Hanging Spear Falls

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Hanging Spear Falls

Postby backpacker » Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:08 pm

I couldn’t find much information on this waterfall, what little information I did find contradicted each other.
This is what I know: Hanging Spear Falls is on the Opalescent River which starts near Mount Marcy. Feldspar Brook and Lake Colden empty into the Opalescent River before the falls. The river eventually empties into the Hudson River. Hanging Spear is .5 miles south of the outlet of the Flowed Lands there is a marked trail that parallels the river I would estimate the fall to be 80 to 100 feet, but the total cascade and fall is quite long as you can see in the picture. There is a carn that marks the trail to the two observation point of the falls. It looked as if you could get to the bottom of the falls by a narrow trail from the 2nd location but the weather was too wet for us to attempt.

What I found on how it was named is this:
1. With the correct water flow the falls looks like a spear hanging in mid air
2 the rocks around it looks like a spear head


The top of the cascade
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it's all down hill from here

The cascade and falls in full
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The main fall
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Top of the fall
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Base of the falls
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another shot of the main fall
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It was a great day for taking pictures, overcast and a misty rain. We had a five mile hike into this waterfall and with a foot bridge out we couldn’t make a loop out of this hike so we returned on the same trail. All pictures were shot with no filters and just a touch of post processing (might better say none at all) elements 6 used to resize pictures.
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Re: Hanging Spear Falls

Postby Matt » Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:03 am

very nice. I updated our list to link to this.
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Re: Hanging Spear Falls

Postby backpacker » Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:13 am

Thanks Matt
I was hopeing you would link it to the main list.
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Re: Hanging Spear Falls

Postby L_G_D » Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:56 pm

Hanging Spear is one of the greats in the Adirondacks. A real tough one to get to, as well. Nothing but a ~10 mile hike will do, so you usually have the place to yourself.

An ancient film shot that's only remarkable by the flood stage water level and the rainbow it makes. The crossing at the dam by the Flowed Land outlet was under water, so I foolishly tried to find a way I could cross down stream so I wouldn't get my feet wet. Ended up getting everything wet in the process as I had to jump across a channel that I couldn't quite make the other side. Luckily, I wasn't swept downstream by the current as I was only a few hundred yards above the falls at that point.

Image

A more recent digital shot from the base of the falls when the water level was more normal.

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Re: Hanging Spear Falls

Postby backpacker » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:31 am

I agree on the trip and the falls it's one of the best I've been too. When I was there it was to wet to get to base but all the pictures I've seen from the base really doesn’t do the falls justice. You miss the long cascade to the falls.
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Re: Hanging Spear Falls

Postby Matt » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:55 am

wow... quite the torrent.
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Re: Hanging Spear Falls

Postby L_G_D » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:54 pm

I have another set of pictures from a different trip where I took some shots of the smaller falls & cascades above the main falls. Once I dig them out and scan them, I'll post them.
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Re: Hanging Spear Falls

Postby mga56grg » Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:04 pm

How long does it take to get there? and from where did you start?
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Re: Hanging Spear Falls

Postby L_G_D » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:56 am

The usual place to start from is the Upper Works parking lot, in the old ghost town, which goes by many names. I've seen it called Tahawus, Adirondac, etc.... Here's a Google map of the parking lot. The trail follows Calamity Brook up to Flowed Lands, from there it's not too far to Hanging Spear. Once you get there, it's tricky getting to the bottom, but the better views are from the small area at the top where you can see the falls & upper gorge. The scramble down to the bottom isn't recommended, last time I was there, we walked to the bottom of the hill and waded up the river to the falls, then climbed back out. Next time we go, we're taking a rope to help get down & back up.

Prepare for an all day hike, it's about ten miles round trip, and it's uphill most of the way in, though not horribly steep, but definitely uphill. Bring plenty of water & food, proper clothing, etc.

I promised I'd post the pictures of the smaller falls above the main falls, and this has reminded me, so here they are:

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Re: Hanging Spear Falls

Postby NYGirlyGirl » Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:22 pm

I am kind of a newbie to photography but am diving pretty deep quickly. Seeing photos like these inspires me to stay at it. I feel like this must have been a very cool experience getting these photos. It must have been a great nature hike that ended up in beautiful photos. Can't wait to get to this level :) I have actually been making photo cards lately for my family. they seem to be a big hit.
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