Explore Little Falls, NY. Explore Little Falls, New York - A Great Place to Visit

Explore Little Falls, New York

Discover Recreational Fun for the Whole Family!

Make Little Falls your destination for exciting outdoor recreation opportunities!

Visit Little Falls, your year-round headquarters for BIG FUN!

Explore the ancient potholes on Moss Island in Little Falls, NY

Awesome Scars of an Ice Age Waterfall

Moss Island is a narrow but long outcropping of extremely hard igneous rock called metasyenite jutting out of the waters and dividing the Mohawk River from the NYS Barge Canal. The island, which was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1976, is a veritable paradise for hikers who enjoy the rugged features, the scenic views of the waterways, the abundant berry bushes, and especially the amazing "potholes".

The potholes are actually natural chimney-like tubes in the hard rock that were carved out over several millennia by a gigantic prehistoric cataract that drained the ancient Glacial Lake Iroquois toward the end of the last ice age, when the St. Lawrence River was blocked by glaciers. In effect, the falling water carried rocks and sediment that scooped out the potholes from the bedrock ... if you were to explore the footings of modern-day Niagara Falls, you would see similar potholes forming beneath the torrential cataracts there too.

The potholes on Moss Island are quite deep, up to 40 or 50 feet, with concentric tubular walls that are nearly as smooth as glass. You may access the potholes from the northwest side of Moss Island, and descend them, carefully, much as you would a circular staircase to the beach on the Mohawk River below. Interestingly, during the Indian Wars and again during the Revolutionary War, it is said that the residents of Little Falls frequently hid their livestock in the potholes during raids by hostile forces. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, several of the potholes north of the river, which are but a stone's throw from the railyard, served as regular encampments for hobos as they traveled across New York.

You can access Moss Island and the spectacular potholes easily by automobile from Route 169, with parking in the ample lot for Lock 17. From there it is a very short walk across the lock itself to Moss Island. Alternately, you can access Moss Island from Benton's Landing in Canal Place by walking east on Seeley Street.

Rock Climbing on Moss Island in Little Falls, NY

Adirondack-Quality Climbing Conveniently Close to Home!

For decades now, Moss Island has been a popular rock-climbing destination for residents of Central New York. The 900 foot long cliff of Moss Island has numerous traditional and sport routes, plenty of installed bolt anchors that make top-roping trivial, and convenient and comfortable facilities that allow you to focus on the climb instead of the logistics. While the climbs range from very easy to very hard, access is always easy, and from the base it is no more than a five minute walk to set up an anchor!

The City of Little Falls is very welcoming to climbers. Recently, a local civic group, funded by climbers, built and maintains a comfortable composting toilet facility at the base of the cliffs. After the climb, be sure to visit the excellent restaurants and pubs in Canal Place and on Main Street of Little Falls. A climbing permit may be required, so be sure to check with the City Clerk during weekdays, and with the Fire Department on weekends.

Buttermilk Falls in Little Falls, NY

Discover a 40 Foot Waterfall Hidden in the City!

Buttermilk Falls is a delightful 40 foot free-falling waterfall, with a crystal clear pool at its base, and several more pools and smaller stepped falls above it. Best of all, this natural wonder is hidden in a deep and narrow, wooded gorge right in the middle of the City of Little Falls!

To get to Buttermilk Falls, drive up North Ann Street until it ends at Monroe Street, turning left onto West Monroe Street. Take the second right, which is Sherman Street, then turn left onto Burch Street, and then park in the lot for the municipal soccer field and swimming pool. To access the bottom of the falls, walk behind the swimming pool and through the playground, and start to follow the creek for about a tenth of a mile. To access the top of the falls, look for a picnic pavilion beside the pool house, and then carefully discern the trail that runs up the ridge that rises behind the pavilion. The trail is often hard to see, but as long as you follow the ridge line you will be fine. Both hikes, while short, can be a bit rugged, so wear good hiking shoes or boots!

For a real treat, visit Buttermilk Falls in the early spring, while the snow is still melting off!

Moor at the Little Falls Harbor in Little Falls, NY

A Convienient Location with the Amenities You Expect!

Make the Little Falls Harbor and Rotary Park your summer headquarters for convenient access to the arts and culture in a scenic, historical town with fun civic festivals, and excellent recreation, dining, and shopping!

  • Boating slips available by the day or by the week
  • Comfortable visitors center, showers, and WiFi
  • Picnic tables and grills in a lovely park
  • Kayak and canoe rentals
  • Easy access to Canal Place and the downtown

For more information on the Little Falls Harbor, call the harbormaster at (315) 823-1453.

Enjoy the Canalway Bike Trail in Little Falls, NY

Bike Through History in Little Falls, NY!

The New York State Canalway Bike Trail runs directly alongside the canal, passing Lock 17, Moss Island, and entering the Southside district of Little Falls through a series of scenic gorges. If you are biking through Little Falls, be sure to take time to follow the signs to Canal Place or the downtown for refreshments or a meal, and for some unique sightseeing and shopping opportunities!

If you are visiting Little Falls by automobile, consider bringing your bikes in order to take a marvelous day trip that you will not soon forget! If you leave Little Falls going east on the Canalway Trail, a bike ride of just a few hours will take you through some remarkably scenic and historically significant countryside. Just outside of Little Falls you will pass through the Charles Welden Blue Waters Bird Watching site, the General Herkimer Home State Historic Site, the Indian Castle area, the Arkell Museum in Canajoharie, and ultimately the Shrine of the Martyrs at Auriesville ... just beyond which lies the splendid Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site a little west of Amsterdam.

Little Falls welcomes bicyclists! Many Little Falls residents are avid bikers and users of the Canalway Trail, and look forward to seeing their friends and neighbors on a sunny summer weekend on the trail!

Little Falls, NY is a Bike-Friendly City
Explore Little Falls, New York - A Great Place to Visit

Enjoy Year-Round Recreation Fun in Little Falls!

Conveniently located on the NY State Thruway, on the banks of the Mohawk River, and in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, Little Falls is your gateway to four-season recreational fun! We have it all: fishing, hunting, canoeing and kayaking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, horseback riding, hiking, rock-climbing, and much, much more. There is just so much recreational fun to explore in the immediate vicinity of Little Falls!

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