Looking for a beautiful easy hike to the tallest waterfall in the state? Head to Hunter and check out Kaaterskill Falls.
Kaaterskill Falls was easy to find via GPS and brought us directly to the medium-sized parking lot at the trailhead. If you’re looking for a quick and easy view of a waterfall, this is perfect. It’s your next choice that may change everything.
If you’re looking for the easy view, you follow the signs to the platform. The incline isn’t too steep and it’s only about .25 miles to the overlook. The trail itself is well-maintained and everyone was respectful to keep their distance and wait for groups to take their pictures. The overlook brings you to the side of the top of the waterfall and a view through the mountains that was just gorgeous at the leaves were peaking.
Now, if that’s where you stop then you’ll have a nice a quick, easy hike to a beautiful view. If you go further, like I did, you’ll experience the most difficult hike I’ve ever done.
The path from the platform is rather dangerous, noted by signs everywhere. If you head back up and get on the path, it leads to a pretty easy walk through the trees. It’s the trip down to the bottom that’ll get you. The signage is great and so, I just followed the path to the bottom of the falls. That’s when you reach a warning sign. The sign tells you that you’re about to climb down 181 steps and reminds you that you have to come up and getting help to that section of the trail takes a lot of time.
I saw the sign, read it, and figured that I’m in pretty good shape and gave it a try. The way down felt like a never-ending staircase that was a little scary at times if I didn’t have solid balance. The view from the bottom is beautiful and it’s so calming to just sit at watch the huge falls. Then, it’s time to head up. Those 181 steps hit you hard and it really feels like they’re never going to end. If you head that way, be absolutely sure that you can make it back up because it is NOT EASY. Good luck!