Trail Guides / Gear Ideas / Wilderness Safety

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

CatskillsHudson Highlands
GunksAdirondacksTaconics

— Live Happily —

Hike The Mountains

Where to Stay in 2022

The Best Places to Stay

View Listings Now

This new route to Red Hill Fire Tower is a little longer and tougher than the classic route, but so much sweeter.

The bushwhack over North Dome and Mount Sherrill is never easy. I found a way to make it even more difficult.

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.

This new route to Red Hill Fire Tower is a little longer and tougher than the classic route, but so much sweeter.

The bushwhack over North Dome and Mount Sherrill is never easy. I found a way to make it even more difficult.

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.

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.

hiker in yellow jacket on Grace Peak in the Adirondacks

Dix Range from Elk Lake

Demanding and spectacular, the Dix Range is one of the most rugged and scenic Adirondack mountain ranges.

  Read ›

Complete Devil’s Path Trail Guide

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

  Read ›

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 ›

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.

  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 ›

cave

Twin from Roaring Kill

One of the most entertaining trails in the Catskills leads to one of the range’s best panoramic views — but it also contains what might be the Catskills’ most challenging section of trail.

  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.

orange steel and concrete bridge

Ashokan Rail Trail

Take a leisurely nature stroll (or cycle) along the scenic Ashokan Rail Trail, a premier Catskills destination.

  Read ›

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.

  Read ›

scenic looking

Hike Huntersfield via Ashland Pinnacle

Situated among some of the most bucolic land in New York State, this quiet trail over lush peaks makes for a rich, rewarding and restorative hike.

  Read ›

sunset over devil’s path mountain summits

Huckleberry Point

Huckleberry Point is one of the most beloved Catskills destinations. The trail is short and relatively easy. In 75 minutes or so, you’ll get to one of the most dramatic vistas in the Catskill Mountains.

  Read ›

Spruce & Sunshine

Kelly Hollow Loop

Short, easy and thoroughly absorbing, Kelly Hollow Loop is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the Catskills. It came highly-recommended and it absolutely delivered.

  Read ›

cabin in woods and small wooden outhouse

Red Hill Fire Tower Classic Trail

This short, easy hike up beautifully-maintained trail in bucolic New York leads to dramatic views of the Southern and Western Catskills.

  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.

  Read ›

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

  Read ›

footbridge by roadside

Classic Tremper Mountain Fire Tower Hike

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.

  Read ›

cabin in snow on mountain summit

Hunter Mountain Fire Tower (Best Route)

This moderate and very scenic hike can be completed in 4-5 hrs. This is the easiest route to climb Hunter Mountain.

  Read ›

scenic catskills view

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.

  Read ›

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.

  Read ›

   Difficult Hikes

rock ledge

Hike Kaaterskill High Peak & 2 Plane Wrecks

KHP’s summit is a Catskills classic with a spectacular view from Hurricane Ledge. This route takes in two eerie plane wrecks, and there is much to see on the long trek in and out. This a tough, muddy, rewarding hike.

  Read ›

woody summit

Rusk & East Rusk

The very steep bushwhack up the south side of Rusk is never a ton of fun. But Rusk’s summit is lovely and, if you hike over to East Rusk, your day just gets lovelier.

  Read ›

snowy trees at sunset

Halcott, Sunset Bushwhack

I didn’t think too much of Halcott when I did it last spring, but this hike changed my mind. There’s a lot to see: the woods are spectacular, the ravines are beautiful and, at sunset, the summit is a Catskill photographer’s dream.

  Read ›

scenic Mountain View

Plateau & Daley Ridge Lookout

This is the quickest route to Plateau Mountain’s summit. A side-hike down Daley Ridge brings you to a second amazing scenic lookout.

  Read ›

Behind the Cave on Twin

Hike Sugarloaf & Twin from Roaring Kill

Any hike that includes Twin Mountain is a great hike. From either side, Twin offers some the funnest ascents in the Catskill Park. But the western side of Twin, with its steep talus field and a section of technical open rock face, is perhaps the toughest 0.7 mile you’ll hike on any Catskill trail.

  Read ›

wintery waterfall

Eagle Mountain from Seager

Not many people hike this way to Eagle but it’s the most beautiful route. The Seager Big Indian trail which passes along Dry Brook is uniquely challenging and magical.

  Read ›

Recommended Reads

stop sign at night

It’s a Great Idea to Turn Around When…

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

  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 ›

map / compass

The 10 Essentials: What to Pack for Every Hike

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.

  Read ›

sunrise

Best Camera Settings for Photographing Sunsets & Sunrises (40+ Tips)

Dawn and dusk: there’s no better time of day to shoot landscapes than when the sun is low on the horizon. Here’s everything you need to know to plan, prepare, and pull off the perfect sunrise photo shoot.

  Read ›

Blackhead Range

The 3 Best Ways to Not Die on a Hike

Every month, people get into trouble in the Catskills, almost always because they are under-prepared. Here are the 3 best things you can do to stay safe on your hike, while making sure you’re prepared in the event of an emergency.

  Read ›

standing desk with hiking gear storage underneath

Hiking Gear Deals

These are the best deals I’ve found this week…

  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

Red Hill Fire Tower from Denning

This new route to Red Hill Fire Tower is a little longer and tougher than the classic route, but so much sweeter.

North Dome, Mount Sherrill & Hagadone Hollow

The bushwhack over North Dome and Mount Sherrill is never easy. I found a way to make it even more difficult.

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.