Hike the Catskill Mountains' Kaaterskill Falls

New York Kaaterskill Falls Parking

Added by Lucas Gashi

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)
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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

Share

Activities:

Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

2 Miles

Elev. Gain:

527 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Forest
Scenic
Waterfall

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

22 days ago

Use Caution

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.

22 days ago

10 months ago

Stunning Falls

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.

10 months ago

11 months ago

Ice Falls

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!!

11 months ago

12 months ago

Obviously A Great Spot

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!

12 months ago

about 1 year ago

Scenic Falls!

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 1 year ago

Added by Lucas Gashi

More Adventures Nearby

Fly Fish at Salmon Creek Falls

New York / Salmon Creek Fishing Lot

Park at the dead end designated DEC "Fishing Salmon Creek" lot.

Jacob Sells
4 Saves

Hike to Boreas Ponds

New York / Boreas Ponds Trailhead

You will start from the last parking area along Gulf Brook Road.  The road is a bit rough, higher clearance vehicle recommended. Just past the gate is a kiosk and map.

Rebecca Nichols
6 Saves

Hike the Bluff Trail at Chimney Bluffs State Park

New York / Chimney Bluffs Trailhead

The trail starts right at the parking area.  You quickly climb a short ways up and through the open forest until you reach the bluffs edge.

Rebecca Nichols
25 Saves