Kaaterskill Falls Adventure

What a day this was oh my gosh. If you know me you know I love celebrating birthdays, I think they’re so fun and are a day (or a few) to just celebrate you being you! So when Mike’s birthday was approaching I knew I had to plan something super fun. Now this was not an easy task because normally I’m pretty good with gift giving but Mike threw me for a loop! And he admitted he was not easy to shop for so I started planning a whole month in advance so I had time to figure out what I wanted to do for him! 

After thinking and thinking I finally found the perfect plans which included a nice dinner and a one night stay at a local bed and breakfast, but last minute when that fell through I was panicked! I had no idea what else to do! Things you can’t get for Mike include everything in the entire world except things that have to do with climbing, extreme sports and cool camera stuff. So under that umbrella falls a lot of things so you might be thinking well that sounds pretty easy, except for the fact that he basically already owns every possible thing you can find at your local REI and it’s all expensive as hell SO I was at a loss.

When I finally realized I couldn’t buy him a thing, the only thing I could do was plan a super fun day and hope it was exciting enough for my outdoor adventure loving boyfriend. SO fast forward and after a suggestion from a coworker I decide to take Mike to Kaaterskill Falls and Kingston, New York for what I called a staycation! Now this was all a surprise, I even made him drive us and didn’t tell him where we were going haha! I only HOPED he had never been to these falls before and this would be as EPIC as the internet said it was! 

I was really hoping this day would be pretty perfect because this adventure was actually the day after his birthday aaand my birthday plan for him kind of failed! Let’s just say I planned for us to go to dinner after I got out of work at 8 at a nice restaurant that didn’t take reservations and when we got there, they asked us if we had reservations?! I was like NOOO haha so we ended up at one of our favorites, Eddie’s Roadhouse in Warwick, NY for a delicious late night birthday celebration!

 FINALLY we were off to Kaaterskill Falls for our little day trip into New York state! We got BLT’s for the car ride and basically sang with the windows down the entire ride up! The weather was PERFECT. It was hot and summery and I was pretty certain this day was gonna be as perfect as I imagined! So Mike is driving us up and the GPS tells us we’re arriving at our location and Mike is like, “OMG is that the place with the waterfall that’s like curved? I’ve actually always wanted to go there!” And no sentence has ever made me happier hahaha! Now I read that parking was going to be chaos, hence why Mike was driving, and when we got there it kind of was. It was pretty darn busy but we drove as close to the trail head as possible and lucked out with a spot that was right by the designated lot but not quite in it so we risked getting a parking ticket for convenience (spoiler alert: we got a ticket).

Our hike began with a short walk up a windy road in Saugerties to the trail head and the moment we got to the trail it was already so crowded! We followed the trail which was winding up the mountains following a river the entire way! I LOVED this trail because there were so many places to scoot off the trail and check out little pools and really beautiful spots to hang for a bit! When we reached the falls, my legs were feeling the burn a bit, but man was it worth it! The falls were soooo cool! It was so tall and fell in front of two tiers of red, eroded rock that you could adventure up to! At the base of the falls was a decent size pool perfect for cooling off in. We didn’t make it there until around 4 so it was pretty packed. We opted out of swimming and headed straight to the second tier to hang behind the falls and that was definitely the place to be! There were only a few other people brave enough to go up there and gave SUCH a beautiful view of the valley! 

Once we got our fill and a few photos we decided to head back down the mountain and stop along the way so we could finally cool off a bit. We found a little spot right off the trail that we had all to ourselves! There was fallen logs to climb on, rocks to hop on, and water deep enough to cool off in. You could say we were pretty dang happy! We cooled off, watched some fish swim around and decided to finally head out so we would make our dinner reservation (I was definitely not going to have a repeat of the night before!) We had some extra time to kill and Mike was so happy to be in NY he really wanted to bring me to New Paltz, one of his FAVORITE places, so off we went! We stopped at the Gilded Otter to share a flight of beer and it was such a fun brewery! While driving through Mike pointed out all of his favorite places and made sure I got a good look at the Gunks, and I know we’ll be back before the summer is over!

Our night ended in Kingston on the river! The drive there was filled with charming NY towns, summer homes, views of water all surrounded by trees - we were so so happy. We kept saying how it was so easy to feel like we were up in our favorite state, yeah you know it, Vermont! We gushed about how gorgeous it was the entire drive and it didn’t stop in Kingston. What a cute little town it was and the historic district was just as charming as New Paltz! We ate some fresh seafood right on the water and celebrated Mike’s birthday with cocktails. This day couldn’t have been more perfect. It really felt like a vacation but was so close to home! It was far enough away to feel like a vacation but close enough to home that it took all of 9 hours to do! (definitely could have spent much more time there though!!) 

What a weekend this was, I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt this happy! I cannot wait to get back to Kaaterskill Falls, maybe at a less popular time haha, to get some swimming in and back to New Paltz to climb, eat tacos and check out the fun shops along the main strip! And just as a side note, these photos make the perfect game of “Where’s Mike?” hahaha! He’s hidden in a lot of these photos so, happy searching!