Hike • Waterfall
What They Are about
This nearly 150-foot high waterfall is a sight that should not be missed. Located about a mile west of the park's main entrance, just follow the popular 1.5-mile Gorge Trail through the 400-foot-deep gorge until you reach the famous Rainbow Falls and adjacent Triple Cascade. This Rainbow Falls is located in Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Ulster County, New York (not to be confused with the Rainbow Falls and Indian Head trail in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve).The park includes dense hardwood forests, beautiful views, waterfalls, three lakes and numerous hiking trails. The park is managed by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Park in the lower parking area and take the Mossy Glen Trail (yellow), which is almost an immediate left off the lower Carriage Road( corner of parking lot ). The trail hugs the Peters Kill for almost 2 miles. Follow the trail left and up to the upper carriage road and make a right. Follow the Carriage Road for about a mile and look for the orange blaze on the right for Rainbow Falls Trail heading downhill. Follow the trail a short distance for about a half mile to the base of the falls. Continue along the base of the falls following the orange markers UP the short rock scramble. Once at the top enjoy the view of the Catskills in the distance,Rainbow Falls is simply magical. Plummeting from the airy heights of the Great Range in the Adirondack Mountains, Cascade Brook has etched away at the heart of the High Peaks to form a miniature box canyon so narrow that it rarely sees complete sun. What results is a stunningly beautiful micro-ecosystem and one of nature’s most impressive and refreshing natural showers.
You'll know it once you've arrived, in part because there's often a gaggle of hikers lingering in the area all angling for a postcard-worthy picture of the scene.
The parking fee is $10 per vehicle. Visitors might also be interested in nearby Castle Point and Lake Minnewaska.