Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ausable Chasm

We saw a brochure for Ausable Chasm when we first arrived in New York and so we added it to our list of places to see when we left Interlake RV Park.  So today was the day!

Audible Chasm Visitor Center

Ausable Chasm is a sandstone gorge that is about two miles long near Keeseville, New York.  The Ausable River runs through it and eventually empties into Lake Champlain.  The chasm is fed by Rainbow Falls at the southern end.  

The Chasm is considred to be America's oldest natural attraction.  It has been a tourist attraction since 1870. 

We chose to take the Classic Tour where we could explore and hike the chasm from walkways, paths, bridges, and lots of stairs of various types.  The Classic Tour also included a scenic float ride on a raft through the lower chasm.

Elephant Rock

Elephant Rock

Walking some of the tree-lined path on the easy part of the trail.

The chasm has a continuous exposure of a section of Potsdam Sandstone which is more than 520 feet thick. 

Lots of small falls along the path

Bridge in front of Rainbow Falls

The falls in front of Rainbow Falls - These are a part of the hydroelectric dam.  Rainbow Falls is really low on water at this time of year.  

Whenever you see green stairs, it is a part of the Adventure Tour which is a new tour that you can take a short 30' rappel and 150 tyrolean traverse and other much to scary ways to hang off the walls and cliffs.

Looking down at a rest spot near the rapids.

Lee is walking across one of the many bridges.

Some of the paths are not for the over weight.

We see a raft.  Now all we have to do is get down to it.

Getting ready for the raft ride

The rafts are coming down from the mountainside.

That is our guide.

We are on the raft and heading into the narrowest and deepest part of the chasm.

Our Guide

We were up there once!

 We took our shoes off so our shoes wouldn't 
be soaking wet after the rapids.

We are heading for the rapids.

We went over two rapids on the raft trip.  We went over the first one with no problems.  The second one was more problematic as we got stuck on a rock as we started to go over it.  Our guide couldn't get us off so he jumped out of the raft and then when we started to get going, he jumped back in.  It was a bit too thrilling!  The guide said they were messing with the dam outflow and the water had dropped over one foot since the last raft trip he took.  After we got back to the Visitor Center, we found out that had cancelled the rest of the raft trips for the day.

When we got to this section of the chasm, we were about to get off the raft.  The guide stepped out of the boat and into the water to pull us to shore.

Our rafts are being taken back to the start of the rafting trip.

We could have caught the bus back but we decided to hike a bit more if the trail and pick up the return bus a mile or so down the road.

The hydro-electric dam

We were starving by the time we finished the hike so we had some sandwiches in the small cafe at the chasm visitor center.

We really had a wonderful time today and would suggest this to anyone that loves the outdoors!