This simple half-mile hike leads explorers to a hidden beach and secluded waterfall, and it's just 2 hours from Utica.

With so many events cancelled, the pandemic has given us the opportunity to explore the great outdoors by walking or hiking trails. This easy hike, just a little over a half-mile long, is perfectly suited for families - and rewards you with a beach and a gorgeous waterfall at the end.

Lampson Falls is part of the Grass River Wild Forest, 14,000 acres of Adirondack land spread over several parcels. The trailhead is in the town of Clare, right off County Road 27, in St. Lawrence county.

The 40 foot tall waterfall spreads out as it cascades down well-worn rocks to a pool, suitable for swimming. At the base of the falls, there's even a sandy beach to enjoy. It sounds like the perfect spot to spend a day - but be sure to carry out everything you carry in - it's important not to spoil the land for the next visitors.

If swimming isn't your thing, you can continue to hike beyond the beach to take in the view from the top of the falls, which is equally spectacular. Reviewers on say the area beyond the falls is slightly overgrown, but well-marked. Make sure you wear long pants and protect yourself from ticks if you hike further into the wooded areas.

If you're looking for some more great hikes to try, check out our Explore CNY series.

Lampson Falls

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