Hike the Catskill Mountains' Kaaterskill Falls

Kaaterskill Falls Parking

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)
Show More
RT Distance 2 Miles
Elevation Gain 527 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Forest
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Beautiful View

Get there early before the parking lot fills up.

Fell In Love On This Hike

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.

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.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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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