SGL 57 is becoming well known for its wilderness, diversity, and places of beautiful scenery. It is also home to a number of waterfalls. I recently decided to do an afternoon hike to check out two of its little-known waterfalls which are not on any map, Koerber and Cali Falls.
I parked along Windy Valley Road at the bridge and made my way through the woods and up a steep bank. I found an old woods road on the south side of an unnamed stream, as it tumbled down through a deep gorge with cascades, slides, and pools. I soon reached a falls no more than ten feet high. The old road crossed the creek and I turned right off the old road and proceeded up the creek, where Koerber Falls soon came into view. Thanks to recent rain and snow melt, it was a powerful torrent of water surrounded by dripping red cliffs clothed in moss. A pool was at the base of the falls. In low water, it is equally scenic, becoming a graceful spout. Winter brings impressive ice flows. I enjoy these falls due to their power and an almost unbroken sheet of water. I’ve previously hiked further up this creek and did not see any other waterfalls. Koerber Falls flows most of the year and is about 15-20 feet tall.
I made my way over to Scouten Brook with its bedrock rapids, pools, cascades, slides, and boulders-a truly beautiful stream. My goal was Cali Falls. I hiked up the brook and soon followed an old grade on the south side of Scouten Brook. Through the bare trees I kept an eye out for a glen that came down on the north side of the brook. I made my way down the steep slope back to Scouten Brook, filled with cascades and rapids with crystal clear water, and crossed it. I made the steep, rocky climb up the unnamed tributary, which was flowing well. Cali Falls soon came into view as it plummeted with a curtain of water in a bedrock grotto into a pool. This falls is unique in that you can go behind it. Cali Falls is about 25-30 feet tall. It is in a wild, rugged, isolated spot that few have seen. It was beautiful to look up from Scouten Brook to see this waterfall through the bare trees. Cali Falls does dry up in summer or periods of little rain and it also features ice flows in winter.
I made my way back down the mountain trying to keep ahead of the twilight.
No official trails reach these falls, although old grades do get fairly close to both. Avoid using Scouten Brook Road to reach Scouten Brook or Cali Falls, as it is a private road. SGL 57 does reach Windy Valley Road just north of Scouten Brook Road, so that is a way to reach Cali Falls and Scouten Brook. Expect wet feet and stream crossings on this rugged, off trail hike. Be careful crossing the streams, particularly Scouten Brook, in high water.
GPS coordinates below are from Google Earth and are approximate.
Location of Koerber Falls: 41°29’22.41″N 76° 7’25.47″W
Location of Cali Falls: 41°28’38.36″N 76° 6’42.27″W
Where I parked: 41°29’26.49″N 76° 7’58.15″W