June 12, 2018, Lake Ariel, PA
I saw the sign for Ausable Chasm, ten minutes after leaving Plattsburgh. Remembering how I had briefly considered making a trip up to the Champlain Basin and Ausable, way back in my feckless University days, I took the exit and headed east.
Ausable Chasm, like Bushkill Falls (July, 2016), is billed as “The Grand Canyon of the East”. It is also, more credibly, called Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks. Both are relatively compact, especially compared to the Colorado River’s system of gorges and chasms. Both are privately managed, and charge a modest entrance fee-most of the time.
Today, the ticket seller noticed my VA card, when I pulled out my wallet. She asked whether I would be attending any special programs and I answered that I would be walking the trails. She then admitted me for free, and thanked me for my service.
So, starting with Elephant Head, I followed the handiwork of the Ausable River, through 3.3 miles of sandstone.
I began my walk at Elephant Head overlook, then headed back towards Rainbow Falls. After showing my armband at the main admissions kiosk, I started along the Rim Walk Trail, which offers a series of overlooks, at various waterfalls.
Triple Falls shows how the Ausable River is flowing a bit more shallow, right now.
Nevertheless, gravity does its thing!
I left the Rim Walk, went a little way on Dry Chasm Trail, then headed down to the Inner Sanctum.
You can see one of the Inner Sanctum footbridges, below.
Float trips are a big draw here. A group of twelve was getting ready to head out, as I descended from Dry Chasm.
Once on the Inner Sanctum Trail, it is imperative to watch one’s footing, as the rock underfoot gets very slippery.
The sheerness of the drop is impressive, from the bottom, as well as from the top.
A set of cairns is intended to keep hikers from going into the cave, to the right.
The narrow ledge and footbridge in the foreground are sometimes part of Adventure Trail, a more advanced exploration program.
I stuck to the footbridge taken by the gentleman shown above.
A short time later, I was back on the rim and returned to the Visitor Center, for a hearty lunch. I was quite pleased with the views atop and inside Ausable Chasm. Comparing the gorges of the Northeast to the Grand Canyon is understandable, but not necessary. These unique geologic wonders hold their own.
Intending to visit Fort Ticonderoga, I found that the hours did not accommodate a visit, today. I spent a few minutes in the town of Ticonderoga, and briefly visited the western shore of Lake George, Champlain’s little brother to the southwest. Lake George is just big enough to have its own tides, as well.
Lake George is connected to Lake Champlain by way of La Chute River.
Ticonderoga is a somewhat busy town, with a small, hard to see traffic light, strung across the road. I almost got fooled.
Here are some west shore views of Lake George.
I headed south from here, grabbing supper in the town of Queensbury and looking for accommodations, west and south of Albany. My default spot, Port Jervis, must have had a special event. The nearest available room was in Lake Ariel, PA, a bit more than an hour from the Three Corners. So, I spent the night in comfort, at Comfort Inn.
NEXT: Homage to Steam