For National Trails Day, which is on the first Saturday of June, we hiked Stony Kill Falls. If you’re looking for a short hike with a beautiful waterfall, this is an excellent choice. The hike from the parking lot to the waterfall footbridge is only 1/4 mile. You walk from an open field into the woods, follow a path, and bam! There is a waterfall! As you enter the woods, please be sure to use the boot brush station. This can help ensure that you don’t spread invasive species into the park. Please be sure to use the boot brush station before and after visiting the falls.
Once you’ve had enough of the waterfall from the footbridge, you can follow the 35 stone stairs up to the second view point. These stairs were created by the Jolly Rover Trail crew from 2015-2016. The stones are all local Shawangunk conglomerate. The stones were cut, shaped and placed, on site. It took the Jolly Rover Trail crew 3,000 work hours and 30 days to complete the project.
After the second viewpoint of the 87 foot drop waterfall, you can continue on the trail. Is Stony Kill Falls open now? Yes, it is open and we were excited to do a Stony Kill Falls hike. The trail starts with more stone stairs. The Tahawus Trails completed this stairs project. This crew constructed the 230 stone stairs, as well as the 140 feet of Stone Paved Tread Surface.
Trail to Nudist Pool
Following the path, you will need to go up the stone stairs and even climb a rock. Don’t worry, there are support bars anchored to them to make this easy. A toddler was going down the stairs with his parents as we were going up. He took his time but did everything himself. A toddler can do it, so can you!
Once you reach the top of the stairs, you’re back on a trail path. A short walk in and you’re at the top of the waterfall! You’re met by a cascading stairs rock formation, that has the water running over it. This water then drops down 87 feet down and we call it Stony Kill Waterfalls.
To the side of the water, the trail continues to the Nudist Pool. I’m assuming this is where the young folk back in the day went skinny-dipping. At the intersection you can follow the water path or continue the trail to Minnewaska State Park. We decided to take the trail to the left and see where it goes.
After being about a mile into the path, we decided to turn back around. According to my Avenza map, we were not even close to getting to the park. If you want to take this trail, I suggest that you download the Minnewaska State Park Preserve trail map on Avenza. The trail comes to an intersection and connects to the Smiley Carriage road. You can take this to Lake Awosting or go in the opposite direction and connect to the Long Path. You can even get to Witch’s Hole but it’s a long, long, way to it.
Anyway, if you’re looking to visit Stony Kill Waterfalls, make sure you don’t come during the drought season. You will not see a gushing waterfall in dry season. How was your National Trails Day? Did you visit any trails?