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A straight-forward out-and-back to Vernooy Falls
Hiking Trail Description
Vernooy Falls is a very popular four-stage waterfall near Riggsville in the Town of Rochester, New York.
The trail is short and moderate, but tends to be muddy, so pack your hiking boots. Your sneakers will take a dunking here.
Note: The falls themselves, being rocky and open, are a magnet for rattlesnakes in the warmer months.
Vernooy Falls Trailhead & Parking
This lot is very large and easy to get to.
The trailhead is across the street from the lot’s entrance.
Vernooy Falls Hiking Trail
The trial begins with a hemlock stand. Along this trail, you’ll also see plenty of eastern white pine and mountain laurel. The trail is lovely.
Follow the red blazes.
Listen for lots of woodpecker action.
Not far from the beginning, there’s one tricky stream crossing with lots of blowdown.
Pass over this beautiful footbridge over a brook that drains Wet Willy Swamp.
The trail climbs and passes through several stands of hemlock and mountain laurel.
Eventually, the trail passes over a high point and begins to trend downhill.
Very soon, right before the falls, there’s a legal campsite on the left side of the trail.
And then you arrive at Vernooy Falls footbridge.
The falls are very large. I explored them on both sides of the footbridge.
I can’t wait to get back here in winter, when everything is frozen.
Check out these amazing ruins. This is an absolutely fantastic destination. It would be stunning on foggy morning.
This stone wall is a remnant of the Vernooy Mill which 200 years ago was a major crossroads where farmers near and far brought their grain for milling. [Source: NYS DEC Catskill Hikes.]
On the way back down to the trailhead, you get to pass that sweet little footbridge again…
I think this hike is short enough and non-strenuous enough to qualify as nature walk.
It’s also a pretty family-friendly hike.
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Trailhead Info for this Hike
Very large, popular lot
Google Maps Location: 41.864223, -74.346290
The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead
No cell service at the trailhead or anywhere in a long hike that I noticed. My network is Verizon. YMMV.