The Department of Environmental Conservation invited members of the community to Kaaterskill Wild Forest on Wednesday to celebrate some of the safety improvements the state has made to the park over the past few years.

DEC officials said there have been seven deaths at Kaaterskill Falls since 1998, including two last year. Numerous additions have been made to keep people out of danger, including a viewing platform and a stone staircase leading to the middle pool.

"It was slippery, people could fall, and it was hard to navigate that," said DEC Region 4 Director Keith Goertz, "so we put the stone staircase in there to get people where they wanted to go safely."

Officials also said it's important for hikers to take various safety precautions, including wearing hiking shoes and staying away from the edges of cliffs.