Kaaterskill Falls

Roadside view from the walk to Kaaterskill Falls

Some people may disagree with me, but I think the best part of New York is everything outside of the city. The upper-portion of state is fairly large and unexplored by many New Yorkers. But it’s one of the most perfect places in the Northeast region to see the fall foliage in October. I read about Kaaterskill Falls in the AAA Fall Foliage Guide and decided to check it out. It’s one of the highest waterfalls in New York State and has been painted several times by Thomas Cole. I didn’t want to go to places like Bear or Hunter Mountain where there was bound to be tons of people. This place seemed well-enough known but not overly visited. It’s along route 23A from the NYS Thruway and unless you’re looking out for it, you’ll probably miss it. The drive up the hill was amazing – like something out of a story. The winding road, the crisp air, the changing leaves, the view from the road into the valley. As you approach the Falls, you begin to see the water seeping from the rocks on to the road and the visitors walking alongside, trying to stay out of the way of cars.

The hike is not hard at all; there were little kids doing it, and some even went past the end of the path, up to the first Fall. I did some research and read reviews on varying experience before I actually went. If have bad joints or back or anything else that prevents you from taking part in day-to-day activities, then you might have a problem with this hike. But all in all, it’s not hard. You just need to wear a decent pair of hiking boots and pay attention as you climb. I saw some people in flip flops and couldn’t quite understand that. You’ll work up a sweat on the way to the falls, but once you get there it’s about 10 degrees cooler – wearing layers is recommended.

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