017

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