Kaaterskill Falls Trail

EASY 291 reviews
#1 of 11 trails in

Kaaterskill Falls Trail is a 2.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Elka Park, New York that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
2.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
856 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

This trail is a short hike to a waterfall. In the summer you will want to check the water level because there might not be much water in the falls, and during periods of more rain the trail may be muddy. This is an easy hike along a well marked trail to the viewing platform and lower falls that experienced hikers and newcomers alike will enjoy. The difficulty increases as reach the waterfall but there are stairs put in and the trail is very well marked. This hike can be kid friendly, but watch children closely as the trail can be slippery. The waterfalls' fame in America really began when Washington Irving mentioned them in his story "Rip Van Winkle". The parking area is busy due to this being one of the more popular hiking trails in the Hudson Valley, so arrive early. Makes for a great weekend trip from New York City. The upper falls and viewing platform can also be accessed from Laurel House Road.

3 days ago

Amazing waterfalls

4 days ago

This hike was great! The start was really fun because there was bearly a path and I felt like I was on American ninja warriors at the start of the 1st waterfall! The end wasn’t so good because it was just a gravelly Path right below the suns Ray. But Other then that, it was a great hike and I definitely recommend it

Did this trail last weekend, was easy just had to watch your step

hiking
7 days ago

Okay there is no denying this is an amazing waterfall. But this hike is no joke. Bring decent shoes(I saw Crocs, sandals and dressy heeled boots), bug spray(clouds of mosquitoes), a walking stick and a big dose of caution. There are slippery wet rocks, swaths of mud on hills, tree roots and a treacherous fall down. My father fell and hit his face on a rock here, was thankfully okay other than some superficial abrasions, but it was near the edge and could have gone badly. I know the DEC made safety improvements to this trail but there is still room for improvement. There are sheer rocky hills you have to scramble up, even on the trail. The looooong stone staircase has no rails and can also be slippery/wet with debris. I'm an experienced hiker so I'm not just wanting an easy stroll. But I understand how people die here. A nice bridge and viewing platform once you've made your way to the top. The parking area is after the trailhead and you also have to walk on 23A right where vehicles are making a sharp turn. Other than a flashing pedestrian sign, no effort has really been made to make it safe to walk to the trailhead.

16 days ago

Worth every step

hiking
1 month ago

The falls are really something to take in on this one.
aside from the grand scale of the falls and the beautiful landscape the one big problem I had was, seriously slippery stairs, they helped a lot but, wow.
Another big one is the walk in from the roadway, seriously dangerous with how the traffic is.
My biggest issue was the trail marker chasing at the intersections. you could follow a blaze till a junction and it would say .9, after a time you hit another junction and the same destination is now 1.3 miles away, and no there was no other trail to take or missed markers.
very odd but none the less an amazing time.

2 months ago

I went there yesterday and it was the bees knees. The beginning portion was very easy to navigate but it got real icy about midway through. The packed snow/ice normally wouldn’t have been an issue for me however it was one of those semi warm days so the ice started to melt making it really slick. I could only imagine how funny it was for other hikers watching me crawl the trail as my bald boots slid while they walked it with ease. Definitely recommend pointy trekking poles and or spikes for your shoes if you don’t wanna embarrass yourself. The waterfall itself was absolutely stunning. Icicles and mist from the water really added to the natural beauty of the waterfall itself. As an added bonus i got to slide down the hill on my butt on my way back. 11/10 would return

2 months ago

So much fun, and beautiful views! Went when there was still snow on the ground, would not recommend - very slick.

3 months ago

Beautiful hike today in the snow. The waterfall was maybe even more spectacular than the last time I came in the middle of summer. Icicles and snow really added to the beauty. The trail was definitely slick (more packed snow than ice); spikes or poles would be a good choice.

3 months ago

Beautiful breath taking view!

hiking
3 months ago

This was a lovely hike!

We hiked it on a bizarrely warm day in February with a small chihuahua.

There were difficult moments peppered into what was overall a moderate difficulty level. Pretty icy in the winter and for our warm day there was a ton of mud that got you slipping and sliding. You must be careful on this hike but with some good boots you’re ok. Hang onto the trees! Go topside to avoid the ice patches. Some ice patches are hidden under lots of mud so be careful.!

But again, we were with a chihuahua so it couldn’t be so hard, right?

Waterfall lookout at the top is beautiful. I wish there were picnic tables or something but we found a goood rock to snack upon.

So many stairs. But pretty and doable.

The middle section (after the initial rock scramble ) turns into a gorgeous sloping up and down adventure.

Trailhead from the road says something like “preservation” so be careful not to miss it. Parking lot gets super crowded but people are in and out all day so if you just wait a flash you’ll get a spot. A small bit of walking along the highway to get to the trail.

Crowded at the trailhead but winds up being pretty private because of all the space. A small moment of oh-my-god-cliffs. Just hang on. It’s short-lived.

Would do again any day. So would Puppito.❤️

4 months ago

Amazing and beautiful any time of year.

hiking
6 months ago

Such a beautiful waterfall! This trail has a mild rock scramble which makes it fairly difficult, but due to the length being less than a mile, I suppose easy is the right rating.

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail! Nice and short hike on a beautiful brisk November morning. The beginning of the trail begins with a hike alongside the falls. The overlook point of the falls is beautiful! You can get pretty close. The stairs are tough but manageable. Make sure you take the walk to the overlook platform. Another beautiful, worth it view

7 months ago

between easy and moderate difficulty, especially as you ascend up the trail. definitely worth it to go all the way to the top. hiking boots will make the hike much easier. can be done in sneakers, but definitely not recommended. would do it again in the future.

hiking
7 months ago

This was a nice easy hike to the Falls. The Falls were partially frozen but still flowing. The steps and safety wire was a good improvement to this trail.

hiking
8 months ago

One of my fav spots in the area. New stairs to the upper falls look awesome. Get there early if you want a parking spot!

8 months ago

It was just ok
Plus I had s 50$ parking tickets!!

8 months ago

The view at the top of the falls is beautiful

8 months ago

Very easy hike but the waterfalls are worth it!

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful!!! Who doesn't love a waterfall!!! Walked behind the falls... so cool! A bit narrow and damp... thrilling experience.

hiking
9 months ago

This is a nice trail to the waterfall, however check the water level, because there might not be much water... Parking and access is to the trailhead is little bit tricky.

9 months ago

Beautiful

hiking
9 months ago

Ton of people. Well maintained with lots of places to go. Would recommend to families.

hiking
9 months ago

Even on a rainy day this short hike to the platform and back was perfect. Falls are STUNNING, and enough incline to get the heart going. Popular, but I can see why. Loved it!

hiking
9 months ago

Great view. Easy for our 5 years girl.

9 months ago

IMyself In a i

9 months ago

Good hike to do with kids

10 months ago

Very easy, short hike. The falls are stunning. Definitely worth going.

hiking
10 months ago

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