The weather forecast said rain all day, so we were debating whether or not we should even go. But, we said to heck with it, why not? We packed our bags and hit the road. We made the right decision and got rewarded with plenty of views. Our original plan for the day was to hike up Black Dome & Black Head mountains, but with that forecast wasn't looking swell in the afternoon hours. At the last second, we decided to head up to North-South lake near Haines Falls, to hike up to Artist's Rock, Sunset Rock, and Newman's Ledge.
The hike was super foggy, leaving us little views on any ledges. However, it created a perfect setting while walking in the woods. The Catskills felt like an enchanted forest on this day, but we definitely intend on hiking this trail again in some clear, sunny weather. After hiking back down from Newman's Ledge, we caught a nice view on Artist Rock while the clouds broke up for a bit.
We both recommend this classic Catskill hike, it's a wonderful wilderness area that made us feel like we were in the middle of Maine, but you're amazingly just 2 hours from NYC. Here's some more cool flicks from the first hike of the day:
Still lucking out and avoiding thunderstorms, we rushed to the parking lot of Kaaterskill Falls. Even on a rainy day, it draws plenty of visitors. The half mile hike up to the base of Kaaterskill Falls is fairly easy and hiking up to the overlook is a must, too! All together, you'll hike a total of 2.5 miles on this route to Kaaterskill and the payoff is well worth it.
Kaaterskill Falls is the biggest two-tier
waterfall in the state of NY. This waterfall might be the most popular attraction in the Catskills. It starts out at the parking area on route 23A. Take in the view of of Kaaterskill Clove from here. Then, you'll need to walk road-side to the trail-head, right in front of Bastion Falls. From there, you'll walk up .5 miles to the base of the main event, Kaaterskill Falls. After admiring it from the bottom, it's time to check out the upper tier of the waterfall. Take the stairs on the right side of the waterfall to the top as off-trail scrambling is dangerous.
Now you're at the the first falls, and from here you can hike behind the waterfall to get a crazy view like this:
Head back to the stairs and you will take about a mile hike up to the Kaaterskill Overlook. The trail from the stairs goes into a nice wooded area, giving you great opportunities to spot some wildlife. Once you reach the trail junction, you're a couple minutes away from the overlook. You cross a walking bridge and see the Kaaterskill Creek that leads off to the waterfall. The Kaaterskill Overlook definitely adds more walking to your trip to Kaaterskill Falls, but the view is definitely worth it. Here's some pics we took from the overlook:
Hiking back down to your car from here will take 30-45 minutes or so, depending on whether of not you stop to catch another quick glimpse of the falls from the bottom. This waterfall is a destination when vacationing in the Catskills or, even if you live near the city like me, you can easily make it up here for a day trip. Both of these relatively quick hikes are Catskill favorites and look absolutely stunning; they're easily some of the best the Hudson Valley has to offer.
[For more from Daniel - @myoutdoorhaven]
[For more from Greg - @outdoorexistance]