All along the Hudson River, streams and creeks have carved into the landscape as they descend from the mountains and hill towns to create hundreds of waterfalls. Some you can spot in popular Hudson Valley parks and towns, others on hidden trails, and several from the comfort and safety of your own car. Although now may not be the best time to venture far from home, it’s a great time to plan for future day trips and adventures.
We’ll begin on the east side of the Hudson River in Troy and move south, then continue onto the west side and back north, traveling through Rensselaer, Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Ulster, Greene, and Albany Counties.
Note: Check websites of parks and preserves mentioned to confirm which locations are open if you plan to visit.
The Narrows Cascades and Heritage Trail, an extensive 5-mile urban trail system in the city of Troy, takes hikers past a number of waterfalls, including Mount Ida Falls, also known as Poenstenkill Falls. It measures 175 feet from top to bottom.
Directions: From Troy, at the junction of River St. and Federal St., head southeast on Federal St. for 365 ft and turn right onto 5th Ave. Make a slight left onto Hill St. after 0.8 miles. Continue 0.4 miles to Spring St. and drive 0.2 miles. Turn left onto Linden Ave. and park in the parking area on the left in 0.2 miles.
Park and walk to the left and follow the trail down to the falls.
Access to the gorge is temporarily restricted.
Beaver Cotton Mills Falls
The former site of old mills on the Kinderhook Creek, this waterfall — also known as Valatie, Falls #01 — is a year-round stop and is lighted at night.
Directions: From Hudson, at the junction of Route 66 and Route 23B, head northeast on route 66 for 3.1 miles. Turn left onto route 9H and drive 10 miles. Use the right lane to bear right and take the ramp to Kinderhook St.
Turn left onto Kinderhook St. and drive 0.6 miles to Main St. Turn right onto Main St. and continue for 0.4 miles where the parking lot will be found on the right.
Park and follow the path to the falls. There is a viewing platform near Route 203 bridge that spans the creek.
Another waterfall that once used to power industry, this large fall forms with a dam running across the top and spans the width of the Kinderhook Creek.
Directions: From Hudson, at the junction of Route 23B and Route 66, head northeast on Route 66 for 0.2 miles to Graham Ave. Turn left and follow Graham Ave for 0.2 miles, then turn right onto Route 9.
Drive 8.3 miles and turn right onto New St. Follow New St. for 0.1 miles to Woods Lane. Follow Woods Lane for 0.1 miles, crossing the bridge that spans the Kinderhook Creek.
After crossing the bridge, turn left onto Lindenwald Ave. and immediately turn left onto a dirt road for Stuyvesant Falls Park. Follow the road to a larger area and park.
To view the falls from roadside, turn left onto Route 25A before crossing the bridge. Park safely along the road. The falls will be visible from a small park area with information about the falls and area.
Formed on the Agawamuck Creek in the High Falls Conservation Area, this tallest waterfall in Columbia County stands at 150 feet. Just downstream, you can also find Agawamuck Falls; another large, but less dramatic waterfall.
Directions: From Hudson, at the junction of Route 66 and Route 23B, head northeast on Route 66 for 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Fish and Game Rd and continue for 3.8 miles to the intersection with Route 217. Turn left onto Route 217 and drive 1.4 miles. Turn right onto Roxbury Rd. and drive 0.2 miles. The parking area will be on the left.
Park and follow the trail from the kiosk. The main trail will lead to the overlook. The final approach to the overlook is steep.
There is also a spur trail will lead down to the creek just before the overlook. This unmarked trail passes by Agawamuck Falls.
This mid-sized fall forms on the White Clay Kill in the Tivoli Bays Wildlife Management Area.
Directions: From Red Hook, at the junction of Route 9 and Market St., head northeast on W Market St. for 1.8 miles. Turn right onto Route 9G and drive north for 3.4 miles to Kidd Ln. Continue on Kidd Ln. for 0.8 miles.
There will be a parking area on the right after crossing the small bridge that spans the White Clay Kill. Park and cross the road and look for an unmarked footpath leading into the woods near the bridge. Follow the path into the woods to view the falls.
A short walk on a defined path along the Sawkill Creek at Bard College takes you to the top and bottom of this fall. A second, larger waterfall can be found farther down the creek, just before it meets the Hudson River.
Directions: From Red Hook, at the Junction of Route 9 and W Market St., head northwest on W Market St. for 1.8 miles. Turn right onto Route 9G N and continue 0.9 miles.
Turn left onto Kelly Rd. then right onto Annandale Rd. Stay right and continue another 0.4 miles on Annandale Rd. Turn left onto Blithewood Ave. and park in the large lot on the left in 0.2 miles.
Park and walk to the south end of the parking lot to find the trail that follows a service road. Bear right at the small building and follow the path to the creek and falls.
There is a second large waterfall approximately 0.2 miles farther down, just before the creek reaches the Hudson River. Follow the trail along the creek to get there.
This small waterfall forms on Crum Elbow Creek under Route 9. To see this fall, visitors must enter the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site. The site is open year-round and offers stunning views and tours.
Directions: From Poughkeepsie, at the junction of Main St. and East-West Arterial, head south on Columbus Dr/East-West Arterial for ~425 feet. Use the right lane to turn slightly right onto Church St. and continue 0.3 miles.
Make a slight right onto Route 9 N toward Hyde Park and drive 6.6 miles. Turn left into the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site. Follow the road 0.5 miles to the parking lot.
Park and follow the road back down to the small bridge that spans Crum Elbow Creek. View the falls from near the bridge.
One may not suspect waterfalls in the City of Poughkeepsie, but one is readily visible near the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum (temporarily closed) and elevator to the Walkway Over the Hudson. Visit the museum and/or the Walkway with the family after catching a look at the waterfall.
Directions: In Poughkeepsie, at the junction of Main St. and East-West Arterial, head west on Main St. for 0.35 miles to N Water St. Turn right onto N Water St. and drive 0.2 miles. The falls will be on the right as you cross the small bridge that spans the Fall Kill. Roadside parking, where permitted.
In Dover Stone Church Preserve you will find this waterfall inside of rock formation called Dover Stone Church. The falls form inside of a “cave” where fallen rock has created an enclosed area with a small opening above. There is a tree-lined path that greets you at the park entrance and leads you to the picnic areas and the stream that flows from the cave entrance.
Directions: From Poughkeepsie, at the junction of Main St. and East-West Arterial, head south on Columbus Dr./ East-West Arterial for 459 ft. Keep left to continue on Route 44 E/East-West Arterial. Drive 2 miles and keep left to continue on route 44 E for 1.9 miles. Proceed on route 44 E for 9.1 miles.
Continue straight onto Route 82 S and proceed 1.9 miles to the intersection with Route 343. Continue straight onto Route 343 E for 7.8 miles to Route 22.
Turn right onto Route 22 S and drive 0.4 miles to Mill St. Turn left onto Mill St. and park in the parking lot for Freshco 22.
Park and cross Route 22. Walk south to Stone Church Lane. Follow the driveway up a slight hill to find the start of the trail.
This waterfall in the heart of town drops a total of approximately 75 feet on the Wappinger Creek. Stop at di’Vine Wine Bar for a drink and soak in the view.
Directions: From Fishkill, at the junction of Route 9 and Route 52, head northwest on US and drive 4.4 miles. Turn left onto E Main St. and continue 0.5 miles.
Park in a space along the street and walk to the bridge to view from overhead or to Market St. to view from the side.
This waterfall (also known as Beacon Falls) forms on the Fish Kill as it flows under Main Street in Beacon. View it from Roundhouse’s dining room, lounge, and grounds.
Directions: In Beacon, from the junction of Main St. and Route 9D, head east on Main St. for 0.9 miles. Turn right onto E. Main St. where the falls will be to the left as you cross the bridge that spans the Fishkill Creek. Roadside parking, where permitted.
A quick .2-mile walk along a nice path in Beacon’s Madam Brett Park brings you to these falls.
Directions: In Beacon, from the junction of Main St. and Route 9D, head east on Main St. for 0.8 miles. Turn right onto Tioranda Ave. and drive 1.1 miles to South Ave. Turn left onto South Ave. and proceed ~400 ft where the parking area and trail will be on the left.
A nice waterfall set back in an open area with a large pool formed by a dam.
Directions: From Beacon, at the junction of Main St. and Route 9D/Wolcott Ave., drive south on route 9D for 3.7 miles. There will be a dirt pull-off on the right and a small parking area with room for two to three cars on the left.
Drive slowly as you near the destination as it is hard to see as first.
A couple of nice waterfalls, one 7 feet and the other about 20 feet, form on Foundry Brook, the waterway that flows through West Point Foundry Preserve. Take a nice stroll and listen to messages along the interpretive audiovisual tour. Plenty of birds to watch here!
Directions: From Cold Spring, at the junction of Route 9W and Main St., head southwest on Main St. for 0.3 miles to Rock St.
Turn left onto Rock St. and drive 0.1 miles to Kemble Ave. Turn right onto Kemble Ave. and proceed 0.3 miles to the parking area for the West Point Foundry Preserve.
Park and follow the path. You’ll come to an area where the remains of old buildings stand. The path will turn sharply left. Continue on the path to follow the brook. A footpath leads past one 10 ft cascade and then the main 25-30 ft falls under the route 9W bridge. Respect the posted signs nearby.
One of the more notable waterfalls, Indian Brook Falls is a popular spot near the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary.
Directions: From Fishkill, at the junction of Route 52 and Route 9, head south on Route 9 for 9.5 miles. Turn right onto Indian Brook Rd and continue 1.4 miles.
Park on the left in one of the allotted spaces and walk back up the road to where the bridge crosses overhead. Follow the path to the right over the bridge that crosses the brook. Immediately after crossing the bridge, follow the path to the left upstream to the falls. Note: Drive slowly and with caution on Indian Brook Rd as it is a narrow, unpaved road.
This must-see waterfall forms alongside the massive New Croton Dam at Croton Gorge Park, a Westchester County Park. The dam, built between 1893 and 1907, measures 297 feet tall by 266 feet wide and stretches 2,188 feet end-to-end. The park is 97 acres with a playground, grills, and hiking trails — fun for the whole family.
Croton Gorge Park: 35 Yorktown Rd, Cortlandt
Located in Harriman State Park, this waterfall forms on Pine Meadows Brook. A 1-mile hike takes you to the falls.
Directions: From Highland Falls, at the traffic circle, head west from Route 9W onto Route 6/Palisades Interstate Parkway for 2.8 miles. At the Circle, turn onto Seven Lakes Drive and proceed 12.5 miles to the parking area for the Reeves Meadow Information Center.
Follow the red-blazed trail north until you come to the yellow-blazed trail. Continue on the yellow-blazed trail until you come to the white-blazed trail at a footbridge that spans Stony Brook. Keep following the yellow-blaze trail. You will come to Pine Meadow Brook. ross another footbridge over Pine Meadow Brook and follow the white markers along the northern side of the brook.
The trail will become rocky and difficult. Continue on this trail until you reach the waterfall.
Located in Black Rock Forest, this 50-foot cascade forms on Mineral Spring Brook. A 0.3-mile hike along a well-defined path brings you to the base of the falls.
Directions: Take 9W south toward Cornwall to the Angola Rd exit. Turn left onto Angola Rd. and head west for 2.3 miles. Bear left onto Mineral Springs Rd., then drive 1.3-mile. Bear left onto Old Mineral Springs Rd and park in the pull-off on the left near a green metal access gate and dirt path/road. Follow the trail on your left to the falls.
Standing at approximately 100 feet, Marlboro Falls forms on Lattintown Creek. The best view is from the outdoor dining area of The Falcon restaurant the live music venue.
Directions: From Newburgh, at the junction of Broadway and Route 9W, head north on Route 9W for 8 miles. Turn right onto Dock Rd. and pull into the first parking area on the right, directly behind The Falcon. View the falls from the parking area.
Check The Falcon’s website for times, events, or restrictions that may impact the parking lot, so you don’t interfere with their operations or waste a trip.
Formed on the Wall Kill, this waterfall is the site of a dam and hydro-electric facility in Walden.
Directions: From Newburgh, at the intersection of Routes 9W and 17K, head west on Route 17K for approximately 10 miles to the intersection with Route 208. Turn right and follow Route 208 for 2.7 miles. Turn left onto Main St. and proceed 0.3 miles to the bridge that spans the Wallkill River. The falls will be visible to the left. Park in an open space along the street and view the falls from the bridge.
The 65-foot centerpiece waterfall at Minnewaska State Park forms on the Peters Kill. Downstream you can find several other waterfalls such as Sheldon Falls and Peters Kill Falls.
(Groups over 25 must maintain a group permit to enter the park.)
Directions: From New Paltz, at the junction of Main St. and Plattekill Ave., head west on Main St. for 0.3 miles. Continue on Route 299 for 5.8 miles, then turn right onto Route 44 E. Drive 4.5 miles and turn left onto Old Minnewaska Trail. Immediately turn right and follow to the parking area.
Park and follow the road back to pick up the trail to the falls.
Found at the end of a 0.1-mile hike, this 25-foot waterfall is best visited in wet weather or early spring.
Directions: From Esopus, at the junction of Old Post Rd. and Route 9W, head south on Route 9W for 2 miles. Turn right onto Park Lane and drive 0.3 miles to Floyd Ackert Rd. Turn right onto Floyd Ackert Rd. and continue 0.7 miles, then turn left onto Burroughs Dr. Park in a designated area. The waterfall is found near Slabsides.
This 30-foot cascade forms on an unnamed stream at Shaupaneak Ridge Park. Follow the white trail to the purple trail on a moderate hike of 0.7 mile.
Directions: From Kingston, at the intersection with Ulster Ave., head south on Route 9W for 10 miles. Route 9W will make a zig-zag so be sure to follow the signs to remain on it.
Turn right onto Old Post Rd. and drive 0.2 miles to find the parking area for Shaupaneak Ridge Park on the Right. The park closes at 6 p.m. and the gates to the parking lot are locked at that time.
From the parking area, follow the white-blazed trail until you come to the intersection with the purple-blazed trail. Take the purple-blazed trail to the waterfall.
A waterfall (also known as Diamond Mills falls and Esopus Creek Falls) that’s capped by a dam, this one sits in the heart of Saugerties just before the Esopus Creek joins the Hudson River. View it from the Route 9W (and Route 32) bridge and Diamond Mills Hotel & Tavern. In the 19th century, the dam was a source of power for Saugerties businesses.
Directions: In Saugerties, at the junction of Market St. and Main St., head northeast on Main St. ~479 ft to Partition St/Route 32. Proceed 0.4 miles and turn left into the parking lot for Krause’s and Diamond Mills.
Park and walk to the edge of the parking lot by the river to view the falls.
The iconic 231-foot multi-tiered Kaaterskill Falls forms at the head of a gorge on Spruce Creek in Hunter and was the subject for artists and writers for centuries. Dating back to the Hudson River School and Thomas Cole, Kaaterskill Falls’ popularity continues to grow today.
Two trails lead to views of the falls: one upper, and one lower. The upper trail leads to a lookout, and a 0.1-mile trail that leads down to the waterfalls. The 0.6-mile lower trail starts next to the roadside giant, Bastion Falls, and follows the creek up to the base of the falls.
Directions: From Catskill, at the junction of Main St. and Bridge St., head west on Bridge St. for 0.7 miles. At the intersection with Route 9W/ Route 23A, continue straight onto Route 23A and drive 13.2 miles. Turn right onto N Lake Rd and proceed 1.8 miles to Laurel House Rd. and drive to the end where a parking area will be on the right.
Park and follow the path down to the overlook or to the trail to get the bottom area of the falls.
Follow the same directions to reach the lower parking lot, which will be on the left after crossing the bridge that spans Spruce Creek. Bastion Falls will be visible on the right as you navigate the hairpin turn. Use caution walking along the road as there isn’t much room.
A half-mile hike at the Hannacroix Creek Preserve in New Baltimore leads to these cascading waterfalls.
Directions: From Coeymans, at the junction of Route 9w and Mountain Rd. drive 0.3 miles to Route 143/Main St. Turn onto Main St. and drive another 0.7 miles. Turn right onto Westerlo St. and proceed 0.4 miles.
Turn right onto S. Main St./Route 144 and drive 0.8 miles, where the parking area will be on the right.
This 90-foot tall giant spans the width of the Mohawk River in Cohoes. The falls are viewable from Falls View Park, via a lookout above or from riverside.
Directions: From Albany, at the junction of State St. and N. Pearl St., head northeast on N. Pearl St. for 0.3 miles. Turn right onto the ramp for I-787 N and continue 9.4 miles.
Continue straight onto New Courtland St. for 0.2 miles then onto N Mohawk St for 0.8 miles. The parking area will be on the left.
Park and cross the road to the park entrance.
At press time, the safest place to be was home. When the time is right to get out, please check here for updates on parks, preserves, and sanctuaries mentioned in this article.
High Falls Conservation Area (High Falls)
Tivoli Bays Wildlife Management Area (Falls on White Clay Kill)
Dover Store Church Preserve
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Madam Brett Park (Tioranda Falls)
West Point Foundry Preserve (Falls on Foundry Brook)
Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary (Indian Brook Falls)
Croton Gorge Park
Harriman State Park (Cascade at Slid)
Minnewaska State Park (Awosting Falls)
John C. Burroughs Nature Sanctuary
Shaupaneak Ridge Park