Upper Kaaterskill Falls is Closed for the Summer

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Upper Kaaterskill Falls is Closed for the Summer

New postby dave » Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:47 am

On Monday, July 6, 2015, the region from the base of Kaaterskill Falls to the top of Kaaterskill Falls will be closed for the entire summer, or until the project is completed. This also includes the parking area from the bottom of Laurel House Road to the top of Kaaterskill Falls. It also includes from the bottom of Laurel House Road to the trail where the old hotel bridge was located. There may be periods where the parking lot at the beginning of Schutt Road may be closed, but we do expect it to be open most of the summer.

Please Note: The trail from Rt 23a to the base of Kaaterskill Falls will remain open. But, if you venture further then the base of the Kaaterskill Falls into the closed area, you should expect to get a ticket from the DEC. The DEC does have the legal right to prevent visitors on public land where there is a crime scene, restoration of plants or trees, or construction projects. Once the construction project is over, you will be allow to hike wherever you want.

The reason why the DEC is going to close this section is because of a $450,000 project to promote tourism and increase safety at Kaaterskill Falls. The Project will included the following:

Project #1: Enlarging the parking lot at the bottom of Laurel House Road from the ability to hold 10 cars, to 50 cars or more. This new parking lot will be on the right side of the road and will be where the 1930 conifer forest was planted. This project has been started and may be completed. BUT, the Laurel House Road Parking Lot will remain closed for the summer.

Project #2: Enlarging the parking lot at the top of Schutt Road from the ability to hold 10 cars, to 50 cars or more. We expect this parking lot to be open most of the summer.

Project #3: Construction of the bridge over Lake Creek. It will be located where the old Hotel Road Bridge used to be. This will link the Kaaterskill Rail Trail to the Escarpment Trail. The Kaaterskill Rail Trail was a separate project. The remaining portion of that project was the construction of this bridge. New Piers will need to be built before a bridge can be put across Lake Creek. The bridge will be located about 100 feet below where Spruce Creek flows into Lake Creek. Some people call Lake Creek, Sprcue Creek. But, this is incorrect. The bridge will allow hikers to get to both sides of Kaaterskill Falls, and allow linkage of hikers and skiers from the Kaaterskill Rail Trail to the Escarpment Trail and other trails around North-South lake region. This bridge will dramatically improve the region.

Project #4: A trail from the base of Kaaterskill Falls to the Escarpment Trail will be cut and built. It will be about 1/8 mile long. This will also include a 200 step stair case up the very steep southern wall of Kaaterskill Falls. There will also be a trail that will lead to the middle water pool.

Project #5: An Observation Platform will also be built according the Greene County Tourism Plan. The platform will give people a better view of the upper falls.

Project #6: Ten anchor points will be installed in the side of Kaaterskill Falls to assist Search and Rescue with accidents at the Falls. The rock on the Falls is not stable, and is dangerous to rock climb on. A number of rock climbers have been killed when rocks crumbled or pulled out. This project will assist Tannersville Fire Department in extractions and rescues.

The 500 feet of fence railing will remain in place to help deter people from getting too close to the edge. Additionally, the DEC will hire a seasonal Steward to educate hikers on the dangers. This will not stop hikers or climbers from going where they want to. But, to help the "flip-flop" hikers of the dangers.

You can learn more about Kaaterskill Falls by clicking here

To learn more about safety around water falls, you can read this Waterfall Guideline here

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Re: Upper Kaaterskill Falls is Closed for the Summer

New postby Jon » Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:48 pm

I Lol'd when I saw the front page. Mike had just said earlier this week "DEC will never close the falls" then i go to mountaineer "Kaaterskill Falls closed!"

sounds like some extensive project. can't wait to see how it turns out.
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Re: Upper Kaaterskill Falls is Closed for the Summer

New postby mike » Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:31 pm

Okay...I'm eating a little crow at the moment. I guess I should clarify my statement. Under the law, the DEC cannot close any public land they have jurisdiction in. The exceptions are: Restoration of plants or erosion; Construction and trail building; Dangers like Hurricane Irene; Crime locations; etc. But, having said that they cannot permanently close Kaaterskill Falls. They are only closing the regions where they are doing extensive work. It creates a safety and liability issue.

Like others, I question if these projects will reduce deaths and injuries at Kaaterskill Falls. What they are doing will double the amount of people there in the summer. With 50 other waterfalls in the Kaaterskill Clove, you think they would have directed some trails to some of those other gems. I think the project direction is short sided.
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Re: Upper Kaaterskill Falls is Closed for the Summer

New postby mtnclimber » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:13 am

Makes sense that they are closing the areas where they are doing extensive work. I can see people causing all sorts of problems while they are working. Not sure if it is going to be safer. Seems like they will have a lot more people in the region.
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Re: Upper Kaaterskill Falls is Closed for the Summer

New postby dundee » Sun Jul 05, 2015 11:40 am

Were there any public hearings on this? Usually that is the case.
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Re: Upper Kaaterskill Falls is Closed for the Summer

New postby mike » Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:44 pm

Public hearing was a couple months ago.
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