Thursday, April 14, 2022

Hiking with Grandma Beth: Old Forge resident shares coverage of Nelson Falls springtime hike

As an extension of our recent post about an Old Forge grandmother, Beth Pashley, avid hiker and talented photographer, The Adirondack Almanack will be featuring snippets of Pashley’s hiking adventures on a year-round basis including her visually-striking and artistic nature photographs. Pashley was inspired to embrace the great outdoors with her grandchildren starting at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, dubbing the family bonding time as “The Grandma Chronicles.”

Pashley’s most recent hiking excursion took place at Nelson Falls during the mid-morning of Sunday, April 10. Pashley said the Nelson Falls hike is a favorite of hers, not only for its beauty, its relaxing, leisurely layout, but for its nostalgic draw. Pashley said she has fond memories of hiking the trail as a family 30-plus years ago when her children were little.

“I would rate it as easy,” Pashley said. “I did not take the trail all the way into Nelson Lake, but backtracked and walked down the tracks for a bit instead. I have hiked all the way in to the lake several times and there is a beautiful lean-to just before you get to the lake.”

As April 10 was a snowy day, Pashley said she opted for just the falls (cascades) and a railroad hike.

“In the spring with the snow runoff (and probably the floodgates are open at the dam on the Fulton Chain of Lakes too,) the falls are the best,” Pashley said. “They were raging on Sunday!”

Inquiring minds should know that Pashley considers the Nelson Falls hike to be fairly obscure. Although she is very familiar with the trail, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact location as well as to provide hiking directions to other hikers via the Internet, according to Pashley.

“Most of the information out there is for the much longer trail that originates around Nick’s Lake to get to Nelson Lake,” she said. “[However,] there is a DEC sign and trailhead on [State] Route 28 about 6 miles south of Thendara, which is how I went in.”

Nelson Falls is situated on the middle branch of the Moose River. Find more information here:  (

Photo at top: Old Forge resident Beth Pashley at Cascade Mountain in 2021. 

*Photos of two small camps near the railroad tracks are located on private property, so those shots were taken from the railroad tracks.

All photos taken by Beth Pashley. 

*Photo taken on April 14 by Beth Pashley.

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2 Responses

  1. NOEL A SHERRY says:

    Beth, love this feature, look forward to following your hikes. GREAT idea that came out of Covid-19, hiking with your grandkids. Outstanding. Thanks for sharing these with us. The walk down the tracks was a nice feature, and what was that little house on the side?

  2. Ron DeBree says:

    Grandma sure gets around the mountainous, boggy, treacherous, slippery, wet, rainy, frozen, snow covered, black fly, mosquito and deer fly ridden Greater Old Forge area…She even knows where the snappin are turtles breed !!! Amazing place to live !!!