Catskill State Park, NY: Kaaterskill Falls

Hike through a lush, eroding gorge to Kaaterskill Falls--New York's highest waterfall--on this short, 1.4-mile out-and-back in Catskill State Park.
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Hike through a lush, eroding gorge to Kaaterskill Falls--New York's highest waterfall--on this short, 1.4-mile out-and-back in Catskill State Park.

Boasting the title of "New York's tallest waterfall," Kaaterskill Falls tumbles 260 feet over two dramatic rock tiers. Located along the eastern edge of Catskill State Park, this must-do dayhike to the base of the falls winds through the lush scenery of the Catskill Mountains. From the forest preserve parking lot, the 1.4-mile route descends the shoulder of NY 23A toward the trailhead. (Green, round-top mountains comprise the landscape.)
After 0.2 mile, cross the highway and Spruce Creek and enter the hollow to reach Kaaterskill Falls Trailhead. Ahead, the route climbs 400 feet over rugged rock steps as the sound of rushing water echoes off the canyon's towering walls. Soaring oaks, evergreens and moss-blanketed, rock faces line the right side of the foot trail. At the end of the path, scramble over mammoth boulders for a closer view of the water (caution: rocks may be wet). Retrace your steps back to the parking lot.
-Mapped by MacKenzie Ryan

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 2.3

Waypoints

KAT001

Location: 42.189824, -74.074073

From the forest preserve access parking lot, walk northeast along NY 23A for 0.2 mile to reach the trailhead.

KAT002

Location: 42.191136, -74.070672

Cross the highway.

KAT003

Location: 42.191209, -74.070586

From trailhead, climb a half mile to the falls.

KAT004

Location: 42.193441, -74.064508

The trail ends at the base of Kaaterskill Falls. Option: Scramble up the boulder and rockhop across Kaaterskill Creek for a closer view of the 260-foot waterfall.

KAT005

Location: 42.19372, -74.06419

This point offers the closest view of the falls. When finished, scramble back down to the trail and retrace steps to the parking lot.

Gorge Entrance

Location: 42.191305, -74.070452

Rocky Trail

Location: 42.192885, -74.068944

Kaaterskill Falls

Location: 42.193449, -74.064438

Kaaterskill Falls

Location: 42.193723, -74.064138