Kaaterskill Rail Trail

Catskill Park, New York

Distance0.3mi
Elevation Gain33ft
Trailhead Elevation1,947ft
Top1,959ft
Elevation Min/Max1939/1959ft
Elevation Start/End1947/1947ft
Kaaterskill Rail Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Town of Hunter, New York. It is within Catskill Park. It is 0.3 miles long and begins at 1,947 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 33 feet. This trail connects with the following: Kaaterskill Branch.

Kaaterskill Rail Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This hike to the state’s highest waterfall is the most popular short hike in the Catskills."

"The tallest waterfall in New York State is one of the Catskills’ most visited natural areas. If you only have time to take one hike in the Catskill Mountains, make it this one—a challenging 0.5 mile up a narrow, rocky path to one of the finest sights in the entire park.

Kaaterskill Falls is taller than any of Niagara’s three falls, and its towering geological setting provides the payoff for the half- hour of scrambling you will do to get up here."

"The tallest falls in New York State is one of the Catskills’ most visited natural areas. If you only have time to take one hike in the Catskill Mountains, make it this one—a strenuous half mile up a narrow, rocky path to one of the finest sights in the entire park. Kaaterskill Falls boasts a higher height than any of Niagara’s three falls, and its towering geological setting provides the payoff for the half-hour of scrambling you will do to get up here.

This falls, like so many in New York, splits itself into two distinct sections. The first is a stunning sheer drop from a notch at the top of the gorge, pouring down to a hanging valley. The flow's force pushes on to a second drop, this one a segmented cascade that falls into a boulder-laden pool directly below. This trail can be dangerous in wet or icy conditions. Many people have been killed when they walked out in front of the top drop. Others were killed by the fall from the top of the falls. Stay on the trail."

"Here is today’s final “Jeopardy” question. (You’ve bet it all. Let’s see if you’ll win loads of cash and return as tomorrow’s champion or leave a loser with a year’s supply of licorice.) The answer is “These falls in the Catskills are higher than Niagara Falls.” After that cute little “Jeopardy” song runs its course, you guess, anxiously, “What are the Kaaterskill Falls?” You’re right! The emcee shakes your hand! You will return as tomorrow’s champion, sending your rivals, the part-time farmhand and the nuclear physicist, home with armfuls of licorice. OK, OK, it’s not a likely scenario. But even if knowing about the Kaaterskill Falls never makes you famous and wealthy, you’ll be glad you made the trip. A wide, level path leads 0.25 mile to the top of this spectacular waterfall. Here, surefooted kids and adults can sit on the rocks and watch the water disappear over the escarpment in a pair of dramatic falls. Although children can wade and splash in the shallow pools of Spruce Creek well above the waterfall, they must take care not to venture too close to the sheer cliff over which the water spills. The Kaaterskill Falls is considered one of the Catskills’ most spectacular sites . . . and you never know when a few little facts about a waterfall in upstate New York will come in handy."

Kaaterskill Rail Trail Reviews

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6/6/2010
Great hike! Brought my 7 year old and it was wonderful.
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7/11/2009
I do search and rescue, about 15 per year from this location, PLEASE ,PLEASE be careful.and enjoy this beautiful location
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6/30/2009
Wonderful hike... I would rate in moderate in skill level there are several rocks to climb up, but the view is well worth it.. The trail is in and out with a total milage of 1.6km. A great day trip...
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Trail Information

Catskill Park
Nearby City
Catskill Park
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Hiking
Additional Use
Views, Waterfalls
Features
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Jun 2018