Name of Waterfall

Salmon River Falls


Take Interstate 81 to the town of Pulaski. When approaching from the north, exit to Route 2, and from the south exit to Route 13, turn left, and follow the I-81 North signs through the center of Pulaski until reaching Route 2. Signs should point the way to the falls from this point. Once on Route 2, continue east for 6 miles to the town of Orwell, then turn south on Route 22. Proceed another 2.7 miles south on Route 22, then bear hard left onto Falls Road where signs point to Salmon River Falls. The parking area for the fall will be encountered another 1.3 miles further, and is well signed. Easy trails lead to the top of the falls from the parking area, but the best views are had from the Gorge Trail, which descends steeply on a set of rock steps and may not be suitable for small children.Salmon River Falls was at one time one of New York’s greatest waterfalls, having the unique combination of both significant height and a large volume of water that only a handful of other waterfalls in the state can match or exceed. In its natural state, the Salmon River would have created a deafening roar, plunging 111 feet into a broad gorge and stretching 250 feet across in a sheer wall of water. Only two of the waterfalls of the Gennesse River, Cohoes Falls on the Mohawk, and Niagara itself can claim to best this scale.
Unfortunately, like so many of the rivers which drain from the Adirondacks, the Salmon River proved too tempting a location for hydroelectric development, and much of the river has been diverted for power generation, leaving the falls just a husk of its natural state. Occasionally the Salmon may return to something resembling its natural splendor, but most of the year the falls are reduced to two or three more ethereal plumes of water which veil down the now mostly bare cliff in a scenic triplet formation.
The Salmon River’s drainage area covers about 195 square miles in area, and features several lakes, including the Salmon Falls Reservoir where much of the river is diverted away from the falls. A minimum release of water is always allowed to flow over the falls, but in order to see it in any sense resembling its natural stature, one must visit during the peak of the snow melt season when the volume of the river exceeds the capacity of the diversion - what the maximum capacity of the diversion is is not clear, but we suspect on average about one-tenth of the full volume of the river is permitted to flow over the falls.

Other Names




IWC Rating (International Waterfall Classification)


Total Height (ft)


Tallest Drop


Number of Drops


Average Width


Maximum Width


Average High Volume (Cubic ft per second)

75 cfs (6 months)

Average Low Volume (Cubic ft per second)

10 cfs (6 months)


90 degrees

Run (ft)


Watershed or Feeder Stream

St. Lawrence River Salmon River