The Hidden Catskills Waterfalls Along the Vernooy Falls Hike

The Vernooy Kill Falls Hike is a short, out-and-back hike — either 2 miles or 3.6 miles, depending where you pick up the trailhead — to a very pretty waterfall.

The falls is a series of picturesque little waterfalls with pools, dropping about 30 feet in 4 stages. During the warmer months, this would be fun to splash around in — so bring water shoes and your bathing suits and towels. Kids would probably have a ball here!

A foot bridge crosses the base of the falls for a nice view.


If you picked up this trail at the Trails End trailhead ( sends you to the Cherry Town trailhead), you’ll notice several stonewall foundations — all that’s left of the Vernooy Mill, which 200 years ago was a major crossroads where farmers in the region brought their grain for milling. A major road ran through this area which now looks so wild.


Numerous old stone fences intersect through the woods, interspersed among the variety of flora: mountain laurel, which would be lovely in June!; chokecherry; sweet fern and teaberry, indicating that in time past, the area was farmed and populated — seems so strange because the area has reforested — you’ll notice ash, maple, birch, and chestnut — and looks and feels wild. 

I noticed several wild flowers: red and white painted trillium, as well as wild hydrangea (I think it was a hydrangea). 

The trail is mostly wide but very rocky, with a steady but almost imperceptible incline to the falls, with small plateaus in between; the path is almost entirely shaded and very well marked — you can’t lose your way on this one. You won’t go wrong if you wear hiking boots for ankle support.

This is a nice easy trail with very little elevation gain; we saw deer along the trail. Lots of chipmunks and squirrels. 

I kept hoping to see a bear, from a distance. But we didn’t. Wise bear. Or lucky me — I had a coonhound along and keeping him in check, even leashed, would have been a thing, and could easily have turned into a bad thing.

From where we picked up the trail head at Trails End Road, it was only a 2-mile there-and-back hike to the falls, along a well-marked and shady path that is used in the winter by snow mobiles.


There are multiple access points to trail heads leading to the falls — Cherry Town, from which there’s a 3.6 there and back hike, and Trails End, which is the 2 mile hike. Our GPS kind of decided for us where we were going to pick up the trail, as Trails End came up first, and I selected it not knowing the difference.


If you’re going to try to hike from the Trails End trailhead, then just beware that the gravel/dirt road for the last quarter to a half mile can have some dicey potholes. Our old Rav4 did just fine, and it’s worth noting the Rav4 is on a car chassis. But our Prius would NOT have done just fine.

Getting there: Cherry Town Trailhead: Take State Route 209 to Cherrytown Road to Upper Cherrytown Road. The parking lot is on the right on Upper Cherrytown Road. Park and cross the road to the trail, which at first climbs up a steep hill on the old woods road, now a snowmobile trail). Distance: 3.6 miles. Ascent: 250 feet; Trails End Trailhead: Both the Cherrytown and Trails End trailheads will pop up in GPS. I don’t believe there’s even 250 feet elevation gain — I’m guessing less than 100 feet — it seemed virtually flat. 

Hours: Daylight


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