The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has been encouraging social distancing and asking the public to recreate locally and responsibly amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the ongoing efforts to reduce density in popular areas, the DEC has announced the temporary closure of Kaaterskill Falls in the Catskills.
What You Need to Know
In a recent press release, the DEC explained that starting on Monday, April 6, Kaaterskill Falls, the viewing platform, and connecting trails would be closed to the public until further notice. They are also closing parking areas at Molly Smith, Laurel House Road, and Scutt Road, roadside parking, and access trails to the falls. However, Kaaterskill Wild Forest will remain open.
According to the DEC, they are closing public access to the falls because its unique features “do not provide for appropriate social distancing during the ongoing COVID-19 response.” They will evaluate this situation and let the public know when Kaaterskill Falls is reopened.
The press release also mentioned the DEC is blocking roads leading to the North-South Campground, but hikers are welcome to visit the trails that connect with the campground.
At this time, the DEC and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) are asking New Yorkers to engage in responsible recreation. Some of the suggested guidelines from the CDC/NYS Department of Health include:
- Try to keep at least six feet of distance between you and others
- Avoid close contact such as shaking hands, hugging, or sharing binoculars
- Wash hands often or use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
- Avoid surfaces that are touched often such as handrails, doorknobs, and playground equipment
The public should continue to practice social distancing and recreate locally as we all work together to flatten the curve.
NY State DEC – DEC Announces Temporary Closure of Kaaterskill Falls