Sunday, February 25, 2018

Kaaterskill Falls Winter Rain Hike

Catskill Forest Preserve,
Greene Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Kaaterskill Falls Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 0:55 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.4 Miles

Pros: Highly scenic waterfall
Cons: Very muddy conditions

I had a show in Albany, and had been there for much of the day. It had been raining all weekend, with a particularly stormy morning of heavy, steady rain. On my return back from Albany, the rains finally lifted, although it was still cloudy and damp. I decided to visit Kaaterskill Falls, the highest in New York (when the upper and lower falls are combined), which was somewhat on the way, requiring only a small detour. I figured that with all the rains, the falls would be very impressive.

Due to the previous weeks warmth, there was no snow in the area, which is very unusual for this area and elevation during the winter. The falls were strong as expected, and I was surprised to have seen the construction of a new trail to the top of the falls. I parked at the parking area a small way up from the falls, and walked along the side of the wall to the trailhead, which starts at the shorter but still impressive Sheldon Falls. I went up the trail to the falls, taking the trail up the area between the first and second falls. The terrain was very muddy and difficult, with occasional slippery ice mixed with mud. I then turned around and took the same route back.

Map of the Route

Kaaterskill Falls Plaque at the Parking Area

South Mountain Shrouded in the Clouds and Fog

A Roaring Sheldon Falls, Seen at the Road Crossing

Another View of Sheldon Falls

Kaaterskill Falls Trailhead

Newly Constructed Steps at an Eroded Area

Kaaterskill Falls, Top and Bottom Falls

Another View of the Falls

Wider Frame View of Kaaterskill Falls

Steps to the Upper Falls Area

Steps on the Trail with the Falls in the Background

Trail Between the Upper and Lower Falls

Upper Falls, with Ice Build-Up

Amphitheater of the Upper Falls 

Me at Sheldon Falls

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