Explore the most popular views trails near Elka Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

PARK AT LAUREL HOUSE ROAD! The trail and falls are simply awesome, but parking on 23A is insane. Continue past into Hunter and park above the falls, where they have beautiful trails leading to all parts and viewing areas. Im a little chubby and would call this moderate, not easy, but all in all just loved it!

Phenomenal hike. Was very wet due to heavy rains the previous few days. Came up the north side, down the south side, and then bushwacked from the crash site east to the long path. Worth nothing that the south side was exceptionally steep in places with two rock chimneys that took very careful planning. Would not recommend taking a dog on this trail, especially the south access.

We (me, husband, and 4 year old son) hiked this on a Tuesday morning (around 10am). We found an AWESOME trail guide online for this at https://hikethehudsonvalley.com/hikes/kaaterskill-falls-ii-upper-trailhead/
This helped us decide on the Laurel House Rd parking lot vs the one where you have to walk around the side of the road. We started at the parking lot and went to the viewing platform to get our first look at the falls. It was empty! For about 1 minute. After that, we made our way down the trail that led to the falls. It was very steep and tricky in some spots because it was our 4 year old’s first time on such a steep/long hike. The trail was easy to navigate and towards the end there are actual steps built into the side. Definitely check out the top waterfall trail that you come to first because it is amazing! Once you’re down at the bottom you can really explore around at your own level which was great. Bring a swimsuit if the weather permits! I wish we had because the pool at the bottom is great and we ended up getting pretty wet just exploring on the rocks. At the bottom a lot of people are coming and going and towards the afternoon it definitely got more crowded. The waterfall was worth the hike back up too and there’s enough to take in at the bottom that you’re really able to rest up for the trip back. Great spot and I can’t wait to go back!!

nice fall to see when level of water is higher but the trail
is nice and not hard to see.

Main parking lot was full. Had to park down the road. Kind of a dicey walk along the road to get to the trailhead. Trail was crowded and mostly vertical. Well maintained and beautiful waterfalls.

not well marked but if you pay attention and read up on it, it's semi- easily navigated. beautiful trail- the view off of Hurricane Ledge is phenomenal and the plane crash was a very cool site.

Hiked on 7/28. Awesome hike, steep in spots, great lookouts when offered. Recommend going up the Devils Path and down through Jimmy Dolan Notch.

Really fun and engaging hike. There is significant uphill up to Sugarloaf and quite a bit of fun scrambling throughout, however nothing too technical and dangerous in my opinion-no scrambling along a ridge line, etc. I did it solo in about 6 or 7 hours and felt totally safe. The only thing to note is that the area is generally very wet so many of the rocks are a bit slippery, and i do think this would be very challenging to attempt on a rainy day. Sugarloaf does not offer great views, but toward the top of Twin is really spectacular and not that much more of a climb once you have made it to Sugarloaf. Enjoy!

Only did part of the loop. Ended around where the beaver pond is, but I think this is such a fun hike!! I like the little natural water spigot. And the quarry itself makes for fun rock throne photos.

Great views and a manageable hike

Nice hike through a mostly hemlock forest. Parking is getting difficult during summer. No signs for Codfish Point. Just have to look for the yellow trail once you level out. Be careful for bears and porcupines if you have a dog. And rattlesnakes, tho I never saw them here. Lots of stinging nettles in late summer. Stay on trail.

Short, relatively easy, enjoyable hike that was simply exhilarating! The heavy rain storms last night & into this morning transformed the creek into a thundering, magnificent torrent, crashing & tumbling down into the gorge below. Highly recommend!

nice scenery , good hike uphill to the falls.. definitely worth the trip

cross country skiing
1 month ago

I loved

23A is not the correct parking lot. That lot is dangerous, very small, and easy to get boxed in. Continuing up the hill on 23a, there are 4 more parking lots that are much larger, much safer, some even closer to the falls. There is a parking lot behind the Mountaintop Historical Society--take the rail trail to the falls area (also cool to check out what the area used to look like back in the day). Laurel-House Rd Parking---can hold up to 50 cars, has porta-johns, is wheelchair friendly and it's a .3 mi hike to the viewing platform, .7 to the pools. Schutt Rd, just past Laurel-House road---another huge lot with porta-johns and trail access to the falls. North South Lake campground---trail access to the falls but you might have to pay a cheap day-use fee (still better than walking down 23a, super sketchy).

Great hike! Nice walk through the woods and a beautiful overlook once you reach the top of the mountain. was not marked as titled but follow the blue trail up to the top and Then take the yellow trail for a great view.

Very nice hike.Not extremely difficult.I went on 4th of July with my husband. It was 88F but the trail ist mostly in a shade. There are 2 view points on the way. 2nd one is perfect for a lunch pause. Beautiful forest. The teail is not crowded. We saw 3 people on our way. worth going.

My husband and I hiked this trail with our 5 year old son and our toddler in a backpack carrier. The kids both did great. I’m really surprised this is rated as easy, but I guess it’s due to the length. I’d say it’s moderate and I hike often. You’ve got to definitely watch your step with all the rocks. I am so amazed at the amount of people we passed wearing flip flops or no shoes at all, you definitely need proper footwear to handle all the rocks,, they’re slippery. If you want to be able to take in the falls without a large crowd I’d suggest getting there very early in the morning. The walk to the trail head wasn’t ideal with kids along but it’s definitely manageable as long as you keep aware of cars. Overall, we enjoyed this hike and the falls a lot!

While I don’t write too many verbal hike reviews on here, this one definitely deserved it. I did Kaaterskill on a super hot day with a heat index of about 100 degrees, but, it’s probably my favorite of all the Catskill hikes I’ve done so far. I’ve heard this one described as a bushwhack but I really wouldn’t call it that. My exact route involved a short portion on a herd path between the long path and snowmobile loop (Stay looking to your left as the trail levels out for the herd path then make a right onto the snowmobile loop. Or head south on the loop for a couple minutes to see plane crash site #1 first.). A bit later a left off the snowmobile loop will take you up an unmarked but well defined trail to the top. The summit is nice, though wooded, but there are great views from Hurricane Ledge to the south of it (path initially points west from the summit). The second plane crash site is also just a short walk east of the summit (path initially points south). As it was such a hot day, there were just the right amount of people out and everyone I ran into was great. On the way back down I did Huckleberry Point on a whim and was glad I did. But, the bump on the way there kicked my butt a little. Between the heat and what I had already hiked that was understandable.

A couple notes for this hike: I noticed that the other trail to KHP on AllTrails is listed as EASY while this one is HARD. While I haven’t done the longer trail that goes past the ravines/falls, I’m going to venture a guess that it’s not easier. It’s about 10 miles versus 7 for this (without Huckleberry) and much more elevation gain. So I honestly think the AllTrails difficulty rating system could use a little work. It is, after all, relative to the experience level of the hiker that posts it. In comparison Catskill Mountaineer calls this hard one a 4 Star difficulty hike and the ‘easy’ longer one a 5 Star. I’m going with that until I can judge for myself. Another thing I noticed was a couple listings in the register where people said they were going to HP. So is that Huckleberry Point (probably) or Kaaterskill, which is also known as just High Peak? Please be specific with info left in the register. On a 100 degree day especially, it just might save your life!

Devils paths was great steeps.
But any other one not special .

Great for anyone looking for a short day hike with a high reward. Such beautiful views will make you never want to leave.

This hike has always been a favorite with something for all levels. Lately they’ve made some changes to the trail to make it more accessible to beginners and families like fixing the boulder stairs and adding a deck to walk out on and view the falls.

It’s usually crowded, so come early or be careful walking on the road to the trail. Make sure you are fully in the shoulder of the road I’ve seen people get towed before!

Did it with three kids- 12,10 and 5. Little hard for the 5 year old with short legs.

Def .5 but straight up, steps helped the little one. Worth it! Rocks at top are slippery so be careful.

Parking SUCKS walking with three kids in a twisty road was scary.

This is not a 5-star hike, especially when compared to either Twin Mountain or Sugarloaf, which are in the immediate vicinity. Having completed all three, either Twin or SL would be a better - i.e., more rewarding - experience, in my opinion. The overlooks on Indian Head aren’t the best (putting it mildly), as most are overgrown and obstructed. The ones that aren’t blocked look east over the developed Hudson Valley. Even Huckleberry Point across the way - while much easier - offers superlative, unobstructed views to this section of the Devil’s Path. The hike itself is challenging and I’m very happy to have completed it, but if you’re limited on time, you might just want to consider another local option.

Excellent fun climb, that’s short yet engaging. The problem is the parking. You have to park away from the trail and walk along a busy road - more a concern if you have kids with you.

Needs more parking.

Perfect hike with dog to enjoy falls on a sunny day.

Amazing waterfalls

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

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.

Load More