Kaaterskill Falls
Kaaterskill Falls
4.5
About
Made up of two cascades totaling 260 feet in height, Kaaterskill Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in New York. The stunning falls have been featured in many books, essays, poems, and paintings, and the area is protected as part of the North Mountain Wild Forest. You can get to the falls via the Kaaterskill Falls Trail, but the quick 1.4-mile trek can get rather steep and rocky at times, so climbing shoes are recommended. You can also head up to the viewing platform at the very top for a spectacular view. – Tripadvisor
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Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
362 reviews
Excellent
250
Very good
81
Average
12
Poor
5
Terrible
14

Noraatc
Sudbury, MA33,170 contributions
Sep 2021 • Couples
We took a longer trail to see Kaaterskill Falls, one of the most popular attractions in the Catskills.

We parked at the Mountain Top Historical Society, paid $20, and walked on a wide flat trail (basically, an old railroad track) almost all the way to the incredible viewing platform. There is a parking lot 300ft away from the platform but it is hard to find a parking spot there. Unfortunately, heavy gray fog didn’t allow us to enjoy Kaaterskill Falls in full, but we did feel its power. We would have loved to hike all the way to the bottom of the Falls but we were running out of time and the trail was muddy and slippery. Wearing hiking shoes is a must on this trail.
Written September 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stephen N
New York City, NY1,445 contributions
Aug 2020 • Couples
Great trail, very clearly marked, stunning views. Just too many people. I get it in the age of Coronavirus, you can't go to that many places anymore without quarantine. However, the amount of people visiting Kaaterskill Falls is probably too much (us included). The big downside of this is all the trash that the people leave behind. It's not that hard to carry out what you bring in. And if you came all this way to enjoy such a beautiful setting, why ruin it for the next person? People are so selfish nowadays.

We took the road up from Tannersville and got to the parking lot at the top of the falls. I was cursing while on the road to the lot because I already saw so many people turning in with me and we did have to wait about 15 minutes for a spot. They are free which is why it is so packed. If you don't want to wait, there are many private driveways before turning in to the parking lot where people charge 20 bucks to park - if you don't come early, you may save some time by paying these folks. When we left at 1:30 the line to park for free was at least 30 cars deep. They would probably have an hour wait minimum.

Couple tips, from the lot it's probably 30 minutes to the base of the falls mostly down the mountain on a well paved path (lots of steps carved into the trail). If you're ok with it, try getting up close to the falls at the base. Then head back up to the middle of the falls for another view - both up towards the top and down from where you were previously. Then walk back up to the lookout point which gives you the birds eye view of the whole falls from the top. Then walk up some more past the bulletin board for the view down from the top of the falls itself.

Great falls, great scenery, lots of fun. All in, we were here for about 3 hours. Only downside is the amount of people and the trash they leave. If NYS started charging a parking lot fee or admission, it might help prevent some of that. I'm a proponent of free activities but sometimes you just have to figure out ways to make it enjoyable for people who choose not to be dirty selfish pigs.
Written September 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BrynMawrBK
Bryn Mawr, PA723 contributions
Oct 2021
Kaaterskill Falls, the highest waterfall in New York State, is a lovely place to visit on a nice day. We were fortunate to be there in the fall on a mild afternoon so the trail was dry and leaf color becoming pretty. The road approaching the Falls is winding and narrow so expect to drive slowly. There is ample parking at the Falls and portable toilets; the walk to the falls is about ten minutes from the parking lot going at a leisurely pace. It's a fairly easy walk and only somewhat steep at the very end of the trail as one approaches the viewing platform from which the top of the Falls can be seen. It is also possible to hike down a switchback trail to the bottom of the falls, which looked muddy and wet from the adjacent falls and thus requiring hiking boots to be safe. The views are beautiful and the trip is well worth it. Camping is also permitted in the woods around the parking area.
Written October 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Julie A
Lake Hopatcong, NJ99 contributions
Oct 2020
There are many trails here, all with great views. You can hike to two spots to see the falls, one is an easy hike to a viewing platform that allows you to look down on the falls, and another is a more difficult climb down (and then back up!) a long set of stairs to see the falls from below. Worth it! There is also a longer trail to Inspiration point with spectacular views of the mountains and valley below. We hiked mid-week, but the trails got busy very quickly, especially by late morning. Most people tried their best to move to the far side of the trail when passing and to wear masks.
Written October 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gena F
Accident, MD298 contributions
Aug 2021 • Family
It was crowded but I think it is absurd for people to expect anything else, it’s a popular tourist destination; it is definitely worth seeing so obviously many people want to see it. The parking is free but does require some patience, I think it’s better to wait in your air conditioned car for a spot near the trail than to pay for parking at the top, walk down the road, and than have to walk back up the road to your car after doing the trail that is also quite steep. We arrived around 1pm and were parked in the free parking near the trailhead by 1:25, so we waited but not that long and after doing the trail which is pretty physically strenuous we were thankful to not have to walk all the way back up the road. It was an incredible sight to behold despite the crowd and the walk was an adventure!
Written August 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jmpncsu
Raleigh, NC4,460 contributions
Sep 2021
Kaaterskill Falls is a beautiful 200-foot waterfall in two sections. Previously, you could park on Route 23A to access the falls, but that parking area has been closed and walking on the narrow highway is dangerous and illegal. The best parking for the falls is at the end of Laurel House Road. An short, easy gravel trail leads to an overlook with a nice view of the upper drop. To see the rest, continue on the trail across the bridge at the top of the falls and follow the steeper trail down to the base. Here you can see both drops and get close to the base. There is also a side path that goes to the base of the upper drop. Overall, a fantastic waterfall and a must-visit if in the area.
Written October 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jacqui F
London, UK213 contributions
Sep 2019
Visiting this age-old tourist attraction was a real treat – not least because it was so hard to get there! First you have to get to the trailhead which is nearly half a mile from the parking spot on the 23A; down an alarmingly busy and bendy stretch of road. For a few hundred feet, there’s a storm drain ditch to the left of the road where you can walk (as long as it’s dry of course). Once you get to the trailhead the fun really begins. There's a well signposted scramble up the Caterskill Creek and, after about 20 minutes, you're rewarded with your first sight of the double falls. The entire height of the cascade is bigger that Niagara Falls (although a lot less wide), and this waterfall used to be a major tourist attraction in the 1800s. It was fairly busy when we went in late summer 2019 but there weren't many people painting it, which was all the craze a couple of hundred years ago. As a modern day traveller, you can hike up through the valley all the way to the top, to a high up viewing platform, but we just went to the halfway point of the two-stage falls and paddled there.
Written March 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ann S
5 contributions
Jan 2021
Here's the thing- my husband and I walk a lot and are in good shape. But we are not winter sports people. We live in New England near the shore. We came to the region for a change of scene after being home for a year because of COVID. I was not prepared for the challenges of hiking in the mountains in the winter. There is snow on the trails and it is packed down and icy slick. We had warm hats, coats and gloves, of course. What we did not have were good hiking boots, ice cleats, or trekking poles for balance. That said, we had a great time! Took it slow and tried not to feel embarrassed by the ultra-prepared hikers who passed us. We parked at Laurel House Trail and that turned out great. Short (icy!) walk to the observation platform. We also hiked the other direction toward Sunset Rock. That was less icy, I guess because fewer people go there.
Overall, it was not crowded, but not deserted either. Everyone we saw wore a mask. Lots of people with dogs, some families with young children. I recommend packing toilet paper. There are some toilets by the parking lot.They are yucky, but if you need one you need one and it is good to have paper when you're done. It's also nice to pack a picnic because you really work up an appetite.
Written January 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CJG_in_the_UK
London, UK104 contributions
Oct 2021
We got to Kaaterskill Falls about 8:30 am on a Sunday morning and we were glad we were up early. When we got there, there were only about 20 cars in the parking lot. We actually had the viewing platform to ourselves at one point. My husband hiked to the bottom of the falls and I watched the parking lot fill up quickly. When we left at about 9:30 there was a queue of cars hoping for our spot and people hiking in from the remote parking lot. We were so glad we got there early - really enjoyed seeing the falls in peace.

Lovely falls, beautiful scenery!
Written November 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

HBYani624
Kingston, NY180 contributions
Aug 2020 • Friends
We venture out early am on a Sunday morning, parking was limited due to Covid-19. Heading up the mountain we couldn’t hike the small waterfall area that was closed for construction. We follow the sleepy Hollow horse trail then it switch to a foot trail to inspiration point. This trail was on the side of the mountain & a little scary for me being an amateur hiker. The high waterfall was at the opposite end of inspiration point, it was a great view. We overall had an awesome hike. It did get crowded after 10am.
Written August 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Kaaterskill Falls (Haines Falls) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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