Today we hiked Hackers Falls and Cliff Trail Loop, which is supposed to be about 3.7 miles long, according to All Trails. We managed to do a little more. We arrived at Raymondskill Falls parking lot around 9:30am, put our microspikes on and crossed the road. The last time we hiked to the falls we went straight up, which is only a 1.4 mile hike to the waterfalls. This time we took a right turn and crossing the small footbridge.
Going this way was a little more challenging, with a nice uphill that gives you almost 300 feet in elevation gains. About 15 minutes into the hike one set of footprints went straight and the snowshoe print went right. We followed the snowshoe prints, thinking this person knew what they were doing. Eventually we realized this was the wrong way and we ended up going back to the trail. At the Tri-State Overlook we took a little break and enjoyed the views. We continued on the Cliff Trail to Minisink Overlook where we got to enjoy more views and mountain ridges that we hike. As we continued on the trail we realized we passed the turn to Pond Loop Trail and had to turn back around. This is how we ended up with a little more extra miles to our hike. The great thing about All Trails is that you can follow the map and see alternative routes and trails so even in the snow you can find your way back on trail. Just make sure to download the map beforehand, since service in most places will be non-existing.
Pond Loop Trail to Hackers Falls
After walking the Pond Loop Trail we followed Buchanan-Trail to Hackers Trail which takes you to Hackers Falls. We enjoyed the views of the falls from every angle and continued back to the car. The remainder of the trail we knew, since we did it before. If you are going to visit the falls, be sure to follow the Hackers Falls and Cliff Trail Loop clockwise and not counter-clock wise, like we did. It will be easier to follow the trail and get your 600 plus feet in elevation gain. You’ll also get to the waterfall faster and enjoy the nice, serene walk through the wide trail.
Once we were done with the trail, we crossed the street and went to visit Raymondskill Falls. Since we were there, why not? The fall was gushing, as usual and we had the waterfall all to our selves. Once we went down the snow-covered stairs we saw a sign that said the area was closed. We were not sure if it was referring to the section behind the fence or to the waterfall so we did not continue to see the fall upclose. Instead, we headed back to the car and stopped our Strava at 5.6 miles. We did a little extra looping around and missing the trail but it was worth it. The views and the fresh white snow made the hike worthwhile. Any time you can hike and enjoy nature, is a good day.