Hike into OK Slip Falls

OK Slip Falls

A bucket list hike of mine has always been OK Slip Falls just outside Indian Lake. I’ve passed by the trailhead more than a dozen times going to other hikes and have always been curious. Looking for a hike to do on August 7th, I finally decided to give it a shot and check it out.

The Arrival

I arrived at the parking area around 8 a.m. I was the first car in the parking area and this surprised me. Every time I’ve past the parking area it has always been busy. I new it wouldn’t be filled but I expected to see at least couple cars.

The previous day had been really warm and muggy, but luckily it rained overnight so the humidity dropped. I actually remember thinking to myself as I got out of my car, I wonder if I should put on a long sleeve shirt. But I’m a big guy so that wouldn’t be needed for long. It was mostly cloudy but I could see that it was trying to clear up.

The Trail

The hike starts off by traveling maybe two-tenths of a mile along route 28N from the parking area to the trailhead. Just inside the woods is log book which I will always sign in as I know it’s important to the NYSDEC. The trail starts off kind of skinny, maybe one or two people wide. Compared to the last few hikes I’ve been on, the trail was more my style. The last few hikes I been on were either part of old logging trails or carriage trails, so this felt more like an actual trail in the woods.

I followed the trail a half mile where I came to the first junction. It was clearly marked and followed the right junction. The left junction would have taken me to Ross Pond. The next give or take  1.7 miles traveled up and over a few hills and went pretty uneventful. It gave me a lot of time to let my mind wonder. I often used these long trails to think about stuff in my life that’s bothering me or just need to be worked out in my head. Nature is a great atmosphere to do this and I’ve always found exercise helps me be honest with myself.

About 2.2 miles into hike, I arrived at a dirt road. I followed the road for about one-tenth of a mile and then it went back into the woods. It was clearly marked where I entered the road and back onto the trail. I’m not positive, but when I was doing some research on this hike, I found some mentions about Camp Northern Frontier and was wondering if that is where the road went to. Upon coming back and writing this trip report, I did find that the road did lead to Camp Northern Frontier.

OK Slip Falls Trail

The Falls

After about 3 miles into the hike,  I arrived at the lookout to OK Slip Falls. And WOW! Arriving, it was like something out of movie. It just opened up and on the other side of this ravine was a beautiful waterfalls. I was slightly higher than it and there were a lot of trees blocking my view of most of the ravine, but there was a window looking right at it. Beautiful, amazing, and stunning. I sat on the second lookout for at least ten minutes just admiring it. Didn’t even take my backpack off yet. I do a lot of hiking but mostly to summits with views, it was great to change up things and see a waterfall.

I eventually started getting my camera gear out and assembling it. With water, I like to take longer exposures so I brought my tripod. As I was setting it up, a woman arrived and coincidentally was also from Glens Falls. We chatted for a little bit as I set things up. I certainly don’t claim to be a great photographer, it’s just a hobby of something I like to do. Waterfalls isn’t something I’ve photographed a lot so I only had a speculation of what to do. I tried different angles, different settings. The trees that surrounded the overlook made it a little difficult to get some shots without having leaves in the foreground. I did my best.

OK Slip Falls

The Hudson Gorge

After I got all the shots I wanted, I packed everything up and headed to the Hudson Gorge. First I crossed over the OK Slip Brook but I had to take a quick detour to see the top of OK Slip Falls. The top was pretty overgrown with trees so I couldn’t see to much. I was able to see the overlook spots on the other side of the ravine but couldn’t get much more than that.

Back on the trail I began the 1 mile hike to the gorge. It started by going straight up on the other side of the brook. Followed along a ridge for little ways and then began to go straight down to the Hudson Gorge. The whole way down, all I could think about was how I was going to have to climb back up this on the way out.

When I finally got to the bottom, I was greeted by a beach and the Hudson River. It looked amazing. I found some nice logs to sit on the beach and ate my salami sandwich which I had gotten from Stewarts. After four miles, it tasted amazing even if it was squished all over. Even the warm Glens Falls tap water in my Nalgene bottle tasted amazing. I spent a lot of time on the beach resting, and just listening to the water. I love to hear running water, it’s incredible soothing and the combination of tired legs, I wanted to take a nap.

One thing that was unique is I took a Photosphere (or 360 degree) picture while I was down there. Note: click on the image to open this in Facebook to get the full effect. You’ll be able to use your mouse/phone to see the full 360 degrees. Unfortunately the panoramic functionality doesn’t work embedding onto a page.

The Return

After about 40 minutes, I had to force myself to leave and begin the long climb back up. Maybe it was the energy from my lunch, but it wasn’t as bad as I had built it up in my head. Don’t get me wrong, it was tiring and I took a couple 30 second breaks during the climb but I was able to make quick pace of it. I followed the same route as I had walked in. When I got back to OK Slip Falls, I started to run into other hikers and hearing more in the distance. Civilization had found me.

The rest of the walk out was running into more and more people. Some people were very nice, others just ignored me. Along the road to Norther Frontier, I could hear construction trucks in the distance. Also ran into some people playing music on their phone for everyone to hear and other people shouting. Really affirmed why I like to hike early in the morning and get the piece and quiet.

I arrived back at my car around 1 p.m. The walk out was long and my legs were very tired but it was worth every minute. The total trip was a little over 8 miles according to my phone GPS. I’m actually thinking about going back early Spring. The obvious snow melt I’m sure will make the OK Slip Falls look awesome but also the leaves off the trees should open up the ravine a bit more. I’m already excited for that trip!

Photos of OK Slip Falls

Jonathan Volks

About The Author

Jonathan Volks is currently a Web Programmer at Skidmore College in Upstate New York. Where he maintains Skidmore's main website and builds custom web applications to support Marketing and Communications needs. In his free time, Jonathan likes to travel to the Adirondacks and hike along the thousands of miles of trails the park has to offer. He has completed the Fire Tower Challenge (30/30) and is currently working on the Saranac Lake 6er (2/6) and the 46 High Peaks (12/46).