Thursday, November 24, 2022

Escarpment Trail and Kaaterskill Falls Thanksgiving Hike

Catskill Forest Preserve,
Greene Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Escarpment Trail: Blue blaze
Horse Trail: Yellow blaze
Long Path: Green blaze
Schutt Road Trail: Red blaze
Kaaterskill Falls Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 2:45 hours
Estimated Distance: 5.2 Miles

Pros: Amazing views, scenic waterfall
Cons: Area can get busy
Hike Type: Loop
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Google Maps of Parking:

I was off for Thanksgiving, and decided to visit this hike which I had not been to in a long time. Further, I had never yet hiked the new connecting trail from the top of Kaaterskill falls to the bottom. I decided to take my time off in the morning and early afternoon to do a bit of a travel to one of the most scenic areas in the Catskills, Kaaterskill Clove and the Escarpment.

It was a beautiful late fall day. Even high up in the Catskills it was probably 50 degrees and sunny with little wind. (Though it was much colder in the shady areas and later in the day.) I parked at the new parking area at the end of Laurel House Road, and took the Yellow Trail down to the bridge crossing Spruce Creek, to to Escarpment Trail. I was surprised how busy this area was during this time of the year and on the actual Holiday. However, once I passed the falls area, I hardly saw anyone else and it was very quiet. Apparently all the foot traffic was to visit the falls.

I took the Escarpment Trail to the Layman Monument, and then went above the escarpment line passing several great views along the way. I passed the Yellow connection trail, and then passed Sunset Rock and Inspiration Point. The Trail then joined with the Horse Trail and then the Long Path, which I then took the Schutt Road Trail. I took the Schutt Road Trail back to the Escarpment Trail, which I then took briefly along the same route before, to the Kaaterskill Falls Trail.

I took the Kaaterskill Falls Trail trail down, then passing the new steps, and went to the upper and lower falls. I couldn't get too close as it was icy and slippery. I got to the pleasure to meet a fellow hiker from my area at the falls, Yoely Goldstein, and he added me to his hiking group chat. (See the last picture below.) I then turned around and went back along the Kaaterskill Falls Trail, back up, to the Escarpment Trail and the Yellow Trail and then back to my car.

Map of the Route

Kiosk at the Laurel House Road Parking Area Above the Falls. (Note the Snow.)

Beginning of the Hike

Bridge Over Spruce Creek Above the Falls

Escarpment Trail

Snow at the Escarpment Trail

Escarpment Trail and Kaaterskill Falls Intersection

Layman Monument

Layman Monument

View of the End of the Kaaterskill Clove from Layman Monument

Escarpment Trail

Sunset Rock

Inspiration Point

Schutt Road Trail

Special Regulations Poster Above the Falls

Warning Sign Poster Above the Falls

Icy Area Above the Falls

Upper Falls at Kaaterskill Falls

Lower Falls at Kaaterskill Falls

Kaaterskill Falls Trail Steps

Lower Falls at Kaaterskill Falls

Me and Yoely Goldstein

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