These Neversink Gorge hikes in Sullivan County all share a common payoff: Who’s ready to chase waterfalls?
Photography by Michael O’Neal
This incredible list of Catskills waterfalls will have you ready to plan a trip to visit these beautiful locations.
One of the most popular hikes in the area, the Red Trail Loop that leads to Mullet Falls is accessible from the main parking area at Katrina Falls Road in Rock Hill.
distance 1.6 miles on the loop itself, 2 miles total
view A quintessential waterfall, Mullet Falls is very pretty and surprisingly high. “You look up and the falls are coming down from a ridge above you splashing into the brook where you’re standing,” says Nancy Bachana, a guide with the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference (nynjtc.org).
crowd Especially busy on weekends, this trail draws families, young people and older folks, summertime Hasidim, fisher-people and dog-walkers.
special because… Once you reach the falls, there’s huge flat rock area where you can rest and picnic (except in the spring, when the falls are super misty and blowing).
Situated within Minnewaska State Park Preserve, the Sam’s Point and Verkeerderkill Falls trails are famous, and beloved, in these parts. Park at the Sam’s Point Preserve Nature Center
off Sam’s Point Road.
distance 8.3-mile loop
crowd Hikers of all ages, families, dog-walkers, birders
ziew “You’re walking along the ridge the whole time,” says Bachana. The views are beautiful, but you also get into woodsy areas and the trail opens up to fantastic, massive falls which begin at eye level. There’s not as much forest growth here, but plenty of low-lying shrubs and blueberries.
special because… Kids of all ages love to wander through the dramatic ice caves with their dripping stalactites.
In the same Neversink River Unique Area, hike another mile-and-a-half beyond Mullet Falls and you’ll end up at High Falls, a dramatically loud, rushing, double falls.
distance 4 miles
crowd Similar to that of Mullet Falls, but the trail itself seesaws quite a bit and is steeper in parts, so it’s decidedly tougher for children to navigate.
view Amazing vistas. “It’s a beautiful spot along the wide, expansive river, with two falls on either side where the river splits,” says Bachana.
special because… Cooler and thickly forested, the trail smells earthen and parts of it are cave-like. “You feel like you’re descending and as you decline, you don’t know when you’ll rise up again,” says Bachana. “Throughout most of the hike, you hear water from Wolf Brook, Mullet Brook or the Neversink River.”