Off Route 23A  about three miles west of Palenville are Kaaterskill Falls, marked with a sign and roadside parking lot. At 260 feet (compared to Niagara’s 167 feet), these are the highest waterfalls in the state.
During the Romantic Age, everyone from Thomas Cole and Asher Durand to James Fenimore Cooper and William Cullen Bryant were inspired by this long glittering torrent. The falls were portrayed in countless paintings, illustrations, and poems until they became an icon for the American wilderness.
Near the top of the falls once stood the Catskill Mountain House, the nation’s first mountain resort.
To reach the lower basin of Kaaterskill Falls, follow the trail on the north side of Route 23A. The hike, which begins at Bastion Falls, takes less than an hour round-trip, and although there are steep spots, the trail is mostly level.