The inspiration point Catskills Mountains, which are just 100 miles north of New York City, seem a world apart from the nation’s biggest urban area’s noisy, crowded streets and towering buildings.

Covering 3.8 million acres in Upstate New York, the sandstone mountains covered in old-growth forest and the deep gorges carved by waterfall-fed rivers have inspired authors, painters, and thrilled tourists.

The harsh wilderness is home to lumbering black bears, howling coyotes, and wary white-tailed deer. 287,000 acres of this rough wilderness have been designated “forever wild” by the New York State Constitution. (By contrast, New York City occupies 205,000 acres in the state’s southern portion.)

This order ensures that large resorts and residential developments will never be constructed on the 700,000 acres included inside Catskill State Park, permanently preserving the area.

inspiration point catskills

From the earliest indications of spring to the final leaf fluttering to the ground in fall, the Catskills sing a seductive song to city residents and nature lovers, beckoning them to unplug from their busy lives and leisurely take in the natural splendor. Additionally, for those seeking winter wonderlands, several of these paths are accessible when covered in snow.

If you’re drawn to the inspiration point Catskills, don’t miss these incredible treks. In the Catskill Mountains, there is a waterfall called Kaaterskill Falls.

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Tips for Hiking at Inspiration Point Catskills

  • Observe only the clearly indicated path signage. Other paths may branch off into the forest or away from the main route, but do not pursue them for your own safety.
  • Taking shortcuts may result in trail degradation and significantly increase the likelihood of being lost or injured.
  • Climbing on the rocks under or surrounding the waterfall is not permitted. Injuries are frequent in places with slippery rocks or ground.
  • For treks, use sturdy footwear. Avoid wearing sandals, flip-flops, or going barefoot.
  • Although you will be trekking near water, we strongly advise against swimming.
  • Bring some water and snacks with you.
  • If you bring it in, bring it out. Littering is punishable by a $250 fine in the Catskills.
  • No glass is permitted.
  • Never start a campfire.
  • Most importantly, have fun and take in the splendor of our magnificent environment!

1. Kaaterskill Falls and Wild Forest, Kaaterskill

Visiting Kaaterskill Wild Forest and missing Kaaterskill Falls alltrails is like visiting New York City and missing Lady Liberty. After all, this gushing waterfall in the Catskills’ northeastern region is the Empire State’s tallest.

The direct route to the falls is via Laurel House Road, where a 1.7-mile out-and-back path almost completely surrounds the falls. Prepare to climb many flights of steps, but your efforts will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Hudson River Valley and the spectacular waterfall.

Take the Kaaterskill High Peak Trail for a lengthier (and more difficult) walk. This out-and-back path gradually ascends almost 2,000 feet over 7.8 miles, culminating in a last half-mile uphill effort.

(For context, the Empire State Building is just 1,454 feet tall from the pavement in front to the top of its lightning rod.)

Before embarking on this route, you’ll undoubtedly require hiking footwear with enough ankle support. Additionally, if you come in early spring or late autumn when the route is covered in snow or ice, bring crampons.

If your schedule allows for just a short visit to the falls, you may catch a quick look by following the relative level, 0.3-mile gravel path from the Laurel House Road parking lot to the Kaaterskill Falls hike observation platform.

2. Kaaterskill Wild Forest’s Bastion Falls

Bastion Falls falls over three levels just southwest of Kaaterskill Falls before colliding with Spruce Creek.

If you’re pressed for time, a 5-minute walk down Route 23 from the Molly Smith parking lot will get you to Bastion Falls. Take in the sights, capture a few pictures, and then go back to your vehicle to continue your journey.

inspiration point catskills

Alternatively, you may slow down, breathe in the clean mountain air, and experience two waterfalls for the price of one by continuing down the path to Kaaterskill Falls. This trek is suitable for adventurers of all ages and abilities and takes about 30 minutes (exclude the time you stay to take photographs and enjoy the scenery along the way).

The inspiration point Catskills spans four counties — Delaware, Greene, Sullivan, and Ulster — although the Catskills’ tallest peaks are located in Greene County.

3. Kaaterskill Wild Forest Trails: Catskill Mountain House and Boulder Rocks

After seeing the magnificent Kaaterskill Falls, there are many more pleasant treks in the Kaaterskill Wild Forest to choose from. Just south of the patch of land that juts into the lake, the Catskill Mountain House and Boulder Rock Trails can be found separating it into North Lake and South Lake.

This is one of the best inspiration point via south lake road. They form a 1.7-mile circle that passes the Catskill Mountain House and continues on to Boulder Rock Catskills.

While little remains of the massive whitewashed structure that once sat atop the mountain overlooking the Hudson River, the location still offers the same sweeping views that once wowed business titans, inspired artists, and wowed presidents during their stays at the resort.

When visiting the Catskills, art enthusiasts will appreciate the Hudson River School Art Trail. The route includes Kaaterskill Falls, the Catskill Mountain House, and 18 more sites across New York before overflowing into neighboring states of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

4. Kaaterskill Wild Forest, Layman’s Monument Loop Trail

The Layman’s Monument Loop Trail is another famous trip in Kaaterskill Wild Forest. It begins immediately north of Kaaterskill Falls and circling for 2.2 miles to the east. It has a stone monument of Frank D. Layman, one of many local residents who died fighting a fierce forest fire in the summer of 1900.

Pro Tip: To assist visitors in leaving no trace, the inspiration point Catskills has a $250 punishment for littering.

5. Catskill State Park’s Huckleberry Point Trail

This 4.6-mile enjoyable trail in Elka Park caught my eye because I associate delectable huckleberries with Montana’s big skies. However, huckleberries growing wild in Montana are globe huckleberries, while black huckleberries thrive in the Catskill Mountains.

While both types of dark, spherical, delicious berries are popular with bears, one advantage of visiting the Catskills is that you are unlikely to encounter a grizzly on the path. (However, if you time it just so, you may glimpse a black bear!)

6. Catskill State Park’s Artists and Sunset Rocks

This 1.8-mile circle begins just east of North Lake and winds through Artists Rock before looping back around to Sunset Rock Catskills. Take in extraordinary views of the Hudson River Valley from the rocky cliff of Artists Rock.

Revel in the area’s beauty-inspired artists such as Hudson River School founder Thomas Cole. At Sunset Rock, you may feel as if you’ve entered a Jasper Cropsey or Sanford Gifford painting as you take in the same breathtaking panoramic vista that inspired some of their most renowned works.

7. Catskill State Park’s Ashokan Rail Trail 7.

The Ashokan Rail Trail is a beautiful, shady, and reasonably level trail that runs for approximately 11 miles along the northern bank of the Ashokan Reservoir and between West Hurley and Boiceville.

inspiration point catskills - Ashokan

This gravel walk offers unmatched views of the ocean and is dog and wheelchair-friendly. Begin your journey at one of three public trailheads located south of Highway 28. Because the Ashokan Rail Trail is a shared-use path, walk to the right to allow for easy passage of runners and bikers on the left.

8. Huntersfield State Forest’s Pratt Rock Trail

If the Catskill Mountains serve as inspiration point nyc Yellowstone National Park, Pratt Rock serves as the Empire State’s Mount Rushmore. A sequence of rock carvings commemorates the life and times of Zadock Pratt, the founder of neighboring Prattsville.

These are integrated into a 3.1-mile round-trip walk up Pratt Rock. At the trail’s summit, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the Schoharie Creek and the 350-acre estate that was formerly home to Pratt.

Keep a lookout for the region’s historically covered bridges as you explore the sunset hikes Catskills. Some of the overpasses, which originate from the mid-nineteenth century, still allow cars to cross, while others are only accessible to pedestrians.

9. Catskill’s RamsHorn-Livingston Sanctuary Trail

The 436-acre RamsHorn-Livingston Audubon Sanctuary on the Hudson River is a wildlife lover’s paradise. It is surrounded by marshy wetlands, dense woods, and verdant glens. While exploring a succession of reasonably flat paths suitable for walkers of all abilities, look for bald eagles, snakes, herons, white-tailed deer, and butterflies.

Pro Tip: Print the National Audubon Society’s bird-watching checklist before your visit to keep track of the feathery creatures you see.

10. Tannersville’s Mountain Top Arboretum

The Mountain Top Arboretum is located near Tannersville, west of the Kaaterskill Wild Forest. It has walking paths that meander through meadows, glens, and marshes teeming with indigenous plants, trees, and animals.

Spring brings wildflowers such as trillium and violets, summer brings mountain laurel bushes into bloom, and winter brings a last burst of color from the birch, beech, and maple trees.

From the first snowfall that melts into a cascade to the last beautiful leaf that drifts to the ground, these wonderful treks will allow you to experience the grandeur of the Catskill Mountains.


How do I get to inspiration points in Catskills?

To reach the trailhead, take Sunset Boulevard west to Will Rogers State Park Road, which is situated 4.5 miles west of the 405 and three miles east of the Pacific Coast Highway. Turn north on Will Rogers State Park Road at the light. To reach the park entrance, drive 3/4 of a mile up the hill. Proceed beyond the gate and park in the left-hand lot.

How many steps at Kaaterskill falls?

A new footpath built last year connects the end of the designated Kaaterskill Falls trail at the base of the falls to the falls’ middle pool, which includes a new stone stairway. The 200-step staircase was created to fit in with the trail’s natural stone.

Workers from the Adirondack Mountain Club, headed by chief operating officer Wes Lampman, constructed the stairway by hand, using an intricate cable system to transport each of the 700-pound stone steps from a production location to the base of the two 260-foot waterfalls. Each stone was positioned in such a way that each step would be the equal height and length.

How long is the hike to Kaaterskill falls?

The walk to Kaaterskill Falls is just 1.4 miles roundtrip, and hikers are strongly advised to stay on the designated route owing to the treacherously slippery rocks at the falls’ summit.

Where do I enter Kaaterskill falls?

While there are many parking lots along Laurel House Road for the walk to Kaaterskill Falls, the best is near the end of the road. This route is accessible from Route 23A in the hamlet of Haines Falls, Greene County, New York, by turning onto North Lake Road.

How many people have died at Kaaterskill falls

There have been more than 200 deaths in the last 200 years, considered to be one of the most dangerous waterfalls on the planet. At Kaaterskill Falls, there are many danger points where one could meet an accident or even die. The following are just a few warnings:

  • The majority of fatalities occur due to falling from the top of the falls or being swept over the falls.
  • Dropping from the apex of the lower falls
  • Rock climbing is not safe – the rock collapses.
  • Avoid crossing the stream at high water and avoid crossing near the top of either fall.
  • Keep to the paths.

What does Kaaterskill mean?

Kaaterskill is a Dutch word that means “Wildcat Creek.” It is another word for “nearby stream.”

What is there to do in Kaaterskill falls?

Kaaterskill Wild Forest has a variety of waterfalls, as well as many paths and observation platforms. The trailhead is located just off Route 32A, about a five-minute walk from the parking lot. From the foot of Bastion Falls, follow the yellow trail.

inspiration point catskills

Catskills Bastion Falls

Bastion Falls is the official starting point for the trek to Kaaterskill Falls. Take note of the area’s absence of signage. The GPS ends up directing you to the top of the falls, so prepare accordingly. The main path leads from the parking lot here to a handful of different views at the top of Kaaterskill Falls.

Take caution, since, despite its popularity as a Catskills attraction, the park has had a number of fatalities in recent years. The Northern Catskills’ lush mountains appeared to go on indefinitely.

Attractions for Hiking

From the apex of Kaaterskill Falls, spectacular views of the Catskill Mountains are available. From this point, you can see the waterfall’s two levels tumbling over the steep cliff wall.

Kaaterskill Falls is a two-tiered waterfall. You may swim in the little pool that extends all the way to the foot of the waterfall. 

Can you swim at Kaaterskill falls?

The Kaaterskill a must if you’re in the region due to its grandeur and accessibility. Visitors may see the falls from up or down through hiking spots, with a swimming pool at the foot where one can swim!

How many died at Kaaterskill falls?

At least 200 people have died during the past two centuries. Experts agree that this waterfall is one of the most hazardous on Earth. Many people have been hurt or killed by falling from Kaaterskill Falls.

What is the waterfall in New York?

Naturally, Niagara Falls is the top-ranking waterfall in New York. This remarkable waterfall is one of the most magnificent waterfalls in the world and one of the largest in the state. Niagara Falls is made up of three different drops, the biggest of which is Horseshoe Falls.

Where can I swim in the Catskills?

You can swim at any of this inspiration point Catskills famous locations:

  • Otter Falls
  • Kaaterskill Creek
  • Peekamoose Blue Hole
  • Split Rock Hole
  • Stony Kill Falls
  • Vernooy Falls

How many waterfalls are in New York?

New York has more than 2,000 waterfalls. Some of these are Niagara Falls, Eternal Flames Falls, Letchworth Falls, The Falls at Clarendon, Finger Lakes Waterfalls, Pratt’s Falls County Park, Buttermilk Falls, Ithaca Falls, Lick Brook Falls, The Catskills Waterfalls, etc.

How do you hike Kaaterskill falls?

  • From the parking area, cautiously walk downward along Route 23A, keeping an eye out for oncoming vehicles.
  • After crossing Spruce Creek on the Route 23A bridge, look to your left for the trailhead kiosk at the foot of Bastion Falls.
  • Ascend the Yellow Trail sharply, keeping an eye out for the stream on your left.

How long does it take to hike overlook mountain?

Overlook Mountain is a moderately tough three-hour, five-mile round-trip walk that may extend to 9.3 miles.

inspiration point catskills

How long is Panther Creek?

The Foot Trail is 6.6 miles in length and is a stage hike. The trailhead (northern end) is about 3.3 kilometers from the falls.

How long is Panther Creek trail?

A total of 6.6 miles of moderate, point-to-point walking is provided by Panther Creek Foot Trail. It’s about 3.3 miles to the falls from the (northern end) trail. The route has steep pathways, rough paths and sometimes needs extremely small, hazardous trail sections.

How many peaks are in the Catskills?

Catskills Mountains have a total of approximately 3500 peaks.

Where can I hike in the Catskills?

Some of the best places to hike in Catskills include the following:

  • Kaaterskill Falls
  • Hunter Mountain Fire Tower
  • Frick Pond Loop
  • Neversink River Unique Area
  • Bramley Mountain Trail
  • Giant Ledge
  • Sam’s Point
  • Ashokan Rail Trail

where can I hike the Hudson valley?

These Hudson Valley Hiking Trails are perfect for beginner hikers:

  • High Falls
  • Copake
  • Beacon
  • Red Hook
  • Pine Plains
  • Windham
  • Cornwall-On-Hudson
  • Carmel

How many people have died at Kaaterskill falls?

In the past 200 years, at least 200 people have died due to the dangerous terrain. 

What is there to do in the Catskills?

While you are in Catskills, hiking, and visiting are the best things you can do. Here are some of the best tourist spots:

  • DM Weil Gallery
  • Minnewaska State Park Preserve
  • Historic Huguenot Street
  • Mohonk Preserve
  • The Museum at Bethel Woods

Can you swim in Kaaterskill falls?

You definitely can! Because of its magnificence and accessibility, the Kaaterskill falls COVID-19 is a must-see if you’re in the area. Visitors may view the falls from the top or bottom through hiking trails, and there is a swimming pool at the bottom where they can cool down!

Is Woodstock in the Catskills?

Yes, it is. Woodstock to Catskill is 14.50 miles northeast and 18 miles (28.97 kilometers) by vehicle if you use the NY 212 route.

What is there to do in the Catskill mountains?

Take a look at catskills mountains’ top attractions

  • Pratt Rock.
  • North-South Lake.
  • Zoom Flume Water Park.
  • Hunter Mountain Skyride.
  • New York Zipline Adventure Tours.
  • Hudson-Athens Lighthouse.
  • Kaaterskill Falls.
  • Catskill Park.

Where can I camp in catskills?

Primitive camping is permitted almost everywhere in the inspiration point Catskills, provided that the regulations established by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are obeyed. The primary requirement is that all primitive campsites be at least 150 feet from water, a road, or a path.

How long is inspiration point trail?

The 2.25-mile circle to Inspiration Point gains 325 feet in height. The gentle ascent rewards hikers with expansive vistas stretching from Santa Monica Bay to downtown Los Angeles.

Are dogs allowed at inspiration point?

The inspiration point Catskills path is accessible year-round and provides a variety of activities. Dogs are permitted on this path but must be on a leash.

Is inspiration point open

Inspiration point Catskills opens from 9 am to 5 pm!

Where is Kaaterskill falls

Kaaterskill Falls is a two-stage waterfall located in New York’s eastern Catskill Mountains, between the hamlets of Haines Falls and Palenville in Greene County.

What is Catskills

The inspiration point catskills is a mountainous range of the Appalachian Mountains located in southern New York, west of the Hudson River, and contains many prominent vacation spots.