A short rewarding pincer-shaped hike.
This short, picturesque hike to Roaring Brook Falls includes fun dipping pools and great views of the Adirondack High Peaks.
I arrived at the trailhead in Keene, NY, before 9:30am in June — and still got a spot. But this was right before the summer hiking season really kicked off.
In July/August/September/October, for this very popular hiking destination, you’ll have to pull in much earlier.
Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead & Parking
The parking lot here can fit maybe a dozen cars, but it is one of the most popular destinations in the Adirondack Park. Bear in mind: the parking situation along Route 73 is under new restrictions, with most of the pull-off spots now blocked to cars.
There is a public toilet at this trailhead.
From the trailhead signpost, you can see the lower falls is only 0.3 mile away.
Even for a short, easy hike like this, make sure to sign the trail register.
From here, the rest of this hike is so lovely.
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Roaring Brook Falls Lower
Less than 500 feet after the trail register, you’ll come to this junction. The trail to the left heads up to Giant Mountain — but also, on the way, to the top of falls. To reach the base of the falls, follow the signpost and follow the level trail on the right.
The trail is very easy…
In just a few minutes you’ll begin to approach the base of the falls. If it has rained recently, you’ll start to hear the waterfall.
You’ll pass a dipping pool on the right. Step down and around it, and you’ll see this giant boulder which points the way to the falls.
From here, I crossed over the stream bed. It was a little tricky here. If you decide to approach the base of the falls, be very careful and turn back if you don’t feel 100% confident.
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While I was there, two girls had made their way up to the base of the waterfall. I was fine to stay down below.
Roaring Brook Falls is a massive cleft in the rock face above. It’s really something…
See if you can spot the lion’s face…
Like many stream-fed waterfalls, the amount of water pouring over the top is highly dependent on rainfall and/or snowmelt. These falls must be a lot of fun when they’re really going. But even on this day, they were pretty great to cool off under for a few minutes.
When you’re ready, head back to the first junction. Head uphill. Follow the red blazes.
Roaring Brook Falls Upper
The trail winds left, then curves around to the right, avoiding the steepest route. After 15 minutes or so, you’ll reach the second junction.
From here, you could follow the red blazes left/uphill toward Giant Mountain / Nubble / Wash Bowl.
To reach the top of the falls, however, turn right and head into the woods, following the sign that says TOP OF FALLS.
I don’t remember any blazes here. There were several herd paths into the woods on the right. I found the stream bed and carefully picked my way toward the edge of the upper falls.
The view kept opening up and getting better.
I made my way to the very edge of the falls…
The view across the valley is fantastic: Noonmark, Sawteeth, Gothics, and the Wolfjaws.
From here, the hike back down to Route 73 will take you only 20 mins or so.
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This hike is easy enough and short enough, and wonderful enough, that it qualifies as a Nature Walk. The lower section is super-easy. The upper falls requires more care.
The parent mountain for this hike is Giant Mountain.
If you do this hike, let me know how it went in the comments below. Your feedback makes this site better.
Trailhead Info for this Hike
Small and exceptionally popular. Nabbing a spot here in peak hiking season is a minor miracle.
Google Maps Location: 44.150263, -73.767541
The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead
No service at trailhead or lower falls. You may be able to get a signal from the upper falls. But you should count on having no cell service for this hike. My network is Verizon. YMMV.