Sec­ond hiker falls to death this year

New­burgh man slips on ice on up­per por­tion

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian Hu­bert bhu­bert@free­manon­line.com @bri­anat­free­man on Twit­ter

HAINES FALLS >> A 30-year-old New­burgh man fell to his death at the Kaaterskill Falls on Satur­day af­ter­noon, ac­cord­ing to state po­lice at Catskill.

An­thony Miele was hik­ing with a friend near the up­per por­tion of the 260-foot, two-drop falls when he slipped on ice and fell about 120 feet, trooper Chris­tian Quinn said.

Quinn said Miele had gone off the nor­mal trail and was try­ing to walk across a treach­er­ous area cov­ered with ice and moss at the time of the ac­ci­dent. Miele was pro­nounced dead at the scene.

Quinn said he was un­sure if Miele had gone around safety fenc­ing the state De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion in­stalled at the top of the falls in 2014 and 2015.

Quinn said most of the time there’s an ac­ci­dent, peo­ple en­ter this area to try to take a pic­ture ei­ther down the falls or up to­wards the moun­tain and lose their foot­ing. But Quinn said he did not know for sure if Miele was at­tempt­ing to take a pho­to­graph.

Satur­day’s death was the sec­ond re­ported at the falls this year.

Late in July, 17-year-old Ezra Kennedy of West­field, N.J., fell to his death while hik­ing with friends and rel­a­tives.

Two women from Dutchess County fell to their deaths at the falls in the sum­mer of 2014, lead­ing to the in­stal­la­tion of pro­tec­tive fences at the top of the up­per falls.

Pub­lic ac­cess to Kaaterskill Falls was re­stricted in the sum­mer of 2015 while the DEC made $450,000 in im­prove­ments to en­hance safety and up­grade trails. State po­lice Se­nior In­ves­ti­ga­tor Peter Kus­min­sky said in July the safety im­prove­ments were made to the up­per falls, but not to the area where Kennedy fell.

The changes to the up­per falls in­cluded a new trail with a 200-step stone stair­case.

Kaaterskill Falls is one of Amer­ica’s old­est tourist at­trac­tions and is im­mor­tal­ized in Hud­son River School paint­ings and Wash­ing­ton Irv­ing’s “Rip Van Win­kle.”

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