Hudson Valley, NY, Hiking Trails and Paths with the Best Waterfalls

Hudson Valley hiking trails and paths with the best waterfalls



With water plunging more than 250 feet over its two-tiered drop, it’s easy to see why Kaaterskill Falls inspired numerous paintings by Hudson River School artists like Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church

Photograph by Jeff Pang

Awosting Falls Carriageway, Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Length: 1.3 miles • Elevation: Approximately 1,600 feet • Highlight: A cascade of water plunging 65 feet into a crystal-clear pool

The great thing about waterfalls: the best view is from the bottom, so strenuous climbing is usually at a minimum. That’s the case with Awosting Falls, which is just over a mile from Minnewaska’s lower parking area (if anything, you should be prepared for a rather steep downhill section as you approach the base of the falls). Along the way, you can watch the Peter’s Kill splash noisily over rocks and through narrow sections. And although you can sit on the rocks admiring the cataract as long as you like, resist the urge to take a dip in the pool created at the base of the falls (swimming is prohibited). For a little extra exercise, follow the carriageway across Routes 44/55 to see multilevel Sheldon Falls and the stone remains of a 1922 power station, which provided electricity to the hotels which once stood on Lake Minnewaska.

ALSO CHECK OUT:

Bash Bish Falls State Park Although technically not in the Valley (it’s located just across the border in Massachusetts), this 200-foot high series of cascades in the Taconic Mountains is worth crossing state lines to see.

Kaaterskill Falls Beloved by the Hudson River School painters, New York State’s highest two-tiered waterfall is just half a mile off Route 23A near Haines Falls in Greene County.

Verkeerderkill Falls Another Gunks gusher, Verkeerderkill is a 180-foot cataract in the Sam’s Point Preserve (and best viewed from the top).

» Back to the Hudson Valley’s Best Hiking Trails 2011

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