High Falls

About The Site

CLC regrets we are unable to lawfully allow swimming at any of our properties. For more information about each site’s rules, click here.

Please note: The Red Trail is closed for habitat restoration! You can still access the overlook via the Green Trail.

The High Falls Conservation Area is home to Columbia County’s highest waterfall. The wooded trails bring visitors to a dramatic overlook with views of the falls and provide access to the Agawamuck Creek. The Agawamuck Creek flows northwest until eventually joining the Claverack Creek on its way to the Hudson River.  You can enjoy several hiking trails at High Falls, as well as fishing. Enjoy a hike at High Falls? Visit four more Public Conservation Areas as part of the Hike Five Challenge!

Click here to listen to a guided tour about High Falls Conservation Area using TravelStory!

Click here for directions to High Falls Conservation Area 540 Roxbury Road, Philmont, NY


Current Projects Happening at This Site

High Falls Invasive Species Removal Project & Tree Trimming

The Red Trail is currently closed while we remove invasive species threatening the health of the forest. You can still access the waterfall overlook via the Green Trail. Certified arborists from our friends at New Leaf Tree Services are also trimming trees at the waterfall overlook to improve the view of the falls.

Volunteer at High Falls

Join us for a Virtual BioBlitz this spring and summer! This event is designed to be COVID safe and allow you and your friends and family to explore the flora and fauna of High Falls. The data you collect will help our Conservation Area managers protect a place we all hold dear. In addition to collecting information on the plant and animal species at High Falls, you also have a chance to win CLC gear and guide books!

Visit High Falls Conservation Area any time between April 1, 2021 and September 26, 2021 to collect data and participate in the BioBlitz.

Click here to learn more and sign up!

Site History

High Falls is exceptionally rich in cultural history. The Agawamuck Creek and these falls have been an important part of Philmont’s history and development. Dense locust stands and large oaks and maples that are found along the trail system tell a story of past logging. In the early 19th century hydropower was the chief source of energy for industry; the water provided by the creek led to the growth of a bustling town called Factory Hill which was later renamed Philmont. Through the construction of a dam atop High Falls and a series of aqueducts and diverter dams, enough hydropower was harnessed to provide power for a total of 17 mills during Philmont’s heyday. The dam above High Falls, which was built in 1845, is visible from the viewing area, and the old mills still stand on the creek’s northern slopes. By the 1950s new technologies marked the end of many mills across the country, and as a result most of the mills in Philmont were closed by the end of the decade. In the mid-1990’s the landowner at that time contacted CLC to explore how the property could be made available to the public. Click here to view the full brochure and learn more about High Falls and our other Public Conservation Areas.

Trail Map