High Falls Conservation Area

Short, easy hiking trails wind through High Falls Conservation Area to one of the most spectacular waterfalls in New York.

Hike Length: 1.6 miles (2.57 km)

Total Ascent: 160ft (49m)

Intensity: Easy Taconics Hike

Route Type: Out-and-Back

Includes: Blazed Trail, Unmarked Trail, Rock Scrambles

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hikers sitting around high falls convervation area waterfall

High Falls

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 Very easy trails, plus one tricky off-trail section.

The High Falls Conservation Area, Philmont, NY is a stunning destination and a great place to cool down in New York’s brutal summer heat.

This hike in is very short. Really, it’s more of walk — though there is a wet rock scramble to contend with so do be careful and make sure you bring proper footwear.

There are at least two glorious waterfalls, with the tallest falls being over 150 feet (tallest in Columbia County). And there are excellent viewing spots from above and at the base of the falls.

I explored most of the High Falls Conservation Area’s trails and clocked my stay at 1.6 miles.

Allow an hour to visit the falls, walk the trails, and see all the sights. Many people stay much longer to picnic around the gorgeous natural pool at the base of the falls.

Dogs are welcome but must be leashed at all times. (And please pick up any poop your pooch poops!)

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High Falls Conservation Area Hiking Trails

The High Falls Conservation Area hiking trails include…

  • Short, easy, interconnected trails
  • Lots of beautiful stream-side forest (hemlock trees galore)
  • Stunning waterfalls
  • Two great views of the main falls

Allow 2 hours for this hike. A full breakdown is provided in the trail notes below, with 10 sensational photos.

High Falls Conservation Area Trail Notes & Gallery

The parking area is large and well-tended. High Falls is home to several fragile habitats and unique plants. Please stay on the trails to protect them.

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Similar Hikes

Check out the list of waterfall hikes on this website.

Enjoy easy hikes to Bash Bish Falls and Kaaterskill Falls.

This hike also reminded me of the fun, short loops around Sloan Gorge Preserve.

This trail is short and easy enough, and rewarding enough, to be considered a Nature Trail.

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Trailhead Info for this Hike

Large, popular lot

Google Maps Location: 42.246876, -73.658209

The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead