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Find Amazing Hikes in the Catskills, Adirondacks, Gunks, Hudson Highlands

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Some of the best day hikes are only a few hours from New York City. The Western Catskills have it all!

The Shavertown Trail offers a steep hike to a wonderful lookout, with a break in the middle at a sweet pond with its own view.

This rugged route passes along the bottom of Race Brook Falls, then climbs through beautiful forest to a scenic lookout beyond the summit of Mount Everett.

This route to Poet’s Ledge on Kaaterskill High peak is very steep but very rewarding.

This is a great 2-minute project. Shorten your reservoir hose and enjoy every future hike that little bit more.

The Nun-Da-Ga-O ridge is as tough as it is magical. Do not let these low mileage and elevation numbers trick you!

Everything you need to know about the Devil’s Path — one of the most difficult hiking trails in New York State.

Have you ever turned around on a hike for any reason? Hike safely. Always listen to your gut.

Some of the best day hikes are only a few hours from New York City. The Western Catskills have it all!

The Shavertown Trail offers a steep hike to a wonderful lookout, with a break in the middle at a sweet pond with its own view.

This rugged route passes along the bottom of Race Brook Falls, then climbs through beautiful forest to a scenic lookout beyond the summit of Mount Everett.

This route to Poet’s Ledge on Kaaterskill High peak is very steep but very rewarding.

This is a great 2-minute project. Shorten your reservoir hose and enjoy every future hike that little bit more.

The Nun-Da-Ga-O ridge is as tough as it is magical. Do not let these low mileage and elevation numbers trick you!

Everything you need to know about the Devil’s Path — one of the most difficult hiking trails in New York State.

Have you ever turned around on a hike for any reason? Hike safely. Always listen to your gut.

Hiking News & Culture

screenshot of best hiking iphone apps

12 Best Hiking Apps

The best hiking apps broken into four categories: navigation/planning, field identification, photography, and fun.

  Read ›

Circle W Market

34 Best Restaurants in the Catskills

This up-to-date list of the best Catskills cafes and restaurants will help make your next pre- or post-hike chow extra-awesome.

  Read ›

solo woman female hiker hiking

Solo Hiking Advice for Women: Persist

Solo women hikers often face pushback from friends and family who’s anxiety is triggered by the suggestion that a woman might be heading into the wilderness alone. It’s time to call that what it is.

  Read ›

Arnold Guyot Catskills Mountains Map

Arnold Guyot’s 1879 Catskills Map

Do you know where Bee Line Mountain is in The Catskills? You’re about to find out…

  Read ›

Hikers helping each other

9+ Best Catskills Hiking Groups Online

A list of my favorite Catskills hiking groups online.

  Read ›

Patreon logo

Patreon vs Amazon

I currently use Amazon affiliate links on this site, in my email newsletter, and sometimes on my @TotalCatskills story feed on Instagram. Patreon may offer a way out of that compromise.

  Read ›

Mountain Hiking Trails

The Best Hikes

These are the best mountain hikes in the Catskills, Taconics and Adirondacks.

photo of fire tower at Hadley Mountain

Hadley Mountain Fire Tower

Delightful hike, sometimes steep, but a very rewarding payoff from Hadley Mountain Fire Tower.

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awosting falls / richly flowing waterfall at dusk

Awosting Falls

Awosting Falls at Minnewaska State Park Preserve is one of the most popular destinations in the Hudson Valley.

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View from Wittenberg

Best Day Hike in the Catskills: Wittenberg, Cornell, Slide

As rugged as I suspected — but more beautiful than I imagined.

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chimney

Sloan Gorge Preserve

You don’t have to climb a mountain to experience the Catskills. The lowlands have so much to offer. Sloan Gorge Preserve is a great example: an absolutely delightful, short, and family-friendly nature walk.

  Read ›

large boulder protruding from mountain

Twin Mountain via Jimmy Dolan Notch

This quick ascent to a gorgeous two-peaked Catskill ridge includes a fun, tricky rock scramble — and one of the truly great views in the Catskill Park.

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nun-da-ga-o ridge hike

Nun-Da-Ga-O Ridge Loop

The Nun-Da-Ga-O ridge is as tough as it is magical. Do not let these low mileage and elevation numbers trick you!

  Read ›

The Bug Bite Thing

Easy Mountain Hikes

Be aware that “easy mountain hikes” does not mean “easy hikes” — before you go, learn how to stay safe on a mountain.

boulders and trees on summit

Hike Windham High Peak from Cross Road

This might be my new favorite way to hike WHP. The easy first mile and the hemlock-rich woods at the start of this route make it such a pleasant way to begin and end this beautiful day hike.

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pre-dawn mountain ridges

Overlook Mountain Trail

You can hike up Overlook Mountain’s easy trail in about an hour. The fire tower at the end of this short trail is positioned to give one of the most dramatic views in the Catskills.

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vernooy falls waterfall

Vernooy Falls Trail: Waterfalls & Mill Ruins

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

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summit of bearpen mountain

Hike Vly & Bearpen

Personal opinion: these are the only two boring Catskill 3500 hikes. Vly has a few small ledges to keep things interesting, barely, but I swear the trailed route up Bearpen has almost nothing to recommend it. Luckily, you can bag both of these hills together on a single, easy out-and-back.

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master map graphic

Geo-Map of all Trail Guides on Mountain-Hiking.com

This interactive master map lists all my hike reports to date

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awosting falls / richly flowing waterfall at dusk

Awosting Falls

Awosting Falls at Minnewaska State Park Preserve is one of the most popular destinations in the Hudson Valley.

  Read ›

  Moderate Hikes

Gertrude’s Nose Hiking Trail

Gertrude’s Nose Loop via Millbrook Mountain

This super-scenic hike takes in a lot: a gorgeous lake with epic cliffs, rugged trails, peek-a-boo views of the Hudson Valley, giant glacial erratics, as well as the world-famous Shawangunk cliffs at Gertrude’s Nose.

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sunset view from Tremper Mountain fire tower

Tremper Mountain Fire Tower from Willow

A much quieter and more interesting route to Tremper Mountain Fire Tower

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stream in snow

Hike Big Indian & Fir via Biscuit Brook

This was one of my earliest mountain hikes and by far my longest hike at the time. In the shin-deep snow, I found it extremely tiring. However, after another year in the hills, with much stronger legs, I would now class this as a moderate hike — which seems to suggest: one’s experience hiking depends on one’s hiking experience.

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the cabin in woods

Balsam Lake Fire Tower

Even light snow cover turns Balsam Lake into a glittering winter wonderland. And it’s a cinch to hike. A cold fall morning is the perfect time to take in the fire tower’s incredible 360° view. Winter hikes to the tower are absolutely spectacular.

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view of mountains with cloud inversion

Hike Cross Mountain from Woodland Valley

This moderate hike along quiet trail packs a punch: stunning forest, dramatic rock formations, and a spectacular panoramic scenic lookout.

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View from Slide Mountain

Slide Mountain (Best Route)

This loop features an easy ascent, great Catskills views, and a beautiful walk-out that passes through varied woods and terrain.

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   Difficult Hikes

front of rusty old school bus

Secret Hike: Bushwhack Easter Egg

A bushwhack side-quest leads to an incongruous object…

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trees, snow, boulders, moss

Hike Arizona Mountain from Stork’s Nest Rd

A quiet, steep and difficult hiking trail that grows more rewarding with every step you climb. It includes one of the truly great views in the Catskills.

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american flag on mountain summit at sunset

Hike Brace & Frissell from Quarry Hill

A stunningly scenic hike with fantastic views of the wide valley below and distant mountain ranges. Brace’s summit is especially magical at sunset.

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large glacial erratic boulders with mountain summits behind

Balanced Rocks & Pitchoff

This short but difficult hike to Balanced Rocks and Pitchoff’s summit can be done in 4-5 hours. Exceptional views at many points along this beautiful trail.

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knoll and mountain from indian head

Indian Head Hiking Trail (Best Route)

Fantastic terrain, epic views, a beloved cliff ascent, a long boreal summit, a steep and rugged descent, and an easy walk out through beautiful woods — this is my absolute favorite single-mountain hike in the Catskills.

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fire tower and cabin

Hike Hunter & Southwest Hunter from Stony Clove Notch

This hike tackles two routes on Hunter’s eastern side: the rugged Devil’s Path, and the relentlessly steep Becker Hollow. Hunter itself is an immense mountain, but the 360° view from its fire tower will charge your batteries for weeks.

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Recommended Reads

Circle W Market

34 Best Restaurants in the Catskills

This up-to-date list of the best Catskills cafes and restaurants will help make your next pre- or post-hike chow extra-awesome.

  Read ›

catskill mountains in distance

How Windy is Too Windy To Hike?

I moved my hike from a windy Friday to a less windy (but much colder) Saturday. 80% of my online followers agreed with me. Here’s why.

  Read ›

Ashokan Rail Trail wooden bench beside reservoir with mountain views

Hiking Safe 101

Yes, your planned hike is popular and even kids do it regularly — it still might kill you

  Read ›

snowshoe trench in snow

Trail Terms: Winter Lingo

Once the cold weather sets in, you’ll start to see and hear these winter trail terms online in forums and social posts. Here’s what they all mean.

  Read ›

screen cap of video

Windham High Peak in 3 Minutes (Walk-Thru Video)

This is one of my favorite hikes to do in The Catskills. This video walks you through the trails and junctions from trailhead to summit, giving you a clear sense of just how lovely this hike is.

  Read ›

hiker considering the length of his hose, hmm

How to Shorten Your Reservoir Hose

This is a great 2-minute project. Shorten your reservoir hose and enjoy every future hike that little bit more.

  Read ›

Wilderness Safety Basics

Mountain Hiking, Planning Tips, Gear Lists, Emergency Numbers

Start mountain hiking safely, hike well, finish in one piece. Here’s everything you’ll need: your clothing, your gear, how to plan a safe hike in every season, the best apps, what to eat, what to bring. It’s all the advice, all in one place.

Stay Safe

The Best Mountain Hikes

The Very Best Hikes You Can Do in the Catskills, Gunks, Adirondacks, Hudson Highlands, Taconics…

This mountain hiking list is a personally-curated selection of the most rewarding hikes you can do in the Catskills, Taconics and Adirondacks. Use this list to hike an awesome hike every week!

Best Hikes

The Catskills High Peaks

The Traditional List of Catskills Peaks Above 3500’

Most people begin mountain hiking in the Catskills by climbing a few High Peaks: Indian Head, Slide Mountain & Balsam Lake are popular starting points. Here are the summits you’ll need to bag if you want to join the Catskill 3500 Club.

Catskill High Peaks

Or Start Mountain Hiking Here…

With hundreds of miles of mountain hiking trails and countless bushwhack routes, there are so many ways to hike the mountains. I can’t make new peaks, but I do add new hikes regularly…

Apart from the Classic Catskills High Peaks and the Best Catskill Hikes, you can also view lists of Popular Catskills Hikes and Scenic Catskills Hikes.

If you’re just starting out, check out the Easy Hikes list.

If you have kids in tow, these Kid-Friendly Hikes will give you plenty of great options.

For anyone new to hiking, Nature Walks are a great way to get a deep dose of forest magic without much uphill effort.

Finally, you can view a simple but complete list of all the Catskills peaks I’ve hiked, with all their associated hikes. (The Taconics and Adirondacks lists are small right now, but growing.)

Best Hikes in the Catskills, Hudson Highlands, Adirondacks, Taconics, and more…

This website’s 12 most recent posts in reverse-chronological order

18 Amazing Western Catskills Hikes

Some of the best day hikes are only a few hours from New York City. The Western Catskills have it all!

Shavertown Trail

The Shavertown Trail offers a steep hike to a wonderful lookout, with a break in the middle at a sweet pond with its own view.

Race Brook Falls & Mount Everett

This rugged route passes along the bottom of Race Brook Falls, then climbs through beautiful forest to a scenic lookout beyond the summit of Mount Everett.

Poet’s Ledge

This route to Poet’s Ledge on Kaaterskill High peak is very steep but very rewarding.

How to Shorten Your Reservoir Hose

This is a great 2-minute project. Shorten your reservoir hose and enjoy every future hike that little bit more.

Nun-Da-Ga-O Ridge Loop

The Nun-Da-Ga-O ridge is as tough as it is magical. Do not let these low mileage and elevation numbers trick you!

Hike Your Dog Safely in the Summer Heat

From springtime on, heat indices can regularly blow past safe limits for our canine companions. Here’s how to keep your pooch cool and safe on the trail this season.

12 Best Hiking Apps

The best hiking apps broken into four categories: navigation/planning, field identification, photography, and fun.

Richmond Mountain & Richtmyer Peak

Just parking for Richmond Mountain is 4WD dirt road dogfight.

34 Best Restaurants in the Catskills

This up-to-date list of the best Catskills cafes and restaurants will help make your next pre- or post-hike chow extra-awesome.

Vernooy Falls Trail: Waterfalls & Mill Ruins

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

This is How You Make Chaga Tea

Chaga is delicious and offers many health benefits. This is how you make chaga tea.