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Rainbow Falls Trail is a 5.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Kerhonkson, New York that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 5.9 miles Elevation Gain: 688 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

muddy

scramble

fee

This Rainbow Falls is located in Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Ulster County, New York (not to be confused with the Rainbow Falls and Indian Head trail in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve).The park includes dense hardwood forests, beautiful views, waterfalls, three lakes and numerous hiking trails. The park is managed by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Park in the lower parking area and take the Mossy Glen Trail (yellow), which is almost an immediate left off the lower Carriage Road( corner of parking lot ). The trail hugs the Peters Kill for almost 2 miles. Follow the trail left and up to the upper carriage road and make a right. Follow the Carriage Road for about a mile and look for the orange blaze on the right for Rainbow Falls Trail heading downhill. Follow the trail a short distance for about a half mile to the base of the falls. Continue along the base of the falls following the orange markers UP the short rock scramble. Once at the top enjoy the view of the Catskills in the distance, The parking fee is $10 per vehicle. Visitors might also be interested in nearby Castle Point and Lake Minnewaska.

hiking
8 days ago

Parking lot was full by 10 am. Cops patrolling and making people move along off the side of the road. No hike today :/

hiking
12 days ago

Beautiful trail! It took about 3 hours to complete, which included a 1/2 hour stop at the waterfall. For the loop, I would recommend taking the Lower Awosting (LA) Carriage Road out from the parking lot to the Rainbow Falls trail. The Rainbow Falls trail starts right after the LA Carriage Road crosses the brook (there's no sign, but there's three orange markers to the left of the trail at this point). After the water fall, we then took the Upper Awosting (UA) Carriage Road, to Blueberry run, and then the Mossy Glen trail back to the parking lot.

hiking
muddy
12 days ago

hiking
muddy
15 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

Walk right along the waterfall. A bit of a (very short) scramble near the waterfall. Had to carry our dog up. One of my favorites in the area!

hiking
22 days ago

Mostly easy and relaxing trail. One major issue: We could not actually continue to the water fall on the trail. I don’t know if it’s just because of all the rain we had at the end of April, but a stream cuts right through the trail. Most of us were wearing sneakers, and the stream was too deep and wide to cross. We had to turn back around and join a separate path. It was pretty disappointing. We still enjoyed our time on the paths, but we chose this trail because of the waterfall and were disappointed that it was washed out.

hiking
rocky
scramble
29 days ago

Half of this trail is on a carriage road, but the half to and out of the waterfall area if tons of fun and a bit challenging! Gorgeous!

hiking
scramble
29 days ago

Most of this trail is on the carriage path, but the hike to the falls is totally worth it. Awesome waterfall out of nowhere, you can even climb up and behind it in one spot. Keep an eye out for the trail marker for the turnoff. If you hit the lake, you’ve gone too far. (We decided to just add it to our loop and go around the lake- but only do that if you’re okay with a 11 miler!) We went counterclockwise- think I’d do it clockwise if I went back.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
30 days ago

Counterclockwise down road path the clockwise on Awosting lake loop. Nice lookouts over lake and good picture opportunities. Back to Rainbow falls loop trail down a slight incline to the falls, lots of green and moss this time of year. Follow trail back along the river back to parking lot. Pretty muddy as it rained the last 3 days but not too bad. Bugs weren’t too bad yet but will be soon. Would recommend highly.

hiking
1 month ago

Go clockwise for a more challenging hike. 1/2 of the hike is on gravel roads. The rest of it makes up for that though

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Did not charge fee to park today. Day started out snowy and low visibility but cleared up to sun, which caused wet and muddy spots. Overall very nice hike to the falls! Beautiful trail lining the river for most of the way, with two bridge crossings. Recommend!

hiking
icy
2 months ago

hiking
icy
muddy
2 months ago

hiking
icy
muddy
scramble
4 months ago

Falls trail is incredibly icy, even though it is 60 degrees out. Not safely passable at all without spikes. Also icy on parts of Mossy Glen. I have to say we were disappointed by this trail, given the reviews and given the beauty of other Minnewaska trails. Lacks the spectacular cliff walks and views of nearby trails. Falls were pretty but didn't knock our socks off. Mossy Glen trail was the best part of the hike, very pretty by the water. For first time visitors, pick a different hike if you want the cliff experience!! Gertrude's Nose or Hamilton/castle point.

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
4 months ago

Fantastic hike with diverse terrain. A challenging winter hike due to a lot of ice, especially treacherous around the falls. We followed the route suggested here and clocked it at 6.5 miles. Yellow trail along the Peter’s Kill to Blueberry Run then Awosting Carriage Road to the orange Rainbow Falls trail. The orange trail was full of snow and ice- to get near the falls it was all climbing on icy rocks, definitely need spikes. Some beautiful mountain views further along the orange trail. On a weekday in January we didn’t see another person the entire hike. The falls were full of ice but still rushing - a beautiful sight. Taking the carriage road back was a relaxing way to end a great day.

hiking
icy
4 months ago

hiking
scramble
6 months ago

The trail is easy in places, and in a couple of places difficult. Great waterfall and good views. Parking costs ten dollars per car

hiking
flooded
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

Great trails. Even was able to tack-on some short loops around the main loop and the carriageways. Definitely a challenging but very doable hike. Only one part coming down would be potentially difficult with kids or a dog.

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