Hike the Catskill Mountains' Kaaterskill Falls

Kaaterskill Falls Parking, Haines Falls, New York, United States

  • Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    2 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    527 Feet

Forest
Scenic
Waterfall

Hike through Kaaterskill National Forest to New York's tallest waterfall at 260 feet. 

Although this is a super short hike, it is definitely a tough one! The quick, steep climb is totally worth it once you reach the 260 foot cascade and pool at the end. Hike along the trail, hugging Spruce Creek all the way to the falls. If you hike in the spring, the creek and the falls will be raging but you can't go wrong all year. There's great ice climbing in the winter and the fall leaves are amazing! The area has some great spots for cliff jumping and to just kick back, relax, and enjoy nature.

To find the trailhead, park at the Kaaterskills Falls Parking area and walk downhill along Route 23A. This is definitely the worst part of the hike...nobody wants to hike on a highway. Soon enough though, you'll leave the road and walk across a bridge over Spruce Creek to reach the Kaaterskill Falls Trailhead at the base of Bastion Falls (second photo) - in incredible waterfall in it's own right! Follow the trailhead as it follow the creek all the way to the falls.

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Water
  • Layers
  • Swim suit and towel (weather permitting)
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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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Get there early before the parking lot fills up.

5 months ago
5 months ago

If was one of our first dates. I told her to wear good hiking boots. She showed up wearing clogs! I thought she was going to fall and die. I saved her when she slipped and got married two months later. That was 46 years ago and we are still together.

11 months ago
11 months ago

Nice hike as long as you follow the prepared trail. Be careful hiking to the very top.. I have heard too much on the news recently of people dying here.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Relatively easy hike, can get crowded. Lots of rock scrambling, and you're hiking along the edge of a stream until you come to the most gorgeous falls. We went in early spring.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Finally took a trip here the other day. What a sight especially in Winter. There is a new viewing platform and recently constructed trail to view the Upper Falls. The falls were rushing yet incased in ice all around and the best part my daughter and I had it to ourselves!!

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Obviously this is an absolutely amazing falls and I've been going my entire life. This being said it's often incredibly crowded with obnoxious city people so plan a good time to visit. Also be careful!

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Great Review! I was on the Professional Trail Crew this summer and we actually worked on building a staircase to the upper part of the falls to inhibit the injuries that have been going on from people hiking up the pathless woods to the top of the falls! This will allow more access and safety to the top part of the falls when it's opened in the near-future! :)

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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