Vernooy Falls Trail: Waterfalls & Mill Ruins

The delightful Vernooy Kill Falls trail leads to one of the funnest spots in The Catskills.

Hike Length: 3.3 miles (5.31 km)

Total Ascent: 600ft (183m)

Intensity: Moderate Catskills Hike

Route Type: Out-and-Back

Includes: Blazed Trail, Stream Crossing

vernooy falls waterfall

Vernooy Falls upper waterfall

Similar Entries In: Catskills, Home Page, Nature Trails, The Easy Hikes, The Most Popular Hikes, , , , , , , , .

Disclosure: Links to external websites on this page may be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

 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.

Best Anti-Tick Treatment

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.

mossy covered log fallen
Mossy woodpecker log
moss
Moss on log
moss
Moss on log

Not far from the beginning, there’s one tricky stream crossing with lots of blowdown.

 Help: This trail guide is new. The hike was done on April 10, 2022 under which this page will be filed later.
If you have feedback on this page, please comment below or feel free to contact me directly.

Pass over this beautiful footbridge over a brook that drains Wet Willy Swamp.

footbridge in the woods passing over a small brook
Footbridge over Wet Willy drainage

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.

Vernooy Falls

The falls are very large. I explored them on both sides of the footbridge.

long footbridge over small falls
Vernooy Falls Footbridge

I can’t wait to get back here in winter, when everything is frozen.

vernooy falls waterfall
Upper Vernooy Falls
vernooy falls footbridge
Footbridge over Vernooy Kill

Mill Ruins

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.]

old stone wall ruins
Mill ruins at Vernooy Falls

 

old stone wall mill ruins
Mill ruins at Vernooy Kill

On the way back down to the trailhead, you get to pass that sweet little footbridge again…

footbridge in woods
Footbridge over Wet Willy drainage

Similar Hikes

Check this list of waterfall hikes, and this list of short hikes.

I think this hike is short enough and non-strenuous enough to qualify as nature walk.

It’s also a pretty family-friendly hike.

Follow for More

Follow my @TotalCatskills account on Instagram for regular hiking inspo and safe, inclusive community.

I also stay active on Facebook and Twitter.

Open for Later

You too can support this independent hiking content and get great benefits!

Support this independently-created hiking content via my Patreon

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

Cell Service

No cell service at the trailhead or anywhere in a long hike that I noticed. My network is Verizon. YMMV.

Your comments are welcome here…

Hello, I’m Sean

I write independent hiking content to help hikers like you find amazing hikes in the Catskills, Adirondacks, Gunks, Hudson Highlands, Taconics and beyond.

On social media, I’m @TotalCatskills. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

My free weekly hiking newsletter is low key awesome.

You won’t regret signing up…