The lower trail (“Kaaterskill Falls Trail”) from Route 23A to Kaaterskill Falls and its associated Parking Area (“Molly Smith” Parking Area on Route 23A is closed. Parking lots and trails that access the top of Kaaterskill Falls (Laurel House Trailhead, Scutt Road Trailhead and the Kaaterskill Rail Trail Trailhead) are now open.
Visiting New York State’s Public Lands During the COVID-19 Response
New York State is encouraging people to engage in responsible recreation during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. New York State DEC and State Parks recommendations for getting outside safely incorporate guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health for reducing the spread of infectious diseases.
While enjoying outdoor spaces, please continue to follow the CDC/NYSDOH’s guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19:
- Stay home if you are sick, or showing or feeling any COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, coughing, and/or troubled breathing;
- Practice social distancing. Keep at least six (6) feet of distance between you and others even when outdoors;
- Wear a mask when you cannot maintain social distancing;
- Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, and high-fives;
- Wash hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol when soap and water are not available; and
- Avoid unnecessary contact with surfaces that are often touched, such as doorknobs and handrails.
DEC and State Parks also encourage visitors to state parks and state lands, and other parks to:
- Use common sense when visiting the outdoors. Stay local within your region because some amenities like public restrooms and restaurants may not be open.
- Visit in small groups limited to family members and members of your own household. Maintain a distance from others while in places where people tend to congregate, such as parking lots, trailheads, and scenic overlooks.
- Know before you go. Plan ahead and make a list of alternate destinations. Beaches and trailheads will be busy. Many state beaches and parks will quickly reach capacity limits on nice weather days. Check parks.ny.gov, and 511.org for park capacity closure alerts.
- Choose a time to visit when beaches, trails, and parks are likely to be less crowded, such as a weekday or earlier in the day.
- Park responsibly in designated areas only.
- Avoid games and activities that require close contact, such as basketball, football, or soccer.
- Do not share equipment, such as bicycles, helmets, binoculars, balls, or Frisbees.
- If parking lots are full, please do not park along roadsides or other undesignated areas. To protect your safety and that of others, please choose a different area to visit, or return another time or day when parking is available.
- Practice ‘Leave No Trace.’ Respect parks and state lands and take out whatever you bring in, including disposable gloves, wipes, masks, and toilet paper.
- Stay home if you’re sick or if part of a vulnerable population.
- Be patient. Accept that this summer, you may have to adjust how you enjoy the outdoors to help keep yourself and others healthy and safe, even if it means changing your plans to visit a public space.
- New Yorkers over 70 years old or with a compromised immune system should not visit public spaces, including those outdoors. These New Yorkers should remain indoors or spend time in the backyard or other personal outdoor space, pre-screen visitors by taking their temperature, and require visitors to wear masks.
- Visitors to the Adirondack and Catskill Parks are reminded to always follow the Hiker Responsibility Code and avoid busy trailheads. Find trails less traveled and visit when trails may not be as busy during daylight hours. DEC also encourages New Yorkers to be safe and sustainable when recreating outdoors. Learn more about how you can protect natural spaces when exploring outdoors by following the seven principles of Leave No Trace (leaves DEC website). Additional information is available on the DEC website.