Roaring Brook Falls

A very short and very fun hike to one of the most popular Adirondack waterfall destinations.

Hike Length: 1.6 miles (2.57 km)

Total Ascent: 625ft (191m)

Intensity: Easy Adirondacks Hike

Route Type: Out-and-Back

Includes: Blazed Trail, Easy Bushwhack, Rock Scrambles, Stream Crossing

Parent Giant Mountain

Similar Entries In: Adirondacks, Nature Trails, The Best Hikes, The Easy Hikes, The Most Popular Hikes, , , , , .

roaring brook falls seen from below

Roaring Brook Falls

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 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.

signposts in woods
Trailhead signs

Even for a short, easy hike like this, make sure to sign the trail register.

brown metal trail register in woods
Trail register

From here, the rest of this hike is so lovely.

Get ready for the cold / hike safe

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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.

roaring brook falls trail junction
Junction

The trail is very easy…

woods trail
Trail to lower falls

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.

woods trail with some boulders
Trail to lower falls

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.

rocky cliff and talus
Near the base of 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…

roaring brook falls seen from below
Roaring Brook Falls

See if you can spot the lion’s face…

Roaring Brook Falls seen from below
Roaring Brook Falls

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.

Video snippet…

When you’re ready, head back to the first junction. Head uphill. Follow the red blazes.

roaring brook falls trail junction
Junction Signpost

 

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.

roaring brook falls upper junction trail sign
Junction to Upper Roaring Brook 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.

stream leading to top of falls
Roaring Brook Falls, upper

The view kept opening up and getting better.

stream leading to top of falls
Roaring Brook Falls, upper

I made my way to the very edge of the falls…

top of Roaring Brook Falls
Roaring Brook Falls, top of falls

top of Roaring Brook Falls
Top of falls

The view across the valley is fantastic: Noonmark, Sawteeth, Gothics, and the Wolfjaws.

top of Roaring Brook Falls
Top of falls

Video snippet…

From here, the hike back down to Route 73 will take you only 20 mins or so.

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Similar Hikes

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.

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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

Cell Service

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.

Your comments are welcome here…

Hi, I’m Sean

🏔 I help hikers find amazing hikes — at all skill levels
🏔 Catskills, Adirondacks, Hudson Highlands — Gunks coming soon!
🏔 For you: trail guides, gear tips, guidance, goofiness
🏔 My content is available on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (most active)

Grab this before your next hike…

Winter Gear Checklist

The perfect quick reference to keep you safe on your next cold weather hike