Northern New York Waterfalls 

Rainbow Falls


From the intersection of US 11 and NY 177 in the village of Adams Center, proceed east on 177.  In about ten miles, there will be a dirt road labeled Old State Road.  Take a left here.  In less than a mile, you will come to a parking area on the right.

County: Lewis
Town: Pinckney
USGS Map: Barnes Corners
Waterway: Gulf Stream
Latitude: N 43° 49' 58"
Longitude: W 75° 50' 07"
Drop: 100'
Type: Ribbon cascade
Region: East of Adams
Parking: Unpaved lot
Trail type: Dirt
Length of hike: 0.55 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Accessibility: Public
Name: Official

Barnes Corners Quadrangle

Numerous on-line sources refer to Rainbow Falls and Inman Gulf.  Based on these, we were expecting a significant hike to get there.  Sources indicate a hiking trail of over seven miles.  We were pleasantly surprised.  In fact, this trail has several points of access.  For anyone wanting to simply find Rainbow Falls, you are looking at an overall walk of about a mile.

Getting to the trailhead is also quite easy, if you know where you are going.  The sign at the corner of NY 177 indicates "Old State Road" but the locals refer to this as Williams Truck Road.  That little bit of wisdom will not benefit you because we saw no signs that ever used that term.  Your trip down this road is about one mile.  Use our picture of the parking area as a reference.  It is just beyond a pond.  If you reach the county line and enter Jefferson County, you've gone too far.

On-line trail maps we found indicated that there is a point on the trail where there is some type of registration kiosk and perhaps a picnic area.  We did not find them but we have subsequently been advised by a contributor that they are there. 

 It is 1/4 mile from the trailhead to a junction where you take a right and from that point, it is another 0.3 miles. You are walking along the rim of the gulf.  There is a marked viewing point for the falls, but it is distant.  Foliage is also not in your favor during the season.  This is a free-fall cascade and a tall one.  Various on-line sources put it at anywhere from 260 to 300'.  We also found pictures on-line that were obviously taken from the stream level but that access was not known to us prior to our visit.  Shortly after, we spoke with a neighbor who has been there on stream level on a number of occasions.  We have not had a chance to get back there but it is in our plans.

This area is a winter paradise.  You are on the Tug Hill here and snowfall is legendary.  Many in this area make their livelihood during the winter months, with snowmobiling, skiing and snowshoeing being the norm.  

Our application to the BGN was accepted on June 11, 2017.  This is now the official name of this waterfall.

The Gulf Stream flows into the Sandy Creek which flows into Lake Ontario.

Last update:  July 31, 2017

Hover on any of the thumbnails to see an enlarged image

Rainbow Falls Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls

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