Minnewaska State Park,
Stony Kill Falls Trail: Red blaze
Total Time: 0:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.8 Miles
Pros: Scenic and remote Waterfall
Cons: Parking is difficult, beginning walk in the sun
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
After hiking Awosting Falls in Minnewaska, we drove to Stony Kill Falls, a large waterfall in a more remote area of Minnewaska State Park. Parking here at the end of the Shaft 2A Road on this narrow dirt road is difficult on weekends when there are other cars present. We parked on the road and proceeded towards the trailhead, passing through a very large and exposed area what appears to be a former shale quarry. This area also passes over the Catskills Aqueduct, bringing water from the Catskills to New York City. I would really like to see the park management extend Shaft 2A Road into the open area and build a normal parking area right near the trailhead.
This trail to the waterfall has been recently revamped. I remember hiking this area over 10 years ago and the trail was very primitive and stopped by the falls. The trail has been made into an official trail with a nice path and bridge across the brook. It used to end by the falls but was recently extended above the falls to connect to the Stony Kill Carriageway. However, the trail doesn't go directly up the falls area now, and you have to go off-trail slightly to get to the base of the falls.
Stony Kill Falls is a very impressive height, with an 87 foot vertical drop. Normally during the summer the water flow is weak, but with all the rains this summer the falls were impressive. We climbed up the newly created trail skirting the side of the mountain to the top of the falls, and took this new trail to its terminus at the Stony Kill Carriageway. We then turned around and headed back along the same trail back to our car.
In the past I used this route to get to Lake Awosting in Minnewaska, bushwacking up the area where the new trail now exists. This new trail makes it much easier to get to the top of the waterfalls, and affords a great back-entrance into Minnewaska.
|Map of the Route|
|Gravel Area in the Shale where you need to Walk in the Sun|
|Shimmy on the Bridge Crossing Stony Kill|
|Stony Kill Falls|
|Stony Kill Falls, Low Shutter Speed|
|Me at Stony Kill Falls|
|The new Trail Ascending up Stony Kill Falls|
|Me Ascending the Trail up Stony Kill Falls|
|Me at the Cascade above Stony Kill Falls|
|Shimmy above Stony Kill Falls|
|Cascade Above Stony Kill Falls|
|Me on a Rock above Stony Kill Falls|
|Me at the end of the Stony Kill Falls Trail|