DANGER – NOTE: This area is considered one of the most dangerous in the region
Proceed with the utmost of caution and care when visiting this waterfall and DO NOT leave the trail, even if you consider yourself an experienced hiker.
Plattekill Falls, located in the eastern part of The Catskill Mountains and in the town of Elka Park, is a 65-70 ft single drop fall. Although it is only a 1-mile hike to the falls, it is a steep climb down with difficult, loose sections and should be taken with extreme caution. Proper footing apparel is highly recommended!
You will see a DEC parking pull off to the right while driving down Platte Clove Road. If the spaces are full, you can park a ¼-mile down the road at another DEC parking lot. The land by Platte Clove Road is not New York State Land. It is called the Platte Clove Wilderness Preserve. The 208 acres is owned by The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, Inc. The land was granted to the foundation by the Griswold Family. The land has rules that are different than New York State land. Their rules are fairly simple for hikers. You cannot ride your mountain bike, camp, or swim on this land. Walk around the chained up entrance to the driveway. Stay on the path to the LEFT, which will pass the house.
The Red house is owned by The Catskill Center. They allow the artist to stay here. Please do not bother them. Over the past 100 years, many famous artists have used this house and many still do to this day. The famous artist Thomas Cole stayed in this house. There is a safety sign just beyond the house. Stop and read it. There are some very serious dangers in this region. Please take the sign very seriously. It is very easy to get injured here.
While going down, the trail does a 180-degree loop back to Plattekill Falls. Please stay on the trail. The edge of the cliff is very dangerous. When approaching Plattekill Falls the trail bank will get steep. Pay attention to your footsteps. If you tumble down the hill you could be injured. Take your time at Plattekill. It is a very peaceful place filled with nature. It is easy to spend hours just enjoying the sounds and view of the falls.