North of Utica on NY 12, there is a point
at which NY 12 and NY 28 begin to run concurrently.
At that corner, head south on NY 28. You will actually
be heading east at that point. The first left is Trenton
Falls Road. Follow signs to a four-way stop where
you should continue to the end of the road where you can
||North of Utica
||1 - 1.5 hours
This is a
truly magnificent site. Nature and the West Canada Creek have
worn a large gorge through this area. There are several on-line
sources that claim that this area at one time "nearly rivaled
Niagara Falls in terms of tourist magnetism." It is still
publicly accessible, but is only open two or three week-ends each
Town of Trenton website should be consulted to find those dates.
Now a major hydroelectric project area, there are still a number
of magnificent waterfalls here, which we have created separate
pages for. The area is divided into several
drops. The 60' tall Morgan Dam is the furthest downstream,
but that is actually below where the walking tour begins.
As you head out on the trail, you will encounter
Sherman Falls then
the two-tiered High Falls, which are identified as
Lower High Falls
and Upper High Falls. These drop a total of 100 feet.
Above that is the 14' Mill Dam Falls and at the very upper part
of the area is the Upper Hydro Dam and Falls.
This is a very nicely maintained area with finely crushed stone
paths and wood mulch side trails that allow views of the waterfalls
and the gorge. The one down-side is that the area is open
on a limited basis. On the plus side, we were pleasantly surprised
that there was no fee to access the facility. We had been
led to believe that there was an admission. When we were there
in April 2013, only a portion of the waterfalls could be viewed.
A rock-slide several months before had blocked the upper trail and
you couldn't go beyond High Falls. We could see Mill Dam Falls
and Hydro Falls from the Upper High Falls viewing area, but you
couldn't get to those viewing areas. You also couldn't see
the hydro dam at the top. There was no estimated date at which
time this slide could be cleared so that upper access could be restored.
Because of the abbreviated nature of this trip, even though we were
taking our time, we were actually in and out of there in less than
There is much history and nature at this location and much can
be written about it and has been. There are many on-line sources
with information and stories about this area. We will let
our pictures tell the story. Rather than reinventing the wheel,
please refer to some of the info out there such as
Discovering the Valley of the Crystals, a well-done story of
the history of Trenton Gorge, complete with pictures. This
is by no means the only resource out there. A web search will
turn up many options.
The West Canada Creek empties into the Mohawk River, which then
flows into the Hudson before reaching the Atlantic Ocean.
Last update: June 28, 2016