West Branch Sacandaga Gorge

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Silver Lake Wilderness

West Branch Sacandaga Gorge is a 22.5 kilometer out and back trail located near Wells, New York that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 22.5 km Elevation Gain: 359 m Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly


nature trips







This trail is the best kept secret in the Southern Adirondacks. There are 5 Waterfalls and two eddys. Once across Hamilton Pond Stream it is fishermans paths and Bushwhacking or rock hopping. In early spring one must go along the top of the gorge. Best time is from may through November. At the first falls there is a climb up over some big boulders. Fording both Hamilton Pond Stream and Piseco Outlet mey require getting wet up to the thighs in certain seasons. There is a beautiful camping spot at the forth falls. A "poorly maintained trail" only because it is either rock hopping if the river is low enough, or a good deal of bushwhacking.

off trail
8 months ago

You will most likely get wet up to your ankles on the first river, but it wasn’t bad. We weren’t comfortable doing the second river crossing because we would have had to swim through deep water with two dogs. We ended up staying on the opposite side of the river to the official trail. The trail we followed involved a lot of bushwacking and we ended up losing it completely eventually so we turned back, but it did lead us to some beautiful waterfalls. My recording was about 6 miles total (and then I left it on while driving away ha). Very nice hike if it weren’t for the second river crossing.

Sun Sep 23 2018

Out for a day hike to see the falls. Missed a turn though. Still a good hike. Went to the lean-to, ate lunch and hiked back. Pretty flat, a few bumps. Very easy hike. Awesome cable bridge before the shelter.

Fri Apr 14 2017

Early April .. access road closed - we drove as far as we could (road not cleared/lots of deep mud) .. hiked the 2.5 miles to trailhead. Take a left at trailhead for a beautiful view of river and a neat cable bridge! Highlight of our day and worth the hike!!

Wed Oct 12 2016

Pull into the whitehouse parking lot and enter on the left side; once in the woods stay to the right of the register, when you get to the fork where it splits to the NPT, stay left (but not to Mud Lake) there is no sign. Being that this trail is so lightly traveled, it's easy to get off so you MUST mark it somehow. I hiked this in the fall and the trail was covered in leaves, putting us into a predicament for a few minutes.. absolutely gorgeous and serene though. It's about a 2 mile walk to the first river crossing, and we were not well equipped to cross it (it appears as though you have no choice but to get wet). No waterfalls for us, but still beautiful... Just be very careful and trace your steps

Sun Aug 21 2016

Great trail however when you get to the register there is only one sign which points towards mud lake and the northville placid trail. We went over the bridge and hiked for 2 hours deep into the woods hoping to find the falls only to realize we should have taken the right fork and not the left fork at the register. If you want to see the falls go right at the register. A new sign should be out up at the register.

Sun Nov 01 2015

Hiked out as far as the waterfalls. A very beautiful hike that became quite tough once we got near the waterfalls. The view at the falls was definitely worth the trip.

Fri Jan 03 2014

We enjoyed this hike while geocaching in July 2013. The trail back to the falls is fairly straightforward - the stream crossing can be tricky, just look for the flagging in the tree. Once back on the trail it is very enjoyable with many beautiful spots along the river along the way. At about 0.4 miles from the large falls the trail gets a bit rough and tough to follow including one stretch where you need long legs to get around an outcrop along the water or you'll need to shed your boots :) - but if you can navigate back it is well worth it. We actually climbed the VERY steep slope near the falls on the way out so we could walk the ridge back to the trail and avoid the tough parts of the trail. This was a great decision because there is a great campsite at the top of the cliff with an incredible view. Fantastic hike that took us about 4 hours.

Thu Aug 30 2012

Really good trail. There isn't a boulder blocking the road anymore so you can drive right up to the trail head. It's a little tricky figuring out where to cross the small stream to get to the river but it's marked with tape and you should see a camp spot near the crossing. If you lose the trail just head back to the river and you will always find it again. It's a good trail to just do your own thing on.

7 months ago

11 months ago

Tue Aug 01 2017

Sun Jul 10 2016

Mon Jul 04 2016

Sat Jun 18 2016

Tue May 31 2016

Tue Sep 22 2015