these are the easiest hikes in catskill mountains in new york

10 Easy Hikes in Catskill that are Perfect for Beginners

By Olivia Williams

Heading out to the Catskills for a hike is like diving into a big, beautiful outdoor adventure that’s got a bit of everything, especially when you’re looking for easy hikes in the Catskills. Think of it as your own backyard playground, but way bigger and with way cooler stuff to see – like waterfalls that’ll make your jaw drop, trails that stretch as far as your eyes can see, and mountains that touch the sky.

The Catskills are famous because they’ve got trails for days – easy ones where you can just chill and soak in the views, and tougher ones that’ll give you a solid workout and bragging rights. No matter if you’re a seasoned hiker or just someone looking to take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life. But it’s not just about the hiking. It’s about the whole vibe – from cool little towns with tasty food to stories from the past that make you feel like you’re walking through history.

This is the interactive Map from New York City to Catskills

In short, a trip to the Catskills is like getting a high-five from Mother Nature herself. It’s a place where you can kick back, have an adventure, and maybe even discover something new about yourself. Trust me, it’s a trip worth taking.

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So this guide covers easy hikes in the Catskills for all skill levels. Mostly hikes will take you to some of the must-visit waterfalls in this area. Not only does it provide information about hikes, but it also includes real Instagram posts, offering an authentic view of each hike. 

Additionally, each hike is accompanied by a Google Maps location link, its length, and whether or not you can bring your dog along. So, ladies and gentlemen, without wasting any further time, let’s head toward our list of easy hikes in Catskills exclusively curated for you!

What are the Top 10 Easy Hikes in Catskills?

The Catskill mountains will serve as a good starting point for your mountain hiking adventure if you are ready to hike securely but are unsure of your ability or if you have never hiked for longer than four hours.

#1 Kaaterskill FallsDiscover the Majestic Beauty

A scenic hike to one of the tallest and most famous waterfalls in New York.

Kaaterskill Falls is the perfect place to hike if you want to experience one of the most stunning and well-known easy hikes in the Catskills. With its magnificent 231-foot height, It is the most recognizable waterfall in the Catskills. 

Hiking 0.6 miles one way to the waterfall viewing platform is the most straightforward way to see Kaaterskill Falls. To reach the viewing point, the trail is level and simple to follow!

If you’re up for a lengthier trek, it’s 2.3 miles one way to the base of the falls. The trail can be steep at points and includes a lot of steps leading to both dips. There are two ways to see Kaaterskill Falls if you choose to hike all the way to the bottom. 

Option 1: Stroll behind the waterfall by hiking to the bottom of the first and longest drop. If you choose to trek the steep and treacherous trail behind the waterfall, go with caution.

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Option 2: Hike all the way to the lowest drop, from where you can get an amazing perspective of the falls. If you have time, we strongly advise attending both!

Kaaterskill Falls will undoubtedly become one of your favourite easy hikes in Catskills, no matter how you choose to enjoy it!

Length: 0.6 miles round trip
Dog-friendly: Yes
Where: Find It on Google Maps

#2 Catskill Mountain HouseExplore the Historic Ruins

A journey through time with breathtaking views that have inspired artists for centuries.

The lovely, short climb to Boulder Rock and Catskill Mountain House is located close to Kaaterskill Falls. The Catskill Mountain House Site, formerly a well-liked hotel for tourists, is now solely home to a stunning overlook. The 0.6-mile round-trip short climb follows a well-maintained route to reach the site.

If you want to hike even farther, it’s a 1.7-mile round trip. The trail leads to Boulder Rock, which has comparable views. This track will rapidly become one of your favourite short and easy hikes in Catskills, no matter how you choose to enjoy it! 

Length: 1.7 miles round trip
Dog-friendly: Yes
Where: Find It on Google Maps

#3 Plattekill FallsPlunge into the Serenity

A peaceful hike leading to a stunning hidden waterfall in the heart of the Catskills.

Plattekill Falls, in contrast to Kaaterskill Falls, is frequently overlooked by tourists. It’s worth visiting the 70-foot waterfall, which is accessible with a quick and simple 0.4-mile round-trip climb to see the breathtaking falls from below! 

The trailhead is located in a private neighbourhood therefore, there is little parking available along the street. You can take pleasure in the short stroll to the stunning waterfall, provided you can locate a parking space!

Length: 0.4 miles round trip
Dog-friendly: Yes
Where: Find It on Google Maps

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#4 Ashokan Promenade

A gentle walk offering panoramic views of the Ashokan Reservoir and the surrounding mountains.

Another one of the most picturesque easy hikes in the Catskills is the Ashokan Promenade. It’s optional to hike the entire 5.5-mile round-trip hike in order to enjoy the Catskill hikes with views. With stunning views of the Catskill Mountains, the Ashokan Promenade hugs the southern edge of the Ashokan Reservoir. Since the trail is paved and somewhat level, anyone can use it! Hiking this beautiful Catskills trek is highly recommended!

Length: 5.5 miles round trip
Dog-friendly: No
Where: Find It on Google

#5 Awosting FallsAwaken Your Senses

Experience the power and beauty of nature on a hike to this spectacular waterfall.

The famous 60-foot Awosting Falls is located in Minnewaska State Park in the southern Catskill Mountains. There are plenty of activities in Minnewaska State Park, such as enjoyable trails, waterfalls, and picturesque vistas of Lake Minnewaska. Since Awosting Falls is one of the first trailheads you see when entering the state park, and because it’s often busy, we advise going as soon as the park opens (the hours change year-round).

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The easy hike, which is 1.2 miles in length, starts on the park road and heads into the forest near the waterfall. After that, the trail switches back down to the base of Awosting Falls, where you may admire its splendour! The walk provides breathtaking views of the waterfall, but you are not allowed to get too close to it! Everyone should visit Awosting Falls, one of the easy hikes in Catskills!

Length: 1.1 miles round trip
Dog-friendly: Yes
Where: Find It on Google Maps

#6 Stony Kill FallsDiscover the Hidden Gem

A less crowded alternative for waterfall enthusiasts, offering serene beauty and a refreshing atmosphere.

Another waterfall in Minnewaska State Park, Stony Kill Falls is a quick and easy hikes in Catskill Mountains that is frequently disregarded. Though it doesn’t see as much foot traffic as Awosting Falls, the waterfall is still a nice alternative if Awosting Falls is full.

The short, simple climb, which takes about a mile round way, takes you to the top of the 87-foot waterfall, where you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama. Since the waterfall viewpoint offers the best view (in our opinion), you can turn back after it, as the hike to the top is quite difficult. To see Stony Kill Falls, the little trip is definitely worthwhile! 

Length: 1 mile round trip
Dog-friendly: Yes
Where: Find It on Google Maps

#7 Hike to Sam’s Point for a Spectacular View

Ascend to one of the highest points in the Catskills for breathtaking views and unique geological formations.

Some of the most excellent views in Minnewaska State Park may be seen from Sam’s Point, another not-difficult hike in the Catskill Mountains. The paved trail that leads to Sam’s Point Overlook, where you may take in breathtaking views of Minnewaska State Park, is almost one mile long and requires no hiking experience. 

Sam’s Point is one of the most picturesque viewpoints hence it gets crowded sometimes. To guarantee a space, you must make a reservation for parking in advance on weekends and holidays.

A 6.8-mile round-trip trail leads to Sam’s Point, the Ice Caves, and Vereerderkill Falls if you’d want to hike a longer trail. 

Length: 1 mile round trip
Dog-friendly: Yes
Where: Find It on Google Maps

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#8 Diamond Notch Falls – A Picturesque Escape

A tranquil hike that rewards with the soothing sounds and sights of a beautiful cascade.

Diamond Notch Falls is not the highest waterfall in the Catskills, but it is still rather beautiful. You can enjoy stunning views at the base of the waterfall after a short, round-trip climb of 1.7 km. With its colorful foliage, this location is absolutely charming in the fall. This easy hike is something you shouldn’t miss!

Length: 1.7 miles round trip
Dog-friendly: Yes
Where: Find It on Google Maps

#9 The Windham PathEnjoy a Family-Friendly Walk

A leisurely path perfect for all ages, surrounded by the natural beauty of the Catskills.

One of the easy hikes in the Catskills near Windham is The Windham Path, which is beautiful. The level 2.4-mile round-trip trail is very picturesque, with breathtaking views of the neighboring mountains. 

According to the locals, the Windham Path is among the most accessible hikes in the Catskills and is ideal for anyone seeking a lovely stroll.

Length: 2.4 miles round trip
Dog-friendly: Yes
Where: Find It on Google Maps

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#10 Mine Kill FallsMarvel at the Power of Nature

A stunning multi-tiered waterfall that showcases the raw beauty of the Catskill region.

Mine Kill Falls is the ideal place to hike to a stunning waterfall in a canyon. Although it’s a bit of a drive, we think the trip is well worth it! Starting at the Mine Kill Falls overlook, an easy 1-mile climb leads along a well-kept route to observation platforms with views of the top of the falls. 

The viewing decks only provide you with a view of Mine Kill Falls’ upper portion; therefore, we advise trekking down to the falls’ lower level. Mine Kill Falls has unparalleled views from the bottom. Therefore, we heartily suggest hiking there!

Length: 1 mile round trip
Dog-friendly: Yes
Where: Find It on Google Maps

We hope you have enjoyed reading the list of the best easy hikes in the Catskill Mountains that are worth visiting. Now, let’s move on to other essential things to know, like the best time for hiking in the Catskills and what to pack for these adventures.

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When is the Best Time for Catskills Hiking?

Hiking in the Catskill is fun and adventurous, and to make the most of it, it’s very important to choose a perfect Catskill hiking season. Well, the definition of a perfect season may vary on everyone’s taste. Therefore, read the list below to choose the perfect Catskill hiking season for you:


Once the snow melts, spring is a great time to trek in the Catskill Mountains. On the trails, though, winter conditions can persist until spring, so it’s important to check the state of the roads and trails and have the right equipment.


Since the weather is ideal for hiking and the routes will be clear of snow in the summer, hiking in the Catskills is very popular during this season. The parking lots fill up quickly, so if you visit in the summer, we strongly advise getting to the trailheads early in the morning. 


Because of the stunning foliage in the fall, hiking in the Catskills is also very popular during this season. The valleys and mountains are covered in vibrant vegetation, giving the scene the appearance of a painting. I advise getting to the trailheads early in the morning to guarantee a parking space, as this is one of the busiest times to explore the Catskills.


It’s important to pack the right hiking equipment for the Catskills’ winter conditions in order to stay warm and safe. Winter brings frigid temperatures and snowy pathways. It’s advisable to stay informed about road closures if you intend to visit, as several of the trails’ access roads close throughout the winter.

What to Pack for Easy Hikes in Catskills?

Hiking can be significantly improved by having the appropriate equipment. Your list of must-haves for hiking should include:

  • Hiking Boots: These are the best option if you desire support and comfort during your hike.
  • Hiking Socks: Comfortable and moisture-wicking hiking socks are essential for exploration as well.
  • Hiking Backpack: Having a sturdy hiking backpack is essential because you’ll need it to carry all of your gear, including clothes, food, and other necessities, on your adventures.
  • Hydration Reservoir/Water Bottles: it is important to have enough water while hiking or just exploring! Hydration reservoirs are a must for hikers.
  • Jackets: The weather is unpredictable, so it’s best to pack a rain jacket and an insulated jacket.
  • Microspikes: You must pack microspikes if you intend to do winter hiking.
  • Snowshoes: You could also require snowshoes if you hike during the winter.

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How well-marked are these trails?

These paths are, for the most part, clearly designated with signs and blazes. But before you set out on your journey, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with the trail and bring a map.

Do these short hikes have any challenging terrain or high inclines?

Although these hikes are rated as easy, there can be some rough or moderately inclining terrain. All things considered, nevertheless, they are appropriate for novices with modest levels of fitness.

Are there any parking spaces close to these trails?

Parking lots are located close to the majority of trailheads. Arriving early is advised, especially on weekends and holidays, as these parking lots can fill up rapidly during peak hours.

Are these trails dog-friendly?

Dogs on leashes are generally permitted on these paths. It’s always a good idea, though, to confirm specific trail regulations in advance.

Do these paths have restrooms?

While restrooms may be available at certain trailheads, it’s advisable to use them before beginning your journey. Additionally, dispose of waste appropriately and follow the Leave No Trace philosophy.

Are there any housing or eating options close by?

Indeed, there are towns close by with facilities like eateries, coffee shops, and places to stay. For hikers, towns like Woodstock, Phoenicia, and Hunter provide a range of services.

What gear is recommended for these hikes?

It’s advised to include a first aid kit, water, food, sunscreen, insect repellent, a map, a fully charged phone, and hiking-specific apparel and boots.

Before going on a hike in the Catskills, are there any safety precautions I should be aware of?

Before hiking, always check the weather forecast, stick to designated paths, notify someone of your plans, and pack for inclement weather. When camping overnight, keep an eye out for wildlife and bring bear-resistant food containers.

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