High Falls

About The Site

Please note: The Red Trail is closed for habitat restoration! You can still access the overlook via the Green Trail. The bridge over the Agawamuck Creek on Roxbury Road is also closed for construction. You will not be able to access High Falls from Rte. 217 in Philmont.

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.

What to Do Here

Hike – trails are easy to moderate
Birdwatch and track who you see using the eBird app!
Cross-country Ski
Fishing (Permit Required)
Now you can enjoy a guided tour using the Vizzit App!
Join CLC in the Hike Five Challenge by hiking 5 of our 10 Public Conservation Areas and you’ll be eligible to receive a prize!
ClickHEREfor more information and to download your entry form!

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.

For more information, you can download the High Falls brochure or read the High Falls Master Plan.

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

Columbia Land Conservancy
49 Main Street
Chatham, NY 12037




Public Conservation Areas are open dawn to dusk every day.
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