A place to discuss waterfalls. Including the parks that house them and the hikes to get to them.
How tough is the hiking in here? I've been entertaining myself weekends lately with my three year old while the wife is working and I don't want to drive all the way there to have it be too tricky for us. So far we've been to split rock, kaaterskill and stoney kill.. thanks
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It's a pretty easy hike, depending on where you go in the park. If you want to see the main falls (but they might be a bit dry now) park in the Indian Ladder lot which is right next to the trail that runs along the bottom of the cliff. There are several flights of stairs to get to the bottom, then small grades up and down as you move along past the falls. Then the same amount of stairs back up. You can then walk back along the cliff top to the parking lot for a round trip of just under a mile. But if you continue along the cliff top from the top of the stairs a few hundred yards, there is a nice clear area to look off to the surrounding countryside and if the falls are running, you can see both of them, though with the leaves on the trees, that is less easy to do. There's also the large parking area at the main cliff edge look off that is very nice as well. The paint mine parking area leads to a trail along the stream that has many nice waterfalls on it and is usually running at least a little, and the hop field parking area leads to a bridge where you can see another fall that also usually has at least some water.
In all areas of the park, though, keep a good eye or hand on the offspring, as there are many places a three year old can get into trouble.
Last edited by L_G_D on Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Long-time lurker who went to Thacher today weighing in on the current waterfall situation if anyone's interested...
Things are pretty dry at the moment (I'd post a picture of the one waterfall I saw, Minelot I think, but I'm not sure how to upload). While I did see the one, there really wasn't much to it, it looked much better last fall but I think we can thank Irene for that.
I do have a question regarding the Indian Ladder Trail. I've never done it although I've come close a few times. I'm afraid of heights so I'm kind of scared to do the trail. For those who've done it, how much of a drop-off is there? I've walked along the top part of the cliff many times but somehow I just can't make myself go down those stairs. If I had a better idea of what's at the bottom it might be easier. So, if I may ask, how are things at the bottom of the stairs?
The trail is fairly wide, and there isn't a cliff below, but a very steep hill. There are a few places where the hill drops off more steeply, but for the most part, it's not too bad. It's not a sheer vertical drop and the hill is covered in trees. I would imagine if you can walk along the top without problems, the trail below shouldn't be any. There is no railing though, except around Outlet Falls where it can get a bit slippery, they have a rustic rope railing, and near the other end of the trail (or beginning, if you start from that end), there's a railing as you go under some rock overhangs halfway up the stairs leading out. That is the only spot that might cause problems, as it's a bit confined, the overhang is only about 5 feet above the trail, so even short people have to crouch to get through it. It's not an enclosed space, though, it's open to the view the entire way and is only about 20 feet long total.
After all that rain last night, had a few hours today and went to Thacher to see what was running. The light was pretty good, so I went to the falls above the Paint Mine parking lot that are usually dry that I last posted about in 2010. Got much better shots this time:
The cave that's upstream from here seems to have been silted closed somewhat, probably from the Irene floods, otherwise, most of this water would have gone underground.
Then, just downstream, there's a small falls I never knew existed because there was never a clue that there was ever water going over it. There's a small wet area just above and this must only run when there's been enough rain and you are there just afterwards.