On a day where both my Mom from Westchester and I from Albany were free, we decided to meet in the middle – New Paltz! We enjoyed a lunch at my favorite tea room, some shopping in town, a visit to the greatest farm, and then we were ready for a hike. Vernooy Kill Falls [576 Upper Cherrytown Road, Kerhonkson] was an ideal hike to add to a New Paltz day trip, not too long or strenuous, but exciting and fun just the same! We found the parking lot just fine and crossed to the opposite side of the street (not further down the gravel road on the same side as the parking lot as I initially suspected) where the faded trailhead was.
Follow the well marked and maintained blue trail out 1.8 miles, and then back the way you came, so just just over three and half miles round trip.
Super simple! The way through the woods was quiet, we passed only one other person on a cloudy day.
The trail steadily, moderately, climbs up Cherrytown Mountain. During my spring hike there were many wildflowers in full bloom, such as vibrant violets and trillium.
I found a perfectly cut stump in the shape of a heart.
There are some partial views once you gain a bit of elevation, but no full on clearing.
The culmination of the hike is at the waterfall, but before you run to take in the view – make sure you note which entrance you came from! There are many paths leading to and from the waterfall that go to different locations at this junction, so make sure you head the way you came from. The falls cascade beautifully, all in all 30 feet high, so very zen and lovely.
The rocks at the base of the kill are curvaceous and intricate.
Walk down the trail and you may notice a large stone wall, I wonder what used to stand in the middle of these woods.
If the water isn’t too high head onto the rocks to get a different perspective on the falls.
In the upcoming summer season this is a popular swimming hole, so don’t forget to wear your swim suits!