Access Special Backpacker.com Features, Register Now!

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.

Rating

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

To Trailhead

From Palenville, NY, head west on NY 23A. Go 3.6 miles to the Forest Preserve Access parking on the left.

Leave a Reply