This July, my boys and I were lucky enough to visit Ausable Chasm, often called the Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks. The folks at Ausable Chasm were kind enough to give us admission and a chance to float down the river that has created this visual marvel.
If you do one thing while you’re at the Ausable Chasm, it’s the self-guided walking tours. There are several trails you can follow and even toddlers can navigate them.
Before you even get to the trails, however, you walk across a bridge and get to look back on the falls. Quite spectacular!
We walked the Inner Sanctum Trail right to our rafting experience and learned about the chasm along the way. The trail is easy to walk but also a lot of fun. It runs along a ridge in the chasm (don’t worry, there are railings to keep kids from wandering) and has some metal walkways… which my boys thought were pretty cool.
Along the way, we couldn’t help but notice the adventure tour! Someone was working their way across on a suspension bridge. While I longingly looked on, my boys asked if they could do that, too. But we’ll have to wait until our youngest one turns eight. (Sigh.) Trust me, the summer he hits eight, we are SO there.
For the scenic float tour, you take a raft about halfway through the chasm. (Kids have to be at least 30 pounds.) The ride was very mild… to the point that the foreign tourists we were paired with never even put their cameras away. It truly is family friendly.
It was quite beautiful. And you definitely get a different sense of the chasm when you’re on the river looking up walls of rock that are more than 100 feet high. Along the way, our guide told us all about what we were seeing and really gave me an additional appreciation for this landmark.
I should mention, there are also two other trails along the Ausable Chasm, one that winds along the top of the chasm (the most mild trail) and one that goes farther into the forest for some more serious hiking. When you get to the end of the trail (or raft ride) you can take a trolly back to the main entrance, but we chose to hoof it back on the easy trail and enjoy the scenery for just a little bit longer.
Some additional activities which sound really cool include:
- Cooling off with a relaxing tube ride down the river
- Camping at Ausable Chasm
- Discovering the beauty of Ausable Chasm at night
- Exploring the 15 miles of mountain bike trails
I could definitely see ourselves coming back to the Ausable Chasm to enjoy the other activities it has to offer.