Tooley Pond Falls


View St. Lawrence County Waterfalls in a larger map

The land along Tooley Pond Road is the Northern River Flow-Tooley Pond Tract, which is a section of the New York DEC public lands, allowing access to this simply amazing place. A 16-mile section of the South Branch of the Grasse River meanders within the tract. Along this stretch, six major waterfalls exist with a variety of named rapids. The falls include: Rainbow Falls, Bulkhead Falls, Flat Rock Falls, Twin Falls, Sinclair Falls and Basford Falls. They range from the 40 foot drop of Rainbow Falls to the gentle sloped falls at Sinclair Falls, a perfect place to have lunch. The South Branch of the Grasse has excellent kayaking and canoeing with easy carries around the falls, if you do not desire to take the express route. There is good fishing in the area, but check for special regulations on the South Branch of the Grasse River. There is also an enjoyable hike up Tooley Pond Mountain at the southern end of the road.Basford Falls

Little exploration of the area had taken place until the 1860s when iron was discovered in the region. In 1866 the town of Clarksboro was established near Twin Falls on the shore of the Grasse River. An iron furnace and water-run sawmill were built to support the town. The foundation of the sawmill can still be seen at the top of Twin Falls. This is one of the only artifacts left of the town of Clarksboro. Iron was mined in this region until the 1950s when the mines closed because of low iron prices. Exploring this area can reveal the unique history of the County and show some of the best hidden waters.

Directions to Tooley Pond Road:
From the south or east: Turn north on Tooley Pond Road from NY Route 3, about a mile west of Cranberry Lake (Right-hand turn).
From the north and west: Tooley Pond Road is located three-quarters of a mile east of Degrasse, along St. Lawrence County Route 27.

Directions to the Falls:
Some of the falls can be seen from the road, while others are a short walk along trails. The mileage below is for starting at the northern end of Tooley Pond Road in Degrasse. There are no parking areas for many of the falls, so one will have to pull to the side of the road as far as possible.

  1. Basford Falls: 1.4 miles- follow trail to falls. (photo upper right)
  2. Sinclair Falls: 2 miles- Sinclair Falls is located just South of Lake Gorge Road. There is a small information stop in the parking lot. (photo left)
  3. Twin Falls: 3.1 miles- Before this there is a dirt road giving a good view of both falls. After this is the top of the falls, where the mill was located.
  4. Stewart Rapids: 3.3 miles- Can be seen from the road, large turn in the river.
  5. Bulkhead Falls: 3.5 miles- Right before turn in the road, follow old road marked no vehicles to the falls.
  6. Rainbow Falls: 6.1 miles- Look for a clearing marked off with boulders. Follow old road to the river, cross foot bridge to island and continue walking on path until you see the falls.
  7. Copper Rock Falls: 8.6 miles- Look for red blaze on tree along with sign including fishing regulations. This is the beginning of the trail, follow white marked path to water and falls.