Ausable Chasm

2144 US Route 9, Keeseville, NY


Ausable Chasm

Photo taken by Richard Doody in 1990



Ausable Chasm is a mile long gorge cut through 500 million year old Cambrian Period Potsdam Sandstone by glaciation since the end of the Pleistocene Epoch ice age around 10,000 years ago and the Ausable River. The chasm has a continuous exposure of a section of the Potsdam Sandstone more than 520 feet thick, which includes a rare, mid-Cambrian jellyfish fossil.

It was a thriving industrial center during the mid-19th century. Power for iron mining and logging was aided by the rushing Rainbow Falls at the head of the gorge, and many mills and factories lined the river. Industry in the area began to wane towards the end of the century, ending in 1890 when a large nail factory shut down.

The chasm was opened to the public in 1870 and ever since tourists have flocked to its waterfalls and rock formations with names like the Devilís Oven, Elephantís Head, the Cathedral, and Column Rock.

Update Log 

  • January 30, 2019: New photos from Richard Doody
  • January 30, 2019: New photos from Richard Doody
  • January 30, 2019: Added by Richard Doody


  • Richard Doody