Kaaterskill Falls: How To See Them…The Right Way

Who would’ve known that something as beautiful as the Kaaterskill Falls would be only 3 hours from New York City?! The Kaaterskill Falls have become a popular destination for tourists all around the country!

Information On Kaaterskill Falls Hike | How To See Kaaterskill Falls in NY | Waterfalls and Waterholes in Catskills

The Catskill mountains offer hidden waterfalls, water holes, campgrounds, and beautiful hikes. Kaaterskill Falls is one of the most beautiful sights, right by Hunter Mountain in the eastern section of the Catskills. The Kaaterskill Falls are a two-stage waterfall on Spruce Creek, totaling 260 feet in height. This waterfall has become a popular destination for hikers due to its beauty, accessibility, and watering holes. It’s definitely a destination you should add to your bucket list!

The Parking Is Going To Be Tough For Kaaterskill Falls

Parking for Kaaterskill Falls is a bit of a nightmare. We get it, New York is a crowded state, especially closer to the city. Unfortunately, popular destinations in the Catskills are no different!

To find the parking, you can use these GPS coordinates: 42.18983, -74.07401.

Information On Kaaterskill Falls Hike | How To See Kaaterskill Falls in NY | Waterfalls and Waterholes in Catskills
This is the first waterfall, Bastion Falls, you’ll see at the start of the trail. It’s also visible from the road!

Fair Warning:

You need to get to Kaaterskill Falls early in the morning to find parking! We wish we would’ve woken up earlier to get to the lots, but we were just a bit lazy that morning. There are only two parking lots: one for the upper trail and one for the lower trail. We’d recommend the lower trail parking (you can use the coordinates above for directions!)

Not Much Of  A Hiker? Don’t Worry, Kaaterskill Falls Is A Breeze!

Information On Kaaterskill Falls Hike | How To See Kaaterskill Falls in NY | Waterfalls and Waterholes in Catskills
The steep terrain is usually accompanied by stairs, making it a lot less dangerous.

The Kaaterskill Falls trail is not difficult, which is why it’s such a popular (and crowded) destination – besides the fact that there’s a waterfall…I mean really, who DOESN’T love a cool looking waterfall?! The Kaaterskill Falls hike is about 2 miles there and back (roughly an hour and a half hike). The terrain is steep and rocky. But, overall, it’s not bad and the view is worth it!

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Information On Kaaterskill Falls Hike | How To See Kaaterskill Falls in NY | Waterfalls and Waterholes in Catskills
We took this shot using our drone. Probably up there on one of our all time favorite shots!

There are three areas where you can stop and view the Kaaterskill Falls (unless you choose to go off trail, which we wouldn’t suggest): The lower waterfall, the upper waterfall, and then the top of the waterfall. We hung out the longest at the second waterfall viewing point. You can’t help but relax and enjoy the view!

Hope You Brought Your Bathing Suit!

Who would’ve known that there would be so many swimming holes in New York (we plan on visiting as many swimming holes in the Catskills as we can)! What could possibly get better than a waterfall, anyway? A lot of people swim at the upper waterfall area at Kaaterskill Falls. It’s a great place to splash some water on yourself and cool off after a long hike.

Information On Kaaterskill Falls Hike | How To See Kaaterskill Falls in NY | Waterfalls and Waterholes in Catskills

A Word Of Caution:

The water is COLD! And, the rocks are SLIPPERY! Make sure you’re careful and don’t do anything dumb. We love our readers alive…while also having fun exploring!

What’s This Story of Crowds At Kaaterskill Falls?

With anywhere in the Catskills, especially the popular spots, you’re going to get crowds. It’s inevitable. Based on the parking situation, you can guess that the Kaaterskill Falls are going to be crowded with people. But, we personally didn’t think it was THAT bad. People weren’t acting rowdy or throwing their trash everywhere, which is always a plus in our book.

If you plan on going with a large group of people, just make sure to leave any extra things in your car (aka ditch the beer and trash). If you do bring trash, just make sure to bring it back with you!

SEE ALSO:   4 Things You Need To Know When Backpacking Near NJ
Information On Kaaterskill Falls Hike | How To See Kaaterskill Falls in NY | Waterfalls and Waterholes in Catskills
A view from behind the Kaaterskill Falls.

Make It A Weekend Trip…And Make Sure You Camp

We absolutely love camping because it’s super affordable and simple. Camping in New York and near Kaaterskill Falls was easy – we stayed at North/South Lake Campground. For only $30, it was a great place to stay!

North/South Lake Campground in NY | Camping near Kaaterskill Falls North/South Lake Campground in NY | Camping near Kaaterskill Falls

Just Some Quick Tips…

The campground was clean and had plenty of activities to do for groups of friends or families. They had a beach area to allow for swimming in the lake, grills and picnic tables, and tons of campsites. However, when we went, it was extremely crowded! There were people everywhere…which is one thing we hate when camping. We like peace and quiet…but, in the summer, and in New York and New Jersey, you aren’t going to get that peace and quiet unless it’s during the “off” season. We’d assume that it’s always crowded during the summer months…so just a fair warning!

Definitely Grab Breakfast At Twin Peaks!

Everyone has to admit that sometimes glamping is a lot of fun! We decided to ditch cooking breakfast after camping and grab something in the local town while visiting Kaaterskill Falls. We lucked out and found this cute and local breakfast joint called Twin Peaks Coffee & Donuts. They make fresh and unique donuts everyday! We tried the Key Lime Pie, Salted Caramel Pretzel, and Glazed donut. David also had a breakfast burrito, while I treated myself to a Cuban Sandwich.

Attached to the breakfast shop was a little antique shop. If antiques are your thing, it was for sure an added bonus!

Twin Peaks in NY | Food in Catskill Mountains

Twin Peaks in NY | Food in Catskill Mountains

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2 Replies to “Kaaterskill Falls: How To See Them…The Right Way

  1. Question! Did you capture that view from behind the waterfall? If so, is it safe? I’ve read a lot of articles about how dangerous this hike is and how many people have died here from going off trail. I am just wondering if taking a picture from your angle is dangerous or something many people do. Thanks!

    1. Th one photo was taken with a wide-angle lens, so we weren’t directly behind the falls to take it. However, we did hike up to the spot. We didn’t go behind the falls for that same reason! Since it’s so narrow and steep, you can tell how it can be a huge hazard. Even the hike to where we captured the one shot was a bit sketchy. Personally, I’d use your own discretion. It seems as though a lot of people do it, but I really wouldn’t recommend going way off trail!

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