The Blue Ledges on the Hudson, NY

The hike to the Blue Ledges on the Hudson is another Southern Adirondack classic. Accessible and beautiful, delivering in spades: a nice trail and an exciting destination for a small effort.

On the trail to Blue Ledges

To reach the trailhead take Route 28N north from North Creek. Turn left onto the Northwoods Club road, near the top of the big hill heading out of Minerva. Take it very far, over the bridge at the Boreas River, and then go three miles more to the trailhead at Huntley Pond.

To be fair, accessibility can be limited by rain, which can degrade the road and make the trail muddy. We saw none of that recently when he hiked the route at the end of an exceptionally dry summer.

Huntley Pond

The trail is a little rugged with roots at the start, but after passing the pond, it gets smooth and really pleasant, climbing through some very pretty forest.

After a mile of rolling terrain, the trail begins to descend to the river. You can hear the river for the better part a mile before you arrive at the ledges.

We made better time than I thought and had the opportunity to see much of Adirondack rafting fleet pass before us.

tBatt runs Blue Ledge
King of the River Takes Charge

The Ledges are too big to be fully photographed, at least by me, with my current camera. The cliffs would be best shot early in the morning.  Even mid-morning is too late to get direct light on the face.  Good images aren’t easy shooting into the sun, this was my best from dozens of shots.

We headed back around 2pm. The forest was beautiful. The air was clear and breezy and bug free. We fell into a bit of zen march by the end, tromping together, in unspoken synchrony.

We were almost back to the car, and Neve asked if she could take some pictures of the water. I showed her how to “point and shoot.” She took four shots. I think this is my favorite.

Flowers by Neve

11 comments on “The Blue Ledges on the Hudson, NY

  1. Nice photo Neve! Harv, any plans in the future to add Neve to the staff to write articles from a kids viewpoint? This is NOT a joke, I think it would be interesting to hear about an area and the conditions in contrast to the adults viewpoint. I know she is still young but maybe a few years down the road!

  2. @PDQ – I did recognize the guide in the raft in the photo we posted.

    @Rochester Mark – that’s a pretty cool idea. I like the idea of a photo contest for kids, but trip reports or short essays could be pretty cool too.

  3. Marked Trail: .3 miles each way, very nice for a child’s first experience hiking. 4 miles past the NorthWoods Club Road on your left, look on your right for parking and to the left(west) for the trail head. Just as you pass the trailhead sign look to the left for blue markers. The trail follows a small creek flow down and then bends to the right around the edge of Crusher Hill, up a bit and then down to the pond. The kids I took on this walk (ages 5,6,9 & 10) loved looking for “bog plants” that they studied for a 4th grade project. Fishing and camping allowed, State owned pond.

  4. Hey I am going there with my two boys (8 and 17). Our plan is to bring our 4 person raft down the trail and put in right at the blue ledges. We will hike, swim, raft and snorkel down to the little peninsula, right past the train trestle, at the confluence of the Hudson and Boreas. I have not been there in a few years but think this will be fun. How can I get info as to when they open the dam; when it is really high…

  5. Tim, I would consider that very carefully. A lot of experience is needed to navigate the river safely. I would consider hiring a guide. (Look to our rafting page for qualified guides or google “Square Eddy.”

    Beyond safety if you miss or get behind the “bubble” (dam release) you will be stuck far from home.

  6. As a follow up to the post by Tim above. Tim didn’t not heed warnings and spent the night out on the river ill-prepared. He and his sons got very lucky, surviving the night. They were able to get a ride back out of the wilderness with an experienced, licensed guide the next day.

  7. Hey Harvey, thanks for the advice. I wish I had heeded your warning… our raft deflated not far from the ledges. We worked our way downstream near OK Slip, but by then it was dark and we were force to make an emergency camp with nothing but a few granola bars, our wet bathing suits and tshirts, a few emergency matches, and the broken raft for a shelter. We could only find a big bolder to rest upon… very uncomfortable! It poured rain much of the night and then the temp dropped to the low 50’s. It was horrible. We kept going in the morning; rock-hopping, swimming and bushwacking our way down river. We were finally rescued by some very nice people from North River Rafts and we made it out. Very scary but we are all ok.

  8. Minor correction – Rescued by Frank, who I believe was guiding for Adirondack River Outfitters (ARO).

    About a month ago, Frank and Linc saw a fawn floating down the Blue Ledge rapid and stopped in the large eddy on river right. They paddled over to it, picked it up, and pinned it down in the raft as it was kicking and squealing. They rafted it to shore, put it on land, and the thing collapsed for almost a minute. It then stood up, and casually walked through a group of 50 rafters who were standing on a beach and eating lunch and disappeared into the woods.

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