Day trips from NYC: Kaaterskill Falls hike

I have a confession to make. I don’t do many outdoorsy things in New York. Besides playing ultimate, I spend most of my leisure time doing things indoors. Sometimes I’ll go to the park, especially if it is with my niece, but for the most part I stay inside.

That means I haven’t even begun to do much hiking in my home state. But luckily, my sister’s friend drove us up to the Catskills a few weekends ago and we did a short hike to the tallest two tiered waterfall in the area. This is the Kaaterskill Falls hike!

Kaaterskill Falls upper tier

That’s my sister gazing up at the waterfall

Getting to Kaaterskill Falls

About a 2 to 2.5 hour drive from the city, Kaaterskill Falls is a nice day trip from New York city into upstate New York. The drive gets windy towards the end, so if you have car sickness be sure to take something. Remember to bring water and snacks with you!

The Kaaterskill Falls hike

There is a mini-falls along the road where the parking lot is. There were lots of families there playing in the water and taking photos. Follow the foot trail along the right side of the water to get to the big falls!

Small falls on the way to Kaaterskill Falls
Kaaterskill Falls hike 1

Kaaterskill Falls hike 2

Stay on the trail!

Kaaterskill Falls hike 6

A cool rock.

Kaaterskill Falls hike 8

My sister again…being contemplative

Kaaterskill Falls hike 5

What can I say, I like taking photos of cool rocks…

Kaaterskill Falls hike 7

Kaaterskill Falls 3

Chill out on the rocks

Getting to the viewing platform to see Kaaterskill Falls

Kaaterskill Falls 2

Near the bottom of the falls to the right, there is a staircase that goes along the hillside and eventually puts you at the top of the falls where you can cross over to the other side of the water. You’ll find several trails here and marked signs for the viewing platform where you will find this view:

Kaaterskill Falls from viewing platform

Kaaterskill Falls from viewing platform

More info

You can find more information about the hike on this webpage about Kaaterskill Falls. It also gets updated with safety information if you scroll to the bottom. Take note of what it says about people falling and deaths due to injuries from those falls! It can be pretty dangerous amongst the rocks. There are some barriers if you are going to walk to the upper part of the falls, but at the actual waterfall area there aren’t any.

More hiking!

After hiking to Kaaterskill Falls and seeing what I’ve been missing my whole life, I’ve promised myself that I’m going to do more hikes in New York. There are some that are quite accessible by railway, and I might be able to tag along with my sister and her friends again in the future.

Kaaterskill Falls hike 4

This goes along with my plan to see and do more in New York now that I’m back. It’s so easy to fall into a comfort zone with doing the same few things over and over again, and to not fully explore and maintain a traveler’s mindset wherever you are living. I’m not going to be too ambitious with this, and aim to do at least 1 new thing each month. That’s totally manageable!

What should I do in New York in May? Maybe I’ll ride around on the double decker bus tours because that is something I’ve never even considered doing.

This is one of the best waterfalls in NY, so go get a look if you can!

Planning to go? Save this for later!

Kaaterskill falls-min