5 Waterfall Hikes in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

The breathtaking Kaaterskill Falls delights little ones.
The breathtaking Kaaterskill Falls delights little ones.
8/13/21 - By Marisa Iallonardo

It’s well documented that kids love water—whether that’s of the pool, beach, or splash pad variety. And if you’ve ever seen your child’s eyes light up at the sight of a waterfall, you know they don’t even need to be in the water for it to be worthwhile. Westchester and the Hudson Valley are home to some stunning waterfalls. Some of them can be seen by simply visiting the park, while a few others require a walk or a waterfall hike to see them. Almost all of these destinations offer other activities to do during youe visit, from playgrounds to spots to stop for a sweet treat.

Looking for even more water fun? Check out our guide to Westchester summer activities, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know.


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Great Waterfall Hikes in Westchester and the Hudson Valley 

Zabriskie's Waterfall — Annandale-on-Hudson

Your little one might be too young to start visiting colleges, but head over to the campus of Bard College—only about a half-hour drive from central Westchester—where you can check out this pretty waterfall from the Sawkill River.

Fishkill Creek Falls — Beacon

Walking toward the end of Main Street in Beacon, kids will be thrilled to see this pretty, but not huge, waterfall near the train tracks—just be careful of the tracks as you check it out. (And you don’t have to do any hiking to get there!) Bonus: There’s so much to do in the town of Beacon with kids—we rounded up a whole list—from the River Pool (more water!) to playgrounds to doughnut shops.

RELATED: State Park Hikes in the Hudson Valley

Kids are bound to get "misty" at the falls at Croton Gorge Park. Photo by the author

Croton Gorge Park — Cortlandt

Likely the most famous one in Westchester, this waterfall in Cortland’s Croton Gorge Park is stunning and definitely makes an impression. Kids will be super excited about how close they can get to the falls (my kids loved the mist they felt coming off), while parents will be happy they can’t get too close. While there, be sure to walk the top of the dam to see the waterfall from a whole different vantage point. And check out our review for even more to-dos.

Kaaterskill Falls — Haines Falls

This waterfall is absolutely breathtaking. While the hike to the top can be tricky for kids—and the parking lot is currently closed, anyway—you can opt to leave the car in the Laurel-House Road lot and see the falls from the top: It’s just a short walk along a gravel trail to the observation platform, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

RELATED: Destination Parks for Westchester Families

The scenery at Minnewaska State Park is sure to captivate kids and adults. 

Minnewaska State Park — Kerhonkson

The 65-foot Awosting Falls at this state park is a pretty sight to see, While there, we were able to sit on the rocks and admire the view. Plus, the fact that the falls is an easy walk (the wide, carriage roads are even stroller-friendly) from the parking lot is a boon for young families. Also fun? The streams on the walk to the falls are great for skipping rocks, and kids will love checking out (carefully!) the flat rock outcroppings as well. Read our full review on what to do at the park with kids.

Places featured in this article:

Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Zabriskie's Waterfall

Fishkill Creek Falls

Kaaterskill Falls