Diamond Notch Falls via Spruceton

A short, easy mountain hike to a true Catskills gem.

Hike Length: 3.2 miles (5.15 km)

Total Ascent: 500ft (152m)

Intensity: Easy Catskills Hike

Route Type: Out-and-Back

Includes: Blazed Trail, Stream Crossing

Parent West Kill

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two waterfalls side by side

Diamond Notch Falls

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 An easy out-and-back.

Hiking Trail Description

Diamond Notch Falls is a very popular destination for nature lovers seeking to immerse themselves in the deep beauty of The Catskills.

Surrounded by lush forests and beautiful hiking trails, the double-falls sit at a trail junction that connects Hunter, Southwest Hunter and West Kill mountains.

The falls are only about 15 feet high, but so beautiful — in spring, summer and fall, of course, but especially in winter.

This short easy route continues into the notch for an epic view. It’s short enough and easy enough that it qualifies as a Nature Trail.

Plan on 1½ to 2 hours to get the most from this extremely enjoyable hike.

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Diamond Notch Falls Trail

The Diamond Notch hiking trail from Spruceton includes…

  • A short, easy hike in to the falls
  • A wonderful footbridge over the falls
  • A quick uphill section to an excellent scenic view

Trail Notes & Gallery

Park in the medium-sized parking area on Spruceton Road — but make sure to not park in the turnaround at the end of the road, near the trailhead. It’s a very short road walk from the official parking lot to the trailhead.

The walk in, along the West Kill, is a lovely start to this hike. Follow the blue trail blazes

west kill stream
West Kill

West Kill on the way to Diamond Notch Falls
West Kill

In cold weather on any mountain hike, you’ll definitely need microspikes. The trail often looks like this…

icy trail at Diamond Notch Falls
Contour ice in winter

In summer, the footbridge across the top of the waterfalls looks like this…

picturesque footbridge
Diamond Notch Footbridge

In winter, it looks so…

diamond notch falls in winter
Diamond Notch Footbridge in Winter

Diamond Notch Falls

Winter is my favorite time to visit any waterfall. Spot the hiker…

Diamond Notch Falls frozen in winter
Diamond Notch Waterfalls

Diamond Notch Falls frozen in winter
Diamond Notch Waterfalls

Diamond Notch Falls frozen in winter
Diamond Notch Falls

Diamond Notch Scenic View

Cross over the footbridge and continue to follow the blue blazes uphill, to your left.

Before half a mile, you’ll see a lean-to shelter on your left, just off trail…

Diamond Notch lean-to in winter
Diamond Notch lean-to

It’s really beautifully situated. There’s also a privy.

Diamond Notch lean-to in winter
Diamond Notch lean-to

From here, make your way further uphill on the trail until you enter the very narrowest part of the wind gap — where it’s possible to put one foot on Southwest Hunter and the other on West Kill mountain.

At half-a-mile from the footbridge, you’ll come to an obvious boulder. From this spot, there’s a terrific view of the Burroughs Range: Wittenberg, Cornell, the col, and Slide Mountain.

Diamond Notch
Diamond Notch scenic view

Behind the Burroughs Range, you can see Table and Peekamoose mountains.

Burroughs Range
Burroughs Range seen from Diamond Notch

From here, it’s roughly 1.5 miles back to your car on Spruceton Road.

Similar Hikes

Check the alternate route to Diamond Notch via Diamond Notch Road.

If you love waterfalls, you’ll love this list of waterfall hikes.

If you’re looking for short, easy hikes, here’s a list of Nature Trails on the website.

Read More

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The parent mountain for this hike is West Kill.

If you do this hike, LMK how it went…

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Trailhead Info for this Hike

Medium-sized lot. Very popular. Do not park in the turn-around.

Google Maps Location: 42.182596, -74.269579

The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead

Cell Service

No cell service until you get up into the wind gap near the scenic view. My network is Verizon. YMMV.