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Stony Kill Falls

Stony Kill Falls
Stony Kill Falls (Photo: Diana Richards)

Wawarsing (Ulster County)

Why we love it

Don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of this gem in the Shawangunks. It’s news to lots of folks. Yes, the hike — about 1.5 miles round trip — begins oddly, passing a fenced-in facility (with helipad!) that belongs to New York City’s water system and bisecting a former quarry/present moonscape. All is beautiful from then on. Wooden bridges and rock stairs crafted by volunteers lead to and alongside the 87-foot falls, and then up to another 30-foot cataract. It’s gorgeous year-round, especially after heavy rains, but in winter it becomes a glittering ice palace that will knock your socks off.

More to explore

Stony Kill Falls lies within Minnewaska State Park Preserve, whose main entrance is not far away on Route 44. The park is justly famed for its scenic carriage roads and beaches.


  • Spectacular waterfall
  • Fun bridges and steps (caution: could be slippery when wet)

Directions, hours, etc.: