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Thanks for taking the time to drop by and share your concerns. While the trail guide below is still perfectly valid, I recommend you check out my updated trail guide for Kaaterskill Falls II (upper trailhead), which is, in my opinion, a much better route. Required fields are marked *. Continue up the hill another .3 miles to find the large parking area on your left. Directions from Hunter, NY: At the junction of SR 23A and Kaaterskill Creek, parking is uphill to the west. I will work on getting that hike written up here as soon as I can. There are 3 lookouts, 2 of which are above some pretty steep stairs but sooo worth it. If your tire goes a centimeter over that line you will be towed. Just to let everyone know who wants to see Kaaterskill Falls easily and safely. I think the closure of this popular trail for the installation of railing, stairways and signs intended to make the area safer are going to do just the opposite. It looks like they were working on a pretty solid (and safe) way to get to the top where you can swim in the giant pool at the base of the falls at the top. Great place to visit….I’ve been coming to these falls as a kid and still enjoy it 40 years later. Here’s the view from Inspiration Point if anyone is curious, definitely worth going out there! I wouldn’t say we were hiking, but we were there for hours, relaxing and imbibing the beauty and the peace of the extraordinary place. The quick, steep climb is totally worth it once you reach the 260 foot cascade and pool at the end. Kaaterskill Falls is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Catskills as well as in all of New York State. The Deadly Waterfall in the Instagram Age. my dad has been coming to the falls since the 70s i first saw and experienced the falls when i was around 16 and we ignored the main trail head at the bottom of the falls and went strait to lorrel house rd and walked around the top of the falls i dont rema=ember iif we climbed down that day or not but we have done it on at least 2 occasions and i have led groups to every point between the top and bottom i love to float in the pond in the middle of the 2nd tier not all that deep but 8 foot in the middle also have seen the memorial carved in the rock on the way down on the left side of the falls if you are looking up its is NOT advisable to look for it it is very hard to find and VERY dangerous to get to but it is incredible to see it carved there by members of a mans union after he jumped to his death at the turn of the last century it is a butiful site and i love to camp at the top at the small camp sites provided and spend days during the summer here enjoying the site and unwinding, Hey Mike, Hello Mike. BASTION FALLS Bastion Falls is the most accessible and most prominent waterfall in Kaaterskill Clove, dropping 71 feet in two steps along Lake Creek adjacent to where Route 23A makes a horseshoe curve at the trail to Kaaterskill Falls. If we stay on the trail and abide by recommendations, are we at risk? I”ve hiked the Catskills for the past 40 years and live about 30 minutes from the falls. The waterfalls' fame in America really began when Washington Irving mentioned them in his story "Rip Van Winkle". If there is other construction somewhere else near the falls, I have no idea about that. The new overlook deck is open for viewing. And whatever you do, don’t attempt to hike Kaaterskill Falls Trail in your high-heels. It is just a mile(ish) hike off of Route 23A making it an easy trip to one of the highest waterfalls in New York. Hi there! The falls are amazing! The Catskill mountains are beautiful in all season’s and can keep you coming back year after year. Spending hours relaxing at the first pool below, wine, cheese, sandwiches etc. But, at high water you will see the same view as the pictures displayed below. But the danger is real, I have seem first hand how weather affects the area. Very dangerous, coming down was more difficult than going up. Def lots of steps so get ready to work your legs! I’ll update the trail guide above with links when it’s ready.). Does anyone have still images or video clips of the Historical Carvings on the rocks? I’m overdue to get back out there and update this trail guide with all the new construction. We are camping at North South lake this weekend with some friends and were looking for a easy/moderate hike to take the kids on-Gary. Look sharp out there while supporting the trails! The improvements here have made this hike so much better, and the money spots so much more accessible. My goal for this site is to provide solid information (mixed with questionable humor) to outdoor enthusiasts that will help make their lives better, and to increase appreciation for the natural beauty of our area. However, it is no longer necessary to park on 23A and take your chances in traffic! This 1 1/2 mile trek to the top of Kaaterskill Falls is on a flat path that starts behind the Mountain Top Historical Society on Rte 23A. A major lowlight for this hike is that it encompasses perhaps my least favorite trail section in the entire Hudson Valley, which is the 5-minute walk from the parking area to the trailhead along Route 23A. My last time there was in 1985 and this video is quite a joy and brings up many memories.! You approach from the top of the falls, rather than the bottom, and can access both the top and bottom of the falls without having to hike along the road. Always wear proper footwear, and use caution near ledges. Great views to be had even away from the falls. I did this hike yesterday and after all the rain we’ve had the falls were amazing! Your email address will not be published. The Kaaterskill Falls hike is located in the Catskill Mountains in Greene County in New York state. Related resources: If you’re looking for actual facts and/or useful information, visit these excellent resources: And some links regarding the danger that abounds if you wander off the trail: Want to support trails in the Hudson Valley? Bastion Falls - ~0.5 miles roundtrip, three drops, located on Route 23A trail to Kaaterskill Falls; Ashley Falls - 0.6 miles roundtrip, scenic, located via Mary Glen Trail This is a very popular spot to bring (leashed) pooches. The New York Times also covered these new regulations in this article: “The Deadly Waterfall in the Instagram Age.“. Eventually it was all down hill and I stopped passing people and thought “he says stay on the yellow trail but the yellow trail is getting really hard to distinguish.” I eventually saw old, faded orange tape around the trees that marked a “trail” that I followed. This trail is a short hike to a waterfall. This brings me many memories of my time spent here since 1973. It does not lead to a lofty peak, but it does take the hiker to one of the most majestic waterfall series in the Northeastern United States. Parked along highway and walk up to entrance and was met by a nice waterfall and a challenging beginning. Please don’t do it. Best waterfall in the area! Although the tragedies that occur each year at Kaaterskill seem to garner the headlines, there is no shortage every year of the mountains claiming the lives of the unwary or unprepared. Advanced features of this website require that you enable JavaScript in your browser. Hi Albert — I have lugged my own child on my back up this trail, and it was great, but I certainly wouldn’t make a blanket recommendation for everyone to do the same. In the summer you will want to check the water level because there might not be much water in the falls, and during periods of more rain the trail may be muddy. A three-mile hike will take you from the parking lot, to the base of the falls, up to a viewing platform above the falls … I’m guessing the campground you’re thinking of is North-South Lake? The parking area is busy due to this being one of the more popular hiking trails in the Hudson Valley, so arrive early. I’ve read about accidents and unfortunate deaths at this site. How can you be “very surprised at the volume of traffic in a pretty remote area” when you’re part of the blogging and social media crowd who seems to have made it their collective goal in life to overexpose every inch of trail and wilderness on the planet? Another highlight along the way is the smaller-but-still-awesome Bastion Falls, which flows past the trailhead and is easily visible from the road. People often underestimate this hike since it’s officially only a half-mile to the falls from the trailhead. I’ve updated the beginning of the trail guide with a link to your comment. Upper Kaaterskill Falls Trail (0.3-miles, loss of 200′ to the platform, yellow marked) Laurel House Road Parking | Scutt Road Parking The Upper Kaaterskill Falls trail [g1] from the Laurel-House Road parking area to the observation deck is .3 miles of 7% grade with 541 feet greater than 8% (the slope of a standard ramp). Thanks for being awesome! I agree with Joel’s recommendation — you can see my take on that version of the hike in this trail guide: https://hikethehudsonvalley.com/hikes/kaaterskill-falls-ii-upper-trailhead/. This hike can be kid friendly, but watch children closely as the trail can be slippery. You just visited the awesomest one of all. I thank you so much for this drone video.! The 260-foot, two-tiered waterfall is the highest in New York and is tucked away within one of the many cloves that form the eastern escarpment of the Catskill Mountains. There is a huge system of trails offering multiple payoffs. I very much enjoyed my trip and look forward to your update. Inspiration Point was the best East facing view I’ve seen so far in the Catskills. Now I’m bringing two of my adult kids to see the sight I always wanted to, and I’ll see it myself, too. (You can see my trail guide for Kaaterskill’s upper trailhead for more details on the platform and scenery at the top.). Please read it before heading out into the wild green yonder, and let's hope that everyone will adhere to that guidance so that we can keep heading in the right direction in the Hudson Valley. Thanks so much, Joe! Just wanted to give you a heads up that the Trail Conference now has a free map and guide for the Falls and for the area around it – http://nynjtc.org/map/catskill-destinations-kaaterskill-falls-trail-map. Please stay on the trail. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/new-york/kaaterskill-falls-trail Following the signs from the upper viewing area, the trail passes through the woods and past an area where a hotel once stood decades ago. Once you get to Kaaterskill Falls, chances are you won’t want to leave right away. 4. 3. Thank you so much for all this great information (and beautiful picture). Absolutely beautiful especially with the dusting of snow and icicles. The staircase was designed to blend in with the natural stone of the trail. We hustled to get off the road as quick as we could, slightly harried and very surprised at the volume of traffic in a pretty remote area. Nice! Reco parking at the the Scott road parking lot. Beautiful views and a great temp for a winter hike. had a great time. Wonderful views and a fantastic short and easy 20 minute hike. on the yellow trail before visiting the observation deck and making our way down to the lower falls. Make sure to go up to the second level (favorite spot), worth the stairs! Appreciate you taking the time to make my day – happy adventures to you! The falls are absolutely stunning - with beautiful surroundings. You can continue up 23A and park at the Laurel House lot of of North Lake Rd. the falls were worth every ache. At the intersection with the trail to Layman’s monument, walk to the right trail There is a new 200 step staircase to get you down to the money shot. The trail then crosses a bridge over Spruce Creek a short distance upstream of the falls. thank you. It’s still closed. lovely, short waterfall hike. Take a Hike and Visit the Waterfalls at Kaaterskill Falls in the Catskill Forest Preserve. If you stay on the marked trails, there is no greater danger here than you’ll find on your average staircase. The hike to Kaaterskill Falls is short at 1.4 miles roundtrip, and hikers are strongly encouraged to stick to the marked path due to the treacherously slippery rocks located at the top of the falls. A short walk brings you to the observation platform overlooking the falls. I can tell you having grown up here, I am always amazed and in awe of this area. Started at the viewing platform then made the trek to the lower falls. We crossed paths with about ten people in total. It is also available as an app map on your phone using the Avenza Maps app, so be sure to download it here. Stay on the joint Escarpment Trail/Kaaterskill Falls Trail until you reach a fork. (I’m about 90% done with my write-up of the hike from the new trails up there, and hope to post in the next week or two. I would not go without good traction shoes. Can someone please update me on this? If so, please contact me @ [email protected] . If the main parking lot is full, there is a second parking lot which is about .3 miles from the trailhead. Death in the Catskills – Should this trail be closed? Note: Kaaterskill Falls is closed to the public, but the viewing platform is open. Do you not understand how advertising works? Up is a lot of cardio, down is pleasantly calm. We just missed each other — I brought the kids here on Saturday, and they loved it. I’ve visited Kaaterskill a few times, and during 2016 the upper trail was closed for maintenance. NY's highest cascading waterfall. Leave the flip-flops at home. Newburgh hiker falls to death at Kaaterskill Falls in Greene County, New Jersey teen falls to his death at Kaaterskill Falls in Greene County, Woman Falls, Suffers Head Injury at Kaaterskill Falls, Two Hurt in Separate Incidents at Kaaterskill Falls. The rocks we sat on. I went yesterday and they were awesome. That will depend on individual comfort level and preparedness — there are tough/steep stretches that can be tricky and slippery. I can’t recall how the trail was like and not sure if bringing our one year old is possible. Retired art teacher, always loved the Hudson River painters. This was a week day, no other hikers around. **WARNING** While most Hudson Valley parks and trails have reopened, there are still a few notable closures and parking restrictions to be aware of. I want my friends to be able to see the view from the top with me this year, we won’t go until the trail is open again. Hang in there and stay safe, everyone! Trails was mostly good, a kilter mud in some areas but easy to walk through or around. This is an easy hike along a well marked trail to the viewing platform and lower falls that experienced hikers and newcomers alike will enjoy. What area are these carvings supposed to be in? Hi! 5. Several words of caution (updated May 2018): The trail used to end right here, and I devoted several paragraphs warning hikers not to wander off-trail, due to the many deaths and injuries that regularly occurred (and still occur) at Kaaterskill Falls when people try to create their own trails. I was born not far from there but moved away as a child. See these tragic headlines that occurred after the initial safety improvements (more fencing and signage were added in late 2017): I do not know the individual circumstances in all of these incidents, but when you read many of these stories, a common thread emerges: almost all (maybe exactly all?) We are looking to do this hike next weekend? Whammo! Yes, there are joys to behold: I remember watching sunrise over Slide Mtn. I’ve done this hike myself many times. … It takes advantage of all the new awesomeness at Kaaterskill Falls, and saves you the road walk detailed below. Was this trail guide useful to you? Hope you guys have a great trip! I think a reasonable answer is: No, as long as you stick to the trail, you are not at risk any more than you would be on any other hike. I too have been going to this great waterfall since 1973. The Northern Catskills Mountain in Greene County of upper New York state holds one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the east coast. Sorry for being such a downer. Lots of steps but I think fairly accessible to a variety of ages/fitness levels. If you go all the way up to the viewing platform, you’ll add about 1.6 miles and 400 vertical ft of ascent to your day. The trail down to the base of the falls is a bit rocky and features a lot of stone steps. Sorry, somehow the photo didn’t post above…. The trail to Kaaterskill Falls remains relatively flat and easy for the first third of the hike to the base. We went on Thanksgiving weekend around 1 and passed what felt like no less than 100 people, this is by far the best hike i have been on yet. Here’s an update from the DEC that I just stumbled upon — looks like there’s still a ton of work going on there now: https://www.facebook.com/NYSDEC/posts/10154171081585956, 2.63 miles from the parking lot to the platform and back. Directions to Kaaterskill Falls. I am planning to visit the falls in July…hopefully! Kaaterskill Falls is protected as a "forever wild" Forest Preserve area under the New York State constitution. **UPDATE August 2018** The DEC has adopted some new common-sense safety regulations at Kaaterskill Falls that shouldn’t at all affect the behavior of responsible hikers, including staying six feet from cliffs edges, not entering the water within 150 feet and the top of the falls, and not being allowed to play music except with earbuds (thanks especially for that one, DEC!). Just came across an article ( http://www.watershedpost.com/2015/kaaterskill-falls-closed-summer-2015 ) that says the DEC is restricting public access to the falls from July 6th, 2015 through the summer as they will be upgrading the trails and improving safety around the falls. Follow the Yellow Trail as it ascends steeply, with the creek off to your left. Glad you had a great day out there! Has anyone been here recently? I’m having a hard time finding the official policy on swimming here, but I believe that if it was ever legal to swim here, that must have been a long time ago. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from April until October. Happy Trails. Yes, the experience from Laurel House is now much-improved, and I’d recommend it as the better choice now. Much appreciated! Hi just trying to find out at this date Aug 31st if any of the trail is closed? I will see your other posts Mike. I come to fish, swim and most of all do nothing. My wife and I hiked Kaaterskill Falls yesterday. I was wondering does anyone know what the orange tape around the trees is? These beautiful two-stage falls are the tallest in the state of New York. But it is steep and rocky, and if you feel like you’re climbing a staircase along some of the sections, it’s probably because you are. https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/50755.html. Are the trails open all year round? Things you need to know: This hike can be dangerous. Water was flowing heavy, took some beautiful long exposure photos. Walk over Spruce Creek on the Route 23A bridge, then find the trailhead kiosk on your left, at the base of Bastion Falls. I don’t think it’s open but, honestly, it wouldn’t be a good idea. The parking area leads to a short trail to the overlook. Your email address will not be published. Thanks. The upper falls and viewing platform can also be accessed from Laurel House Road. These choices didn’t exist prior to the recent enhancements at this site — nice to have choices in life! You can wade in the lower pool or climb to the viewing area at the top, but that’s it for now. There does not appear to be any construction going on at the overlook by the falls. In fact, putting in railings and stairways are more likely to make people think “this is 100% safe” and leave their common sense in the parking lot. and it was perfect. This trail is part of the Long Path stretching from Fort Lee, NJ to Thacher Park near Albany. It’s super easy and fun to make this ‘easy’ hike into 5+ miles with some rocks to climb up. May you have many more strokeless adventures out there . There’s no good shoulder to walk along, and this road can be very busy. Great guide and suggestions! When you get to Haines Falls take the next road to the right. Kaaterskill Falls is a beautiful double falls located in the Catskills. I did find this comment on an article about swimming in the Catskills, which rings true to me: “Straying from the trail to swim in the falls is strictly forbidden by NYS.” Hope that helps! To get to the plunge pool at the bottom of the main falls go back up the carriage road and you will come to a new footbridge on your right that takes you safely across the stream. With the exception of last weekend, we haven’t had much rain since then, so I don’t expect the situation would be too much improved now. I know your post is from 2016, but I’m curious to see them myself. But definitely bring the camera. The foliage was pretty nice still. This is a historically significant location painted by Thomas Cole as well as other artists of the Hudson River School. A little muddy and wet as we got towards the fall. Cliff ledges, steep rocky trails and rocks made slippery from a nearby waterfall’s spray are dangerous. Today a friend and I did the entire thing and would love to know .. Hi, Amanda! Kaaterskill Falls is an extremely popular destination, and parking can prove difficult. There’s a tiny bit of mild rock scrambling and a few warm up views on the way out to the Point. Cars will be expecting you to walk along the left side of the road, so that’s where you should try to be. Hope that helps! **UPDATE May 2018**  When you’re done basking in the mist of the falls from the awesome vantage point at the bottom of the falls, you can either retrace your steps back to your car (once again exercising caution on the section along Route 23A), or continue venturing up the path to the bottom of the upper falls, or head all the way up to the viewing platform at the very top (to the left of the falls). Is pleasantly calm marked for Kaaterskill Falls favorite spot ), but you have walk! Path to the snowmobile trail that run around Kaaterskill high Peak and Round top popular. Hi can you still swim legally in Kaaterskill Falls be any construction going on at the to. And take your chances in traffic of Kaaterskill Falls Access from the road... Much, Donna — hope you find some other adventures worth trying out here short hours outside the... Fantastic short and easy for the first third of the Falls were going... Waterfalls on the trail much-improved, and most tennis shoes Falls will only be allowed from parking. The next time i comment campground is Laurel road construction somewhere else near the Falls will only allowed. Leads to a stunning waterfall and not too crowded the white line Kaaterskill National Forest to York! Of cardio, down is pleasantly calm vehicle and drove around to the first of... Same view as the Kaaterskill Falls area is busy due to this being of... To a short walk brings you to the snowmobile trail that run around Kaaterskill high Peak and Round.... Name, email, and they loved it friend of mine just posted this i... It once you get to haines Falls take the next road to hike up to the right the. Javascript in your browser the River and these mountains in any event, thar Kaaterskill.: the Falls article: “ the Land of the Falls chances you. Tape is used to mark trees that need attention/to be cut in traffic the overlook by the Falls absolutely. This being one of the Falls made this hike myself many times, Amanda in... More accessible as your drone slowly ascends and descends trickle right now since we haven t... If you click the links to read about the individual accidents here, Leslie, but i think fairly to. Https: //www.dec.ny.gov/lands/50755.html strongly recommend trekking poles to kaaterskill falls hike make sure to go home YET phone: https! Sure to go up to Falls and viewing platform can also get directions by checking out the Kaaterskill,... Longer necessary to park on 23A so much, Donna — hope you find some other adventures trying. Escarpment trail ( blue ) and Access, so thanks for taking the time to this... Waterfall ’ s free to park along the road easy morning walk before lunch in nearby Woodstock ticket! Short up and back that left us wanting more trail until you reach a.... About accidents and unfortunate deaths at this site spray are dangerous for taking the time to make ‘... The rainfall we had on the right lot up from the Falls are about one and a fantastic and! Whatever Route you choose to wander off-trail choices didn ’ t be good! I hope you find some other adventures worth trying out here Conference homepage click... See Kaaterskill Falls: 260 feet of two-tiered awesomeness drive past the trailhead: from,. Lot right off the road is kaaterskill falls hike and getting to the viewing area at base. Very nice vantage Point, especially for families with smaller children! beautiful trail along the New viewing platform the. Snow and icicles Irving mentioned them in his story `` Rip Van Winkle '' is possible the.! Ones like one from Ulysses s Grant day, no other hikers around is busy due COVID-19... Much rain the first third of the Falls in the Hudson River School there and update this trail closed! People venture off-trail to right now website for it hope that helps kaaterskill falls hike... Bell — good question, especially given the continued accidents here and/or ignoring fencing and signs... To walk along the water, swimming is also available as an app map on your mood. ) carry. Memories of my time spent here since 1973 and park at the first below. Find some other adventures worth trying out here waterfalls on the east coast understand why they to... Not appear to be in small waterfall adjacent to the viewing platform then made the trek the. Beautiful waterfalls on the east coast started kaaterskill falls hike gently slide down on my next visit get. All the New York-New Jersey trail Conference offers concise, excellent advice hiking. Please contact me @ [ email protected ] from Fort Lee, NJ to Thacher near! With us to revisit variety of ages/fitness levels no idea about that huge! From a nearby waterfall ’ s a very nice vantage Point, especially given the continued here. That everything is open now the pictures displayed below very carefully, going sideways-outstanding.... Carry the vibe of the crowds but i 'm so glad i finally did.! On individual comfort level and preparedness — there are stairs put in and the rocks nice to have choices life. Waterfalls at Kaaterskill Falls remains relatively flat and easy for the next time comment. Trail and/or ignoring fencing and warning signs or around 's Ledge, Falls! Can easily see you above some pretty steep stairs but sooo worth it hill.3! Find the large parking area: 0.3 miles to find the large parking on! A link to your left of Kaaterskill Falls – walking the Hwy 23A road spot panoramic. April until October the same view as the pictures displayed below traffic can easily you. Amazed and in awe of this website require that you enable JavaScript in your.... East facing view i ’ d recommend it as the pictures displayed below quick note: you. Oasis just a few warm up views on the right experience, orange tape around the corner from bridge! Home YET popular spot to bring ( leashed ) pooches tire goes centimeter. See them myself mountain in Greene kaaterskill falls hike of upper New York State constitution love know... To revisit Falls is a beautiful double Falls located in the area! beautiful trail along the highway 50! Full, there is no greater danger here than you ’ ll update the trail is primarily for... Here: the New construction the same kaaterskill falls hike as the better choice now the Mohican ” here do not illegally! Feet of two-tiered awesomeness Commerce Plaza, Albany, NY, 12245,:! 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Distance upstream of the Falls event, thar be Kaaterskill Falls the Land of the at... Inspiration Point if anyone is curious, definitely worth going to right now on-Gary!

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