Summary: Kaaterskill Falls is the highest two-tiered waterfall in New York state. It is a very popular spot - especially during the warmer Summer months.
From the parking area, walk down to the bridge. Be cautious walking along the shoulder of the road.
Near the bridge is Bastion Falls. Continue on the trail (yellow markers) for about 0.5 miles to the base of Katterskill Falls.
The water drops 260 feet in two stages. The first drop is 180 feet while the second is only 80 feet.
The official trail ends here. Turn around and head back.
Trailhead: Take NY Route 23A going west through the village of Pallenville. About 3 miles from the village you will get to a sharp hair-pin turn (Here you will cross a bridge and see some nice falls on the right). The parking area is on the left just up the road.
Trail Guides for Kaaterskill Falls:
Catskill Trails A Rangers Guide to the High Peaks Northern
by Edward G. Henry (Black Dome Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: NYS DEC Region 4 Ranger (518) 589-0216
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by George Senft, who has posted 26 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 2 of 9 Submit your own review
Reviewed by mg on 10/3/2010
I went early in the morning, had the whole area to myself the water was very high and strong from the storm and flood conditions 2 days earlier, I am glad I finally got there, it was a great morning and well worth the hike in and out
Reviewed by Viewer on 10/2/2010
We hiked on a spur of the moment decision. I could tell by the shoes people were wearing that they did the same. Luckily we had sneakers. High heels are not a good choice. Many were irresponsible in respecting the difficulty of the rocky trail. Very easy to fall and hit your head. Can understand why someone could fall to their death. People were going beyond the "trails end" sign and being careless. Also agree on the littering. What's up with that?
Reviewed by Wendy on 8/20/2010
I visited this site on 8/20/2010. It was a good up hill clime to the view of the falls. The trail was well traveled and maintained. Recent storm damage was cleared and you you could see the wind damaged trees around. The rock formations along the way were filled with pot holes in the red and blue slate. On the day I visited a young man fell to his death. He had passed the end of the trail up the loose gravel to the right to photograph the falls. That is when he fell eighty feet. My sympathy to his family. Please use caution at this site.
Reviewed by diggy64 on 4/6/2010
We hiked Kaaterskill this last Saturday 4/3/10. It was rather crowded (as expected considering the warmer spring weather). The ice and snow melt made for a great flow from the falls I had never seen (in the heat of summer it can be just a trickle at times). There was some remaining snow and ice along the trail (as well as some downed trees) when we went which made certain sections up to falls slow for the unexperienced. Considerable ice lined the foot path to the ampitheater (very treacherous right now) which still sustains a great amount of ice structures, etc. The scramble to the peak from the right of the summit was muddy but no more dangerous than usual. The large amount of spectators at the top smartly took the blue-marked trail.
Reviewed by Gary on 1/27/2010
Hi,the review given by Bruce on 8/24/2004 interest me. You see, I was one of the individuals who fell on Sunday,June 20, 2004. This year,(6/20) falls on the same day-Sunday. I am not sure which person Bruce thinks I am. No, I am not the "Fatality" (smile!)I am not one of the quadraplegics (Although doctors and therapists did no think I would ever walk again)....So, I must be the one who is "brain dead". Well, truth is I suffered a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), but I praise the Lord, I am not Brain Dead! Bruce, if you see this, I want you and those who read this to know that because of this fall at Kaaterskill falls,I'm now disabled (walk with a quad-cane and ride a scooter) who is a C&MA Chaplain to disabled folks in PA. ~Gary Ranki
Reviewed by BKS on 9/9/2009
A beautiful hike with so much to explore. The waterfalls were fantastic! The water was crystle clear. Lots of rock and tree roots to watch out for though. The hike up to the falls gets quite steep. Make sure to wear to good pair of hiking shoes.
Reviewed by Deborah on 7/14/2009
Mother Nature at her best...but beware...lots of rocks and roots...and climb can be very challenging for youngsters under 10, and our honored elders. I go to the gym three times weekly and walk 2 miles daily, and at 57 I had to focus on every step...good balance is a must. Those very young (teens and 20 -30 somethings)and agile will leap their way in both directions, but anyone else would be advised to be sure to have very good hiking boots....sneakers with slick bottoms could be dangerous. Remember...the journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step...Peace
Reviewed by kathy on 6/26/2009
Yesterday, Tom, Emma and I hiked the Katterskill falls trail. My 5 year old granddaughter has not stopped talking about it. She loved the rock trails, the water and the falls. We sat on rocks and dipped our feet in water. The only problem was it was packed with people. A jewel is always discovered. What FUN!!!
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