“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Haines Falls in Greene County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Welcome to the Kaaterskill Rail Trail

Welcome to the Kaaterskill Rail Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, December 5, 2021
1. Welcome to the Kaaterskill Rail Trail Marker
Step Back in Time on the KFT
The Northen Catskills area is one of the earliest vacation destinations in America. In the early 1800s “going to the Catskills” meant going to the Kaaterskill Region. Haines Falls and the nearby Catskill Mountain House were at the region's heart.

You are about to step into history on the Kaaterskill Rail Trail (KRT). The trail was first a footpath connecting the Catskill Mountain House and other hotels to Haines Falls. By the 1880s additional boarding houses and the grand Hotel Kaaterskill attracted many travelers. The old footpath had made way for a rail corridor which, at its peak, saw two competing passenger rail lines following parallel tracks toward the Catskill escarpment. Thousands of vacationers arrived each summer via the newly-constructed rail lines to see the picturesque scenery and stay at the many boarding houses, hotels and resorts, such as the Laurel House.

Ulster & Delaware RR line looking east toward the Laurel House, circa 1902
Hotel Kaaterskill boasted 1,200 rooms

The KRT Today
As you walk the trail,
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look for signs of the railroad-stone culverts from the 1880s, railroad bridge abutments, logging roads, cinders from the steam engines, remnants of the hotels, and glimpses of Kaaterskill Falls, which were once clearly visible from the trains. Observe, too, how nature is returning the region to a more natural state- the very state that brought the original tourists to the Kaaterskill Region.

Historic Kaaterskill Falls
Old railroad ties are still embedded in the trail

Historic Railroad Station
At the end of the KRT trail (1.5 miles) you will find the Haines Falls Station of the Ulster and Delaware (U&D) Railroad. Built in 1913 to replace an earlier station located at then Haines Corners, it went out of service in 1940 when rail service in the area ended. For several years it was a private home. It is now the beautifully-restored home of the Mountain Top Historical Society.

(photo:) U.D.R.R. Station, Haines Falls, Catkills Mtn., N.Y.

Experience the KRT in all seasons!
Whether winter, spring, summer or fall, the KRT provides a unique excellent for the entire family.

The New York State Forest Preserve
The KRT connects the community of Haines Falls with the 8,550 acre Kaaterskill Wild Forest, part of the Forest Preserve in the Catskill Park. This Wild
Welcome to the Kaaterskill Rail Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel
2. Welcome to the Kaaterskill Rail Trail Marker
Forest borders the North/South Lake Campground and Day Use Area to the north and the Indian Head Wilderness to the south in Platte Clove. Article 14 of the New York State Constitution states, in part, "The lands of the state, now owned or hereafter acquired, constituting the forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall be kept as wild forest lands."

Mountain Cloves Scenic Byway
In 2013, 41 miles of state and county roadway were designated NYS Scenic Byways in the Town of Hunter. Following earlier initiatives that promote the scenic, cultural and historic resources of the area, such as Preserve America and Hudson River School Art Trail, the Mountain Cloves Scenic Byway embraces the richness of intrinsic qualities that inspired past generations and recognizes that, through a profound travel experience, these resources support sustainable economic development that is based in the celebration of this unique landscape.

Help Us Protect These Wonderful Resources
• Leave no trace of your visit. Take only pictures; leave only footprints. Stay on the marked KRT trail (private landowners have allowed access, please respect that).
• Carry it in, carry it out. Pick up any litter you see.
• Do not disturb or harm plants, wildlife or natural features. Respect other users (the KRT is a non-motorized trail).
• Keep pets under
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Erected by Kaaterskill Rail Trail.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational AreasRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1913.
Location. 42° 11.743′ N, 74° 3.787′ W. Marker is near Haines Falls, New York, in Greene County. Marker can be reached from Laurel House Road. Marker is at the end of Laurel House Road at the parking lot for the Kaaterskill Falls Overlook Trail. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Haines Falls NY 12436, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Kaaterskill Falls (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Kiersted Tannery (approx. 0.8 miles away); Ulster & Delaware Railroad Station (approx. 1.4 miles away); a different marker also named Welcome to the Kaaterskill Rail Trail (approx. 1˝ miles away); Haines Falls (approx. 1˝ miles away); Haines Falls Honor Roll (approx. 1.6 miles away); State Land (approx. 1.7 miles away); Rip Van Winkle Trail (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Haines Falls.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 7, 2021, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 174 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 7, 2021, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 3, 2024