Kaaterskill Falls Rail Trail to Inspiration Point – Take a Hike

, falls, hike, hiking, inspiration, kaaterskill, point, rail, take, trail - 4 minutes to read


I started the trail at Kaaterskill Falls Rail Trail. It was the site of the Ulster and Delaware Railroad Station, which was established in 1913. The trail was very wide and lined with old railroad ties. The original ad for this station stated it was “The Only All-Rail Route to the Catskill Mountains”. The station is still standing and seems in good condition, however it was not open for me to check out the inside.

The trail is roughly a mile and then you come to the other Kaaterskill Falls trail entrance. The trail is lined with huge trees and a gravel path. Following this path you can get to many other trail options. My first choice was Inspiration Point. My research I had done before this hike showed that this trail offered the best views, with many different overlook options.

The hike to Inspiration Point was 1.7 miles to the summit. The terrain was extremely muddy due to all the rain we have been having. The elevation went downhill before bringing you back up to climb to the summit. There were even a few areas that you needed to use your hands to lift yourself up.

Halfway to the summit I came across “Layman Monument”. This structure marks the spot the Frank Layman died, on August 10th 1900, while fighting a forest fire that was going to destroy the home and businesses in the surrounding area.

Overall the climb to the summit was moderate, and there were many places to stop and enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains. Once I reached the top I enjoyed a nice breakfast and rehydrated before heading back down to check out the falls.

To see the falls you can choose between three different options. The first trail I chose brought me to the bottom of the falls. To get to the bottom you need to climb down 181 stairs, that get extremely slippery and steep. There were so many people at the bottom of the falls. Some were swimming, some were enjoying lunch and some were admiring the views of the waterfall. I didn’t spend too much time at the bottom, due to all of the people. I next went back up stairs, and at about the half way point there is an option to see the upper falls.

At the upper falls there is also an area to swim, and this was packed with people, swimming, sunbathing and climbing up behind the waterfall. I took my shoes off and tested out the water, and did some people watching before heading back towards my car.

In total I hiked around 7 miles before I was back at my car. Once I got to the car I found a local brewery to enjoy lunch and a well deserved cold beer.

The place I chose was called Old Factory Brewing Company, located in Cairo NY. It took me around 25 mins to get to the brewery from the parking lot of the trail. The brewery had numerous draft options, I chose the Blonde and ordered some lunch.

I saw on their outside patio, which had tables and a bar type option that looked out onto the road. For lunch I had a grilled cheese sandwich with fries. Sandwich Contents: Brie, Apples, Arugula, Ham

I really enjoyed this trip, but I would avoid going in the afternoon due to the amount of “hikers” wearing jeans.

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