Kaaterskill Falls has one of the highest drops in all of New York State and it is a must-see destination for any waterfall lover! The waterfall can be found along the Spruce Creek and it drops over 260 feet in two tiers. The upper drop is 175 feet and the lower drop is 85 feet.
Native Americans considered the waterfall to be the resting place of the creator. For the Mohican people who called the Catskills home, Kaaterskill Falls was a sacred place. Over the years the waterfall gained lots of attention. Since the 1800s the waterfall has been a tourist attraction and also a place where painters, writers, and photographers have flocked in droves to. Thomas Cole, the founder of the acclaimed Hudson River School of Art, depicted a lone warrior watching over the falls in one of his most famous works, a monument to the place’s natural splendor. All have felt the hypnotic pull of Kaaterskill Falls, from Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle through Asher Durand’s Kindred Spirits and William Cullen Bryant’s love verse.
The Laurel House Road and Scutt Road parking lots are currently the only ways to get to Kaaterskill Falls. The walk from the parking lots is only a few hundred feet and is rather easy. (The Molly Smith parking lot and the Kaaterskill Falls Trail between Route 23A and the lower falls’ base are no longer open)
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- Height: 260-foot total drop (over two tiers)
- Type: Tiered
- Water source: Spruce Creek
- Swimming: Hikers can swim in the upper falls pool
- Address: Laurel House Rd
- Town: Palenville
- State: New York
- GPS: Lat 42.19349 Lng -74.06312
- Parking Notes: The Laurel House Road and Scutt Road parking areas are two free lots that give visitors access to Kaaterskill Falls. Parking is also available at North-South Lake Campground for a fee.
- Parking Directions: Laurel House Road (HERE) and Scutt Road (HERE)
- Location Directions: HERE