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Helping you find amazing hikes in the Catskills, Adirondacks, Hudson Highlands and Beyond

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Hike The Mountains

There’s no part of hiking that I don’t absolutely love — but, every time, this one moment really stands out…

An absolutely delightful hike from Colgate Lake, around Lake Capra, and along Stoppel Point’s beautiful and scenic escarpment ridge.

The terrain is the star on this mostly moderate hike over Schunemunk’s two ridges. This long, challenging route includes the base of Moodna Viaduct, The Megaliths, and excellent views.

Think you know New York’s wilderness? Sure, sure you do…

It’s just starting now, in mid-September — the first signs of New York’s fall foliage. Here’s the best place to track your leafy updates…

A very short hike with a very big pay-off.

This intense bushwhack route over two of the most difficult Catskills peaks is challenging and rewarding.

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.

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.

Half way between Kingston and Woodstock, Onteora Lake is perfect for casual hikers, trail runners, and snowshoers. Three loops of increasing ruggedness allow you to choose your own adventure.

A long, tough, rewarding hike that follows woods roads and herd paths, and ends with a true bushwhack to the wreckage of a WWII military bomber.

Hiking News & Culture

hiking boot lace wrapped around lace hook

Your Favorite (Small) Hiking Moment

There’s no part of hiking that I don’t absolutely love — but, every time, this one moment really stands out…

  Read ›

Where to See the Best New York Fall Foliage 2021

It’s just starting now, in mid-September — the first signs of New York’s fall foliage. Here’s the best place to track your leafy updates…

  Read ›

YouTube Logo and Mountain Hiking Logo

New: YouTube Channel

I’ve just opened a YouTube channel. I’m jumping into video and learning how to swim, hopefully without drowning…

  Read ›

mountain peaks

It’s Official: Adirondacks 23% Harder Than Catskills

I thought it’d be cute to quantify exactly how much more difficult the Adirondacks are over the Catskills. Do we need this information? No. Does this information feel important? Yes.

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fire tower shot from below

Bramley Mountain Fire Tower (Kaatscast)

At Bramley Mountain, in the western Catskills, the fire tower was dismantled in the 1970s, but a local family has been keeping it safe in a nearby barn…

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sunrise with some clouds

Solar Eclipse 2021

Nothing beats watching the sun come up from a mountain summit — except maybe walking into the woods in the dead of night, alone, to catch an eclipse.

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Mountain Hiking Trails

The Best Hikes

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

ledge and campers and scenic view

Ashokan High Point (with Plane Wreck)

This loop hike features easy riparian trail, then a steep climb to views of Mohonk and the Shawangunk Ridge, as well as stunning blueberry meadows and a plane wreck just feet from the trail’s edge.

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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.

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roaring brook falls seen from below

Roaring Brook Falls

A very short and very fun hike to one of the most popular Adirondack waterfall destinations.

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catskill mountain view from overlook

Hike Balsam From Rider Hollow

A truly delightful Catskills hike. Climb Balsam Mountain by hiking up Mine Hollow and down Rider Hollow. One of the most picturesque hikes in the Catskills.

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view of Hudson River looking north at dusk

Storm King Mountain

Storm King Mountain from Cornwall-on-Hudson has better parking and quieter trails — and you still get all the same incredible views.

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Giant Mountain seen at a distance

Giant Mountain

Giant Mountain is one of the most popular peaks in the Adirondacks. This route offers a super fun climb and a super scenic descent.

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These are the Best Catskills Trail Maps

Get this Headlamp to Stay Safe

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.

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.

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wooden cabin, two stories

Slabsides / John Burroughs Nature Sanctuary

Slabsides is the rustic two-story cabin hand-built by famous naturalist John Burroughs at the end of the 1800’s. It is preserved just as he left it, including its personal contents. A series of interconnected trails wind through woods, a swamp, past dramatic rock outcroppings and waterfalls, and alongside peaceful lakes. The terrain is rugged but the trails are appropriate for well-managed children.

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roaring brook falls seen from below

Roaring Brook Falls

A very short and very fun hike to one of the most popular Adirondack waterfall destinations.

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sunset over devil’s path mountain summits

Huckleberry Point Trail

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. This is a popular and extremely memorable hike.

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6 Easy Catskills Hikes

Want a deep Catskills experience without the angst of a rigorous mountain hike? These are the hikes for you.

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scenic view of mountains

Big Crow

A very short hike with a very big pay-off.

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  Moderate Hikes

Windham High Peak from Burnt Knob

Windham High Peak via Burnt Knob

Hike through rich riparian terrain, crossing a handful of streams, up to a ridge-line that’s peppered with excellent escarpment views — plus a ledge with a breathtaking view of the entire Blackhead range

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Denning Woods

Hike Table & Peekamoose from Denning

I was not prepared for how much I would fall in love with this hike. I’d heard both summits were low on scenic views so my plan was to just check both peaks off my 3500 list and move on. Wrong. So wrong. 100% dead-ass wrong.

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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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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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fire tower view across conifer forest

Graham Mountain & Balsam Lake Hiking Trail

This long day-hike combines Graham and a loop around Balsam Lake’s summit. Permission is required to hike on Graham Mountain.

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catskill mountain view from overlook

Hike Balsam From Rider Hollow

A truly delightful Catskills hike. Climb Balsam Mountain by hiking up Mine Hollow and down Rider Hollow. One of the most picturesque hikes in the Catskills.

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   Difficult Hikes

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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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 Mountain Hiking Trail

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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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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boulder and trail sign

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.

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ticetonyk

New Catskills Hiking Trail: Ticetonyk Mountain

I figured Ticetonyk was beautifully positioned to have great views — but I had no idea. Ticetonyk’s lookouts are now among my favorites in The Catskills.

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Recommended Reads

small library of hiking books

Best Hiking Books for Hikers

These are the best hiking books I’ve found to date. Many were instrumental in getting me started, and giving me the confidence to hike the wilderness solo.

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white and blue headlamps sitting on wet wood in woods

How to Buy a Hiking Headlamp

For hikers and campers, headlamps are essential pieces of gear. Whether you’re hiking out at dusk after a long day, or hiking in, in the pitch dark for a glorious summit sunrise, a headlamp will keep you on track and safe.

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orange and gray tent in campsite in woods

Backcountry Camping in the Catskills: A Beginner’s Guide

If you want to camp out in the Catskills backcountry, it’s probably because you want to experience the wilderness on your own terms. This comprehensive list of resources, regulations and gear will help get you ready for your first Catskills campout.

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Circle W Market

27 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.

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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.

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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.

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Wilderness Safety Basics

Planning Tips, Gear Lists, Emergency Numbers

Start 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, Taconics & Adirondacks

This 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 start hiking 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 3500 Club.

Catskill High Peaks

Or Start Here…

With hundreds of miles of 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

Your Favorite (Small) Hiking Moment

There’s no part of hiking that I don’t absolutely love — but, every time, this one moment really stands out…

The New York Wilderness Quiz

Think you know New York’s wilderness? Sure, sure you do…

Stoppel Point (Plane Crash)

An absolutely delightful hike from Colgate Lake, around Lake Capra, and along Stoppel Point’s beautiful and scenic escarpment ridge.

Where to See the Best New York Fall Foliage 2021

It’s just starting now, in mid-September — the first signs of New York’s fall foliage. Here’s the best place to track your leafy updates…

Schunemunk Mountain Loop

The terrain is the star on this mostly moderate hike over Schunemunk’s two ridges. This long, challenging route includes the base of Moodna Viaduct, The Megaliths, and excellent views.

The Hard Catskills Quiz

How well do you know The Catskills? This quiz will tell you.

Catskills vs Adirondacks: 9 Differences

For planning, prepping and execution, here are the 9 key differences between hiking the Catskills and Adirondacks high peaks.

Big Crow

A very short hike with a very big pay-off.

KÜHL Hiking Shorts (Review)

We thought it would be fun to test some high-end hiking shorts. Would they live up to their own hype?

6 Kid-Friendly Hikes in the Catskills

These easy kid-friendly Catskills hikes have so much to offer your family.

Master Map of Hike Reports

This interactive master map lists all my hike reports to date

New: YouTube Channel

I’ve just opened a YouTube channel. I’m jumping into video and learning how to swim, hopefully without drowning…