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Best Mountain Hiking Trails, Mountain Hikes & Nature Walks

Catskills | Taconics | Adirondacks

— Live Happily —

Hike The Mountains

Short | Moderate | Stunning

Hike one of the most popular routes in the Catskills

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Short | Moderate | Outstanding

One of the most popular hiking trails in the Catskills

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Quiet | Scenic | Beautiful

This moderate hike along quiet trail packs a huge scenery punch

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Rugged | Intense | Scenic

I think this is the best route for hiking Blackhead

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Mountain Meaning

Camus

“The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.”

— Camus

Pairs | Triplets | Orphans

Minimize your travel
Maximize your peak-bagging

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Delightful | Scenic | Rewarding

One of the most picturesque hikes in the Catskills

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Easy Up | Interesting Down

This route features an easy ascent, great views near the summit, and a much better descent route

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Beautiful | Scenic | Family-Friendly

A short, super-easy hike almost anyone can do — with fantastic terrain and scenic views

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Hi! Bonjour! ¡Hola! 안녕하세요! Ciao! Hallo! Dia dhuit!

 Interactive Map of Hiking Trail Reports

The icons below are color-coded for difficulty: green, yellow, orange, red. Clicking on a pin displays the link for each hike report. It will take a while to add all the hike reports — but I’m on it!

The Classic High Peaks

The Traditional List of Catskills Peaks Above 3500’

Most people start hiking the Catskills by climbing a few High Peaks: Indian Head, Slide Mountain & Balsam Lake are popular starting points. Here are the 35 summits you’ll need to bag if you want to join the 3500 Club.

Catskill High Peaks

The Best/Easiest Mountain Hikes

The Very Best Hikes You Can Do in the Catskill Park

These lists are a curated selection of the most rewarding hikes you can do in the Catskills: the best of the High Peaks, the best of the lower peaks, the best trails and bushwhacks. It’s an awesome time, every time.

Best Hikes Easy Hikes

Wilderness Safety Basics

Planning Tips, Kit Lists, Emergency Numbers

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

Stay Safe

Or Start Here…

With hundreds of miles of hiking trails and countless bushwhack routes, there are so many ways to hike the Catskill Mountains

Apart from the two lists above — the Classic High Peaks and the Best Catskill Hikes — you can also view a list of All Catskills or go directly to Easiest, Moderate, Difficult or Hardest peaks

Sorry I can’t make new mountains — but I add new hikes every week

Recommended Reads

mountain range in distance at sunset

The Ultimate Guide to Peakbagging the Catskills 

The most efficient way to bag all 35 Classic Catskills High Peaks is to do as many of them in groups as possible. These lists of pairs and triplets combine the Catskills in their most common groupings. Minimize your travel. Maximize your peak-bagging!

  Read ›

Red Blaze on the Devil’s Path

Hiking Pace Formula: How Long Will My Hike Take?

One of the simplest things you need to know about any hike is: how long will it take? Knowing a planned hike’s duration is crucial to being able to figure out what to bring in terms of safety supplies, water and food.

  Read ›

screenshot of best iPhone hiking apps

The Best Hiking Apps for 2020

The best hiking apps broken into four categories: navigation/planning, field identification, photography, and fun. Whether you enjoy easy scenic trails or challenging mountain hikes, these apps will help you plan, plot and prepare for your next adventure.

  Read ›

Circle W Market

Best Places to Eat in the Catskills for Hikers 2020

This up-to-date list of the best Catskills cafes and restaurants will help make your next pre- or post-hike chow extra-awesome Best Catskills Eats I love Phoenicia Diner on Rte 28 for a glorious post-hike chow. So many great dishes, and their Bourbon Milkshake is such a fantastic adult treat.

  Read ›

map / compass

What to Pack: The Ten Essentials

The ten essentials is a list of items you should carry on every trip into the backcountry. This essential gear can keep you safe and on track. In an emergency, it might save your life. You may not need these items on every trip but, if you only ever need them on one trip, you’ll be so relieved you packed them.

  Read ›

Blackhead Range

The 3 Best Ways to Not Die in the Catskills

Every month, people get into trouble in the Catskills, almost always because they are under-prepared. Here are the three best things you can do to stay safe on your hike, while making sure you’re prepared in the event of an emergency.

  Read ›

Hiking News & Culture

map of parcel acquired

DEC Announces Addition of 241 Acres to Catskill Forest Preserve

This has been some time in the planning. It’s great news for the area just east of the Ashokan Reservoir. The new parcel sits between Jockey Hill and Onteora Lake. Its acquisition connects all three parcels, and allows for the the construction of connecting trails to unify the area.

  Read ›

news clipping

The Fried Chicken War of 1881

This weird news clipping popped up in my Catskills Twitter feed today and sent me down an internet rabbit hole full of ding-dong Catskills drama. Oh, the shade!

  Read ›

doubletop

Accessing Doubletop & Graham: Latest Details

Latest notes from The Catskill 3500 Club who oversee the management and maintenance of the canisters on our untrailed peaks… Doubletop & Graham Caretaker Contact Information Change Due to the amount of people reaching out to the caretaker for hikes to these two mountains, he is revising the procedure for getting permission to hike on these privately-owned lands.

  Read ›

via ferrata

The Great Twin Reroute Controversy of 2019

Until the middle of 2019, the trail from Pecoy Notch to the northern summit of Twin Mountain included a difficult rock ledge that required a semi-technical lift. The lift itself depended on a single tree root as a handhold. It was super fun.

  Read ›

hwa lice on hemlock

Catskills Hemlocks Under Threat

Spend any time in the Catskills and you’ll see how special our hemlock groves are, and how unique their micro-environment is. Learn about Hemlock Wooly Adelgid and how you can help.

  Read ›

sign with warnings on tree

COVID-19: New York Pushes Back Opening State Campgrounds until June

According to the DEC’s 2020 Campground & Day Use Area Schedule, all state campgrounds will remain closed until at least June 1. ”To reduce potential community spread of COVID-19, all campgrounds, and pavilions are closed to overnight visitation through May 31.

  Read ›

Catskills | Taconics | Adirondacks

Latest Mountain Hiking Posts

All recent posts in chronological order

Hike to Mount Tremper Fire Tower

This short, moderate hike to one of the most popular fire towers in the Catskills ends with an incredible 360° view of dozens of classic Catskill mountains.

DEC Announces Addition of 241 Acres to Catskill Forest Preserve

This has been some time in the planning. It’s great news for the area just east of the Ashokan Reservoir. The new parcel sits between Jockey Hill and Onteora Lake. Its acquisition connects all three parcels, and allows for the the construction of connecting trails to unify the area.

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.

Hike Blackhead & Black Dome via Batavia Kill

This route crosses some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the Catskill Mountains. I think this is the best route for hiking Blackhead.

The Fried Chicken War of 1881

This weird news clipping popped up in my Catskills Twitter feed today and sent me down an internet rabbit hole full of ding-dong Catskills drama. Oh, the shade!

The Ultimate Guide to Peakbagging the Catskills 

The most efficient way to bag all 35 Classic Catskills High Peaks is to do as many of them in groups as possible. These lists of pairs and triplets combine the Catskills in their most common groupings. Minimize your travel. Maximize your peak-bagging!

Hike Van Wyck (via Bear Hole Brook), Table, Peekamoose

A stunning hike up Bear Hole Brook to the exceptionally steep Van Wyck. Two bear holes. Two plane wrecks. Two talus fields. One of the most memorable Catskills views I’ve seen. This is a very difficult route. Best tackled in a group with experienced, knowledgable hikers.

Gear Upgrade: More Backpack, More Fun

A few weeks ago, I switched my backpack from a 34 liter model that’s great for day hikes to a 65 liter model that’s more suited to overnights. I’m really happy with the upgrade.

Accessing Doubletop & Graham: Latest Details

Latest notes from The Catskill 3500 Club who oversee the management and maintenance of the canisters on our untrailed peaks… Doubletop & Graham Caretaker Contact Information Change Due to the amount of people reaching out to the caretaker for hikes to these two mountains, he is revising the procedure for getting permission to hike on these privately-owned lands.

Hike Giant Ledge & Panther Mountain

This classic route to Giant Ledge is a short moderate hike with a huge pay-off: a series of ledge views which are spectacular in all seasons. This is one of the most popular hiking trails in the Catskills.

Hike Twin from Roaring Kill

This is one of the most entertaining hiking trails in the Catskill Park, leading up to one of its grandest panoramic views — but it also contains what is maybe the Park’s most challenging, technical and potentially dangerous trail sections. The Devil’s Path is famous for being one of the most difficult hiking trails in the US.

The Great Twin Reroute Controversy of 2019

Until the middle of 2019, the trail from Pecoy Notch to the northern summit of Twin Mountain included a difficult rock ledge that required a semi-technical lift. The lift itself depended on a single tree root as a handhold. It was super fun.

Hike Panther from Fox Hollow

This route, through the barely-travelled Fox Hollow — a quiet and wild place — offers ever-changing terrain and lots of wildlife. If you crave solitude and scenic views, this is the hike for you.

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.

Trail Terms: Mountain Terrain

Trail Terms: a glossary of the most important mountain hiking lingo. This page tackles basic mountain terrain jargon.

Hike Romer Mountain & Mount Pleasant

An exceptionally beautiful hiking trail brings you to one of the most spectacular vistas in the Catskills.

 Mountain-Hiking.com

This site is currently an early version of what I hope will become a valuable resource for hikers and walkers over the next few years.

My immediate next actions for the site are…

That’s my plan for now, which will keep me busy until spring.

Okay, hope to see you out there…

Sean

 

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