The 10 Best Waterfalls in The Catskill Mountains

The Catskill Mountains house a lot of incredible waterfalls and in this post, I’d like to share the 10 best ones you’ll find there, at least based on my personal visits and research.

Some of these waterfalls can be found right off the road, while others require hiking to. Either way, if you enjoy waterfalls and are close to the Catskills, then this is a list I recommend keeping on hand the next time you go there.

Here are the 10 best waterfalls in the Catskill Mountains:

  1. Buttermilk waterfalls in the catskill mountains
  2. Bastion Falls.
  3. Fawn’s Leap Falls.
  4. Kaaterskill Falls.
  5. Minekill Falls.
  6. Awosting Falls.
  7. Road 32A Falls (no official name).
  8. Vernooy Falls.
  9. Stony Kill Falls.
  10. Diamond Notch Falls.

Let me show you where each waterfall on this list is located in the Catskills and what to expect if you go (if there’s hiking involved, how long it is, or if it’s easy to reach). Let’s begin:

1) Buttermilk Falls:

beautiful buttermilk falls in the catskill mountains 01

This is a beautiful waterfall located right by Peekamoose Blue Hole (well about a half mile from it). Accessing it is simple (parking lot and short trail is located right by it).

If you go here, be sure to check out Peekamoose Blue Hole too, even if you don’t intend to swim there, because it is also one of the most beautiful swimming holes in the Catskills.

2) Bastion Falls:

bastion falls in the catskill mountains 01

Bastion Falls is another extremely scenic waterfall you’ll find right off road 32A. It’s name often goes unnoticed because this waterfall features a trail to a more popular waterfall in the Catskills known as Kaaterskill Falls.

But while Kaaterskill requires a hike, Bastion Falls does not. You can see it right off the road as you drive there (it’s also one of the most scenic roads in all of New York State).

As for walking up to it, 2 parking lots are available by this waterfall (they are often filled up on weekends) and then a short walk to the falls is required. But if you just want to see it from your car, you will be able to do that too.

3) Fawn’s Leap Falls:

fawns leap falls catskill mountains

Fawn’s Leap is actually a very popular cliff dive in Catskill Park but it also features a very beautiful waterfall (about 20 feet high) right next to the cliff dive too and while jumping in is risky, the scenery of this spot is spectacular.

To reach Fawn’s Leap Falls, you have to park your car further down (or up) on Road 32A and then hike to the location which can be found on your GPS. A short, but steep scramble is required to get to this waterfall, but if you enjoy cliff diving or beautiful scenery, this is one waterfall I highly suggest putting on your list.

4) Kaaterskill Falls (one of the most popular waterfalls in the Catskills):

kaaterskill falls in the catskill mountains 02

There’s a reason why most people who visit the Catskills go to Kaaterskill Falls: It’s beautiful, it’s huge and it’s accessible from multiple areas. It also happens to be, at least in my opinion one of the best waterfalls in New York State to check out!

You can access Kaaterskill Falls from the top area where a parking lot is available, with a short hike/walk to an overlook. There is also an area to walk up to the edge of it (not recommended).

But you can also hike from the bottom up to the base of this waterfall.

You would have to park your car by Bastion Falls, then take the 1 mile hike up to Kaaterskill Falls. Steps are also available there to reach the second level of the falls, as is a hike to reach the top, so whether you want to hike from the top down or vice versa, there are a lot of ways to explore this beautiful waterfall in the Catskills.

5) Minekill Falls:

minekill falls in the catskill mountains 01

Minekill Falls is a bit out of the way than any other waterfall on this list and doesn’t get as many visitors, but it is beautiful and worth exploring if you have the time. I usually explore this spot almost every time I visit the Catskills and it features 2 options for viewing:

  • One is a short walk from the parking lot to an overlook above the falls.
  • And the other is a 1/4 mile walk to the base of it.

Not only is the waterfall beautiful, but the gorge surrounding it is a beautiful sight as well. There also happens to be a smaller waterfall behind Minekill falls which you can see from the overlook area on top and a ripple waterfall from the gorge at the bottom, all things I recommend exploring.

6) Awosting Falls:

awosting falls in the catskill mountains 01

Awosting Falls is located in Minnewaska State Park, which is in the Catskill region and it is the biggest waterfall in the Minnewaska State Park area.

It too can be explored from the top and bottom, but unlike the other 2 waterfalls above, the top area doesn’t have a gated overlook so I would be careful if you. But a short, zig zag walk is available next to it so you can reach the base of the falls and that is where you’ll get the best views of it.

7) Road 32A waterfall (it has no name, but it is stunning):

catskill waterfall off road 32a picture

This waterfall is located between Fawn’s Leap and Rat’s Hole Park, all locations by road 32A. You’ll find it and hear it under a bridge you cross on that road between those 2 spots and if you can find parking nearby, I highly recommend exploring it.

A swimming hole is available as is a large area to sit and relax for as long as you want there.

8) Vernooy Falls:

vernooy falls in the catskills

The last 3 waterfalls on this list are places I have not yet explored, but in terms of popularity, they are right up there.

Vernooy Falls is a small, cascading but beautiful waterfall about half a mile away from the road and requires a hike to reach, but it also has a nice swimming hole available. It also isn’t that far from Peekamoose Blue Hole (and Buttermilk Falls).

9) Stony Kill Falls:

stony kill falls in the catskill mountains

Stony Kill Falls is another popular waterfall you’ll find in Minnewaska State Park (also in the Catskills). Reaching it is easy as it’s only about 500 feet away from the parking lot (a short hike is required).

10) Diamond Notch Falls:

diamond notch falls in the catskill mountains

Diamond Notch Falls, the last waterfall on this list in the Catskills isn’t huge but it is beautiful and it is located near Hunter Mountain, and close to a parking lot.

It is also a checkpoint you cross if you do the popular Devil’s Path hike in the Catskills. But if you’re not into crazy hikes, just know that you can easily access this waterfall without having to do that.

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