Behold, your next summer thrill:
Ausable Chasm is a popular tourist attraction in New York that has been around since the 1870s. Located near the hamlet of Keeseville, the site has been coined the "Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks" for its resemblance to the famous Grand Canyon in Arizona.
As many as 10 million visitors have come from far and wide to explore the Ausable Chasm's wonders. The geologic integrity of the site has been fully preserved; however, some of its areas feature modifications that transform it into a total adventure park for the true adrenaline junkie.
In 1760, Major John Howe, a surveyor and soldier, first endeavored through the chasm on mere ropes. Today, there's an easier way to get around: the Adventure Trail. Located in a region of the upper Ausable Chasm that is inaccessible from any other trail, the Adventure Trail is a "fully-guided, unique via ferrata featuring cable bridges, a cargo net climb, and edge walks" that take you in, around, over, and under the canyon.
Cutting through the base is a 3.2-kilometer river which serves as a route for the chasm's lazy river tubing experience. To say the experience is unique is an understatement. How often can you say you've floated on waters that run through a set of towering, 500 million-year-old rock walls?
Rafting is also an option for families or groups. Departing from Table Rock, the guided tour will take you through the cliffs of the Grand Flume, which is the narrowest and deepest section of Ausable Chasm. You'll see some of the site's most well-known rock formations, such as the Sentry Box and the Broken Needle.
For an even greater thrill, you can embark on rock climbing or rappelling adventure. A section of the chasm that is situated right over the Ausable River has been set aside for rock climbers. You'll hear the thundering waters rush below you as you make your way to the top of the cliff.
In another section, rappelers travel in the opposite direction, making their way from the top of the cliff to the bottom. The rappelling tour includes a short 30-foot rappel and 150-foot cable traverse, then ends with an 80-foot rappel and 200-foot traverse. After the descent, you'll still be 130 feet above the Ausable River so you can soak in all of the views.
Then, as the sun begins to set, you can descend 150 feet below the chasm for an eerier experience. Equipped with just a lantern, you'll walk along the Ausable River and get an up-close look at the Potsdam sandstone and mid-Cambrian substances that make up the entire rock structure. The tour lasts a total of two hours and culminates with a campfire and marshmallow roast.
All in all, these experiences are like no other. It doesn't need to be said, but I'll say it anyway: Ausable Chasm needs to be on your travel bucket list.
Ausable Chasm anticipates June reopening
With the arrival of summer, the staff at the Ausable Chasm are carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation. Currently, all mandates and recommendations by New York State and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are being followed.
According to the Regional Guidelines for Re-Opening New York, the reopening of attractions within the state will occur in Phase IV. Without an exemption, the earliest anticipated opening for the Ausable Chasm is June 27.
"When able to do so, we are hopeful that we can open the park in its simplest form: walking and hiking to explore the wonderful beauty the Chasm has to offer," reads an updated statement by the staff. "Plans for such have already been established and we are simply waiting for a green light from state and local officials."
"Other activities such as rafting, tubing, adventure trail, rock climbing, and others, will open when deemed safe to do so."
As for the Ausable Chasm campground, the earliest anticipated opening is June 19. A more specific date will be announced as more updates are released.
Visit AusableChasm.com for more information.
Photos by Ausable Chasm - Facebook
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