The drive from New York City to the eastern Catskill Mountains of New York is an easy one. The 2 hour drive to Kaaterskill Falls provides views of big green fields, trees, lakes and even horses along the way. There are plenty of toll booths along the way as well but they are small fees. If you don’t own a car, it is easy to rent a car as long as you have a license and a major credit card. If you live in the city, renting a car from Budget or Avis in Fort Lee, NJ is not only pretty inexpensive but it’s also easy to get to from the George Washington Bridge.
The best way to find your way to Kaaterskill Falls is to plug in “Haines Falls, New York” in your GPS. The navigation system will take you to the top of the falls where you will see signs that instruct you where to park and access the viewing platform. Keep in mind that as you drive up you will see a parking area for the lower portion of the falls, do not stop there on your way up. Instead, stop there on your way down. Upon parking your car, there is a trail directing you to the falls. If you want to make your visit into a day trip, we would recommend bringing some lawn chairs or a blanket to sit on and some picnic items. Please exercise caution while exploring the Falls and obey signs!
After you are done exploring the Falls, continue your day by driving down to Saugerties Village Beach. From July to August, the beach offers a sand beach swimming area with a swimming dock out in the Esopus Creek. Saugerties Village Beach also offers a playground area, a fishing area, a kayak/boat launch and restroom facilities.
A day packed with adventures will definitely have you starving. Right in the town of Saugerties, up the street from the beach, you will find a little gem by the name of Miss Lucy’s Kitchen. The restaurant uses local-fresh ingredients. We ordered the Salmon and Steak, both were beyond delicious! It really does taste like grandma’s cooking and the decor makes you feel like you are at someone’s home. The restaurant takes reservations and walk-ins. Make sure you stop by and try it out!
Whether you make a day trip out of it or spend a weekend up in the Hudson Valley, it is definitely worth the drive either way. Next time you have a day or two without plans, even if you are just visiting New York, get in a car and head out to explore the beauty of Kaaterskill Falls and it’s surroundings.