the one place you need to visit this autumn
It took little convincing for me to visit Ausable Chasm. Often called the “Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks”, Ausable Chasm is one of the oldest natural attractions in the United States (est. 1870).
Every person that I have spoken to about it described it as a breathtaking spectacle that they will remember forever. During a trip to the Adirondacks with my family, we bunched into the car and headed far upstate to experience it.
Immediately upon arriving, we knew we had walked into something special. We were greeted by a magnificent view of Rainbow Falls and a winding river etched between cliffs of rock. During the summer, guests are able to raft or tube down this river. I can only imagine how stunning that would be and will definitely be returning in warmer weather to experience it.
The visitor center has a solid log cabin-like feel. We were welcomed with open arms by the staff and were convinced (it didn’t take much!) to do their adventure course along the chasm walls. Judd, the creator of the adventure course, walked us through what it would entail; traversing rock, cliff walks, cable bridges and stunning views that are incomparable to anywhere else at Ausable Chasm. We were sold.
Shortly after, we met our guide, Shane, who strapped on our gear and prepped us for the course. After briefing us on safety procedures we were off. The whole course is an hour and a half long (on average) and is stunning. This was by far the most beautiful course we have ever done. It is easy to do for anyone 8 or up and is a great experience for the whole family.
In addition to awe-inspiring views, our guide Shane shared his knowledge of the history of Ausable Chasm and interesting facts about the biology of the area. Not only was it a great workout, but we also learned a ton of information about the surrounding area. Our favorite part was traversing the cliff walls. It was both challenging and unique. There are few courses in the United States that offer that.
Once we completed the course, we walked along the cliff side trails and immersed ourselves in a primeval Adirondack forest. We strolled past Rainbow Falls, Elephant's Head, Column Rock, Hyde's Cave and listened to the flowing waters of the Mystic Gorge throughout the day.
Ausable Chasm is a beautiful spot to retreat to any time of year. Its natural beauty will transfix all who walk its paths.