Hiking and Ice Climbing the Catskills: Kaaterskill Falls, New York

Before we went hiking in New York on Christmas, the three of us took a different scenic day trip to The Catskills.

It was my brother-in-law, Dennis’ idea to head that way when planning their trip up here. I didn’t know much about the area, other than the name sounded awfully familiar. If you’re not from this part of the U.S. either, and it sounds familiar to you, it’s because it’s where Woodstock happened. And where Dirty Dancing took place. The area is a pretty big deal as far as pop culture goes.

A day trip there wasn’t near enough time to do all of the things that The Catskills has to offer, but we did a gorgeous hike in, and Dennis got to do a little bit of ice climbing.


As the marker mentions, the area is historic as well. The Hudson River School was the first homegrown art movement in the United States and Kaaterskill Falls is one of the oldest tourist destinations in America.


The trail was so icy. It had snowed quite a bit, then rained a lot, then the temperatures stayed below freezing after that. Not a good combination. Do NOT hike in these conditions without some crampons, like the YakTrax that I have. It is slippery, dangerous, and three people died hiking Kaaterskill Falls in 2016 alone–two of which during the summertime, without ice present. The falls took the lives of Ezra Kennedy, 17; Marcy Yates, 56; Anthony Miele, 30, respectively. Following the separate deaths of two women in 2014 the trails were updated, but accidents occurring as of late shows that either more work needs to be done on the trail or people need to educate themselves. Proper footwear is serious business! /soapbox


Some might even say that the trail was “ICY AF.”

winter-ny-hiking-and-ice-climbing-in-the-catskills-kaaterskill-falls-22 Those views, tho…winter-ny-hiking-and-ice-climbing-in-the-catskills-kaaterskill-falls-6winter-ny-hiking-and-ice-climbing-in-the-catskills-kaaterskill-falls-8

You can’t see it in this picture, but Dennis is using a pick to climb on the unmarked area, and he also knows what he’s doing. Note: not wearing flip flops. Also note: don’t try this at home, kids.

winter-ny-hiking-and-ice-climbing-in-the-catskills-kaaterskill-falls-9winter-ny-hiking-and-ice-climbing-in-the-catskills-kaaterskill-falls-10winter-ny-hiking-and-ice-climbing-in-the-catskills-kaaterskill-falls-11winter-ny-hiking-and-ice-climbing-in-the-catskills-kaaterskill-falls-12winter-ny-hiking-and-ice-climbing-in-the-catskills-kaaterskill-falls-13winter-ny-hiking-and-ice-climbing-in-the-catskills-kaaterskill-falls-14winter-ny-hiking-and-ice-climbing-in-the-catskills-kaaterskill-falls-15winter-ny-hiking-and-ice-climbing-in-the-catskills-kaaterskill-falls-16Somer got some really great shots. You can find them on her Shutterstock page.winter-ny-hiking-and-ice-climbing-in-the-catskills-kaaterskill-falls-18winter-ny-hiking-and-ice-climbing-in-the-catskills-kaaterskill-falls-19

That one’s a framer! ^


Here’s the view from the top of the Falls trail:

view-from-the-top-of-kaaterskill-falls-trail-in-new-york-2The parking area near the trail head was at Kaaterskill Clove. According to nearby signage, the cleft was subject to logging in the early 19th century, but after artistic and touristic interest rose in the area around 1820, conservation efforts began. There are famous depictions of this clove by both Thomas Cole and Asher B. Durand.winter-ny-hiking-and-ice-climbing-in-the-catskills-kaaterskill-falls-26

History, art, and hiking, oh my! All the things I adore. Now that I know more about the Hudson River Valley Art Trail, I’ll be sure to make my way to every spot!

3 thoughts on “Hiking and Ice Climbing the Catskills: Kaaterskill Falls, New York

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s