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Location / Directions / Maps

Location: West of the hamlet of Clarksville; Town of New Scotland; Albany County; New York

Maps: Google MapTopographic; Interactive map.

GPS: Approximate location of the falls: N 42.57511, W 74.00122
Parking area: N 42.57589, W 74.00007
Where Cass Hill Rd meets the creek: N 42.57697, W 74.00129

Directions: From Albany: take NY-443 west 11.5 miles into Clarksville and make a left onto Cass Hill Rd.
Zigzag your way west up Cass Hill Rd for about 1.5 miles and keep an eye out for Duck Hill Rd on your right.
Pass a house on your left and then look for the wooden sign for the preserve on your left.

Parking: Pull into the dirt lot on Cass Hill Rd where the sign is. This lot holds maybe 4 cars or 2 bad parkers with large SUVs. It can get muddy in early spring, so make sure your car has a chance of getting out. If it’s full, park along Cass Hill Rd.

Weather

CLARKSVILLE WEATHER

Information / Accessibility / Accommodations

Number of falls: 1 natural waterfall.

Size/Types: A steep 30 ft tall cascade.

Best time to visit: Spring or after periods of rain.

Flow: Low. The ravine is subject to flash floods during periods of heavy rain. Use caution.

Waterway: Hannacrois Creek (this is the spelling on USGS maps), which starts about a mile north of the preserve, west of Wolf Hill. It flows through the preserve, over Sliding Rock Falls, and south into the town of Westerlo. Past Dormansville, it turns east, flows over Dickinson Falls, and empties into the Alcove Reservoir. The outlet to the reservoir continues at Hannacrois Creek easterly through Coeymans Hollow in the town of Coeymans, and then empties into the Hudson River at New Baltimore (south of Ravena). The Hudson flows south to New York City and the Atlantic Ocean.

Time: You can easily hike 20 minutes to get a view of the falls and head back, or spend 1.5-2 hours to take the trail that loops around the ravine.

Seasons/Hours: Year-round. Daylight hours.

Admission: Free.

Handicap Accessibility: None.

Pets: Allowed on a leash.

Accommodations: 1 trail.

Description

Hannacroix Ravine Preserve is a 415-acre preserve owned by The Nature Conservancy and open to the public. Located on the western edge of the town of New Scotland and the source of Hannacrois Creek, it is home to a single 30-foot tall cascade, Sliding Rock Falls, which can be seen from the preserve’s single looping trail. The 3 mile hike around the ravine is a moderate and typically uneventful one, with a glimpse or two of the falls from the rim.

A part of the Helderberg Mountain range, the ravine is a good introduction to the terrain of the region, and for the more adventurous, a creek walk upstream offers a close-up view of the falls very few visitors take the chance to explore.

Hiking / Walking Trails

Difficulty: The orange trail is a moderate one, but can get muddy.
If you want to walk up the creek, it’s difficult as you will get wet and it is very slippery with many downed logs. It’s about 0.75 miles and should be reserved for experienced creek walkers. Be sure to read up on safety.

Markings: Orange blazes for the trail that loops around the ravine.

Distance: A 0.5 mile hike on the trail to see the falls and about 2 miles for a complete loop.
If you want to take the short but difficult trek up the creek, it’s about 0.2 miles to the base of the falls and back.

Description: Orange Trail:  From the parking area on Cass Hill Rd, follow the orange blazes south into the woods. The gradient is gently uphill. Once at the top of the ravine, you are close to the falls. Listen for it. At about 0.6 miles you may be able to see it through the trees. If the trees are full of foliage, you may not get a view at all from here, so it’s best to come in early spring or late fall (after a period of rain) or even winter (when there’s a bit of melt).

Continue further down about 300 ft for a more open view.

You cannot get into the ravine for a close look from the orange trail. You can head back to the parking lot or continue south.

At about 1.4 miles south on the Orange trail you will need to cross the creek. There is no bridge. If water is flowing (you’d want it to be, so the falls is flowing) you may get wet. Sometimes there are some downed trees to help you stay dry while crossing. It is at this crossing you may choose to creekwalk upstream to the falls (see below).

Cross the creek and continue on the Orange trail north for 1.3 miles back to Cass Hill Rd. Once you reach the road, head right/east, go around the bend and you end up back at the parking lot.

Creek walk
The only way to get a close view of the falls is to creek walk up from the crossing at the south. A word of warning here. The ravine is subject to flash flooding. Check the weather before you decide to do this. Additionally, if you are here when the falls is flowing, the water is likely high, the stones slippery, and you will find yourself fighting some current as you go. Bring a partner and follow safety tips. As always, use your best judgment.

Map: Interactive.

A waterfall within Hannacroix Ravine that has large logs leaning up against it.
Sliding Rock Falls at Hannacroix Ravine by LGD

Hannacroix Ravine Preserve Interactive Map

History

The town of New Scotland saw its first settlers as early as the 1660s. The town itself was originally a part of the town of Bethlehem, and broke out onto its own in 1832. I could not find any specific history about the area that was the preserve, but did find a home mapped in the ravine on maps from the late 1800s into the early 1900s.

Hannacroix Ravine Media

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Contributor Photos & Art

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Sliding Rock Falls at Hannacroix Ravine Preserve by Jeduthan
Sliding Rock Falls at Hannacroix Ravine Preserve by Jeduthan

Who to Contact

The Nature Conservancy
212-997-1880
[email protected]

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