Catskills Part Two – Kaaterskill Falls

Hi friends, welcome back to my Catskills series. Our second full day started with some rain so we hung out and enjoyed our coffee before heading to Kaaterskill Falls. This waterfall is the tallest cascading waterfall in New York and has been on my list for a few years. The guidebook in our Airbnb suggested we park at the Mountain Top Historical Society and walk the old train rail to the start of the waterfall trail. This way we didn’t have to worry about illegally parking somewhere or have issues finding a spot. The lot was pretty empty and we headed down the flat, tree-lined trail.

After about a mile we saw the parking lot that is closest to the trail and it looked pretty crowded so maybe we made the right decision to park further away. We passed a ranger station and then the trail split to go to the upper or lower falls. We started with the trail to the upper waterfall viewing platform.

We then headed down a few hundred stairs to the base of the waterfall. This area was very crowded and I’m always amazed by the outfits and footwear I see other people wear. It was very muddy at parts and wet, but thankfully it wasn’t slippery. We found a spot to get our pictures and do some people watching. I was very glad the water was flowing so strongly because I’d seen some videos where it was more of a trickle.

The Kaaterskill Falls is 260 feet tall and cascades over two drops. Some people went up to swim, but we were more than fine just observing. I’m guessing the water was pretty chilly.

After getting our fill of this majestic waterfall, we started our ascent back to the car. It was a slow way up being stuck behind people without real room to pass, but that’s par with the course when you hike on the Fourth of July weekend.

We made it back home and hung by the creek before the rain started to pick back up for the night. It wasn’t the ideal weather for vacation, but at least it cleared all the forest fire smoke. Stay tuned for our final day in the Catskills.

26 thoughts on “Catskills Part Two – Kaaterskill Falls

  1. I’m also always amazed by the clothing and especially footwear choices I see on trails. Sometimes it’s just flat out dangerous, especially on wet rocks like this. I’m also always amazed at people who will swim in such frigid water. Beautiful falls!

    1. I remember hiking in Yosemite and a 7 year old was in a tutu and crocs hiking along… I am always very nervous when it’s wet. Sometimes the cold water looks refreshing, but I don’t like having wet feet or being wet.

  2. An awesome hike Lyssy. I have often heard of the Catskills but never really understood what the name referred to. After reading your posts and watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, I have a better understanding why New Yorkers would choose to go there, especially during the summer heat. Thanks for sharing. Happy Thursday. Allan

    1. The Catskills are the perfect escape from the city because you feel removed, but it is an easy and relatively quick drive. There’s also lots of lakes in the area that are refreshing and some of the reservoirs there are where NYC gets its water.

  3. Maybe it’s because we’ve been in a drought for so many years, but I love rain. A good thunderstorm instantly puts me in a good mood. I’m glad you and Jon got your hike in before the heavy rain started. The waterfall is gorgeous, and I’m sure it was worth dealing with the crowds in order to get to see it. My idea of a perfect end to that day would’ve been to curl up with a cup of something hot and a good book and enjoy the rain. I’m sure that’s what you did, right?😁

    1. I do love a good rain and thunderstorm, but only when I have nowhere to be. It’s the perfect weather to curl up with my books. It was definitely worth seeing the falls, I always love waterfall hikes. I did read my book and I think we started watching Fraiser that night 🙂

  4. I’m a sucker for waterfalls, and I would hike to see them! Unfortunately, the ones near the mountains here in Los Angeles are but just a trickle due to drought, but the Catskills’s are truly something! The hike over is gorgeous, too, and I’m looking forward to your final post!

    1. I am too, especially when they are really flowing! It is very hard to have a waterfall in a draught sadly. In Switzerland we went in the most powerful waterfall and it was so cool!

  5. Doesn’t look like Jon is too happy with those slow hikers on the stairs; he gives us kind of a “might as well take a photo” expression ha. The early photos of the hiking trail are so pristine, like some park ranger is hiding out in the trees with a leaf blower just daring anything to soil the path 🙂

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