self-guided Moss Island hike

(c) Gabe Oram

(c) Gabe Oram

A short 7/10 mile walk from Canal Place (where the Festival is held) brings you to Moss Island, one of Little Falls’ most beautiful and important attractions.

Composed of very hard, very old igneous rock called gneiss, the cliffs along the canal are popular with both beginning and professional rock climbers. Hiking trails just beyond take you onto the shady island, where wild lowbush blueberry bushes, mosses, and ferns thrive…and dramatic “potholes,” remnants of dramatic geologic events, may be viewed.

You will also get an up-close look at Lock 17 on the Erie Canal, one of the world’s highest lift locks.

 Pick up a “self-guided Moss Island tour” sheet at our information booth, or walk out there on your own and read the fascinating trailside informational signs.

Please, be prepared:

  • wear a hat and suncreen
  • wear practical walking shoes or hiking boots
  • bring a water bottle


  • your camera!
  • bug spray
  • a walking stick

Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Bear in mind that hiking on the island involves a bit of scrambling over some rugged and rocky surfaces…it may be a bit too strenuous for some people. (Slippery when wet!)