Hiking the Kaaterskill Falls

Catskill Mountains, New York

On our long weekend trip to Hudson Valley, we took the best predicted weather day to prioritize our outdoor activity- hiking the Catskills. There are numerous trails to choose from and ultimately decided on the popular Kaaterskill Falls. About an hour away fro our Airbnb in Hyde Park, this 2.6 mile hike offered challenging inclines and rewards hikers with one of the highest waterfalls in New York. We arrived at the parking lot around 9AM before the crowds and the heat.

The parking lot is just passed the trailhead and proved to be one of the more dangerous parts of the hike. There is no walkway from the parking lot to the trail head and it is at a point in the highway where car visibility is low due to winding roads. Be very careful!

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This hike, while shorter than most, is almost entirely uphill on rocks- not a path- and there are multiple signs warning hikers that veering off the trail has resulted in numerous deaths. A serious message to hikers, especially if the rocks are wet or proper footwear (flip flops or other unsecure options) is not worn.

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After a solid cardio boost and thigh workout, we reached the lower trail end at the bottom of the lower waterfall as the water trickled down in the sunlight.

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The upper trail began with over 100 stairs at the bottom of the upper waterfall where a small pond met the raining water from atop the cliff above us.

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The upper trail continues higher to a landing at the top where the waterfall originates with a sweeping view of the valley surrounding Kaaterskills waterfall.

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The hike took us about two hours to complete, just as the trail was beginning to get crowded and the temperature climbed into the 80s. We stopped by the Airbnb to shower and get ready to explore the rest of the day, still unable to get enough of this view.

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For more about Hudson Valley, check out  full trip details and itinerary!

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