New Catskill Mountain Hikes & Hiking Trails Added Every Week

Catskill Mountains Hikes & Trails

Catskills Hiking Trails | Live Happily

A long steep tough hike

This hike tackles both routes on Hunter’s very steep eastern side: the rugged Devil’s Path and the relentless Becker Hollow.

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Is this the best hike in the Catskills?

I’ve wanted to hike from Cornell to Slide for a long time. It was as rugged as I suspected, but more beautiful than I imagined. If you can handle it, this just might be the best hike in Catskills.

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Peak Philosophy

John Muir

“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news!”

— John Muir

Get Your Nosh On Pre- or Post-Hike

This up-to-date list of the best Catskills cafes and restaurants will help make your next Catskill mountain hike extra-awesome

See the Full List

Catskill Mountains | Tough Bushwhack Hike

A long and difficult hike with new friends who made it so much fun. Contains everything you want in a hike. Plus one very steep descent. Plus a ton of elevation gain.

Read About This Hiking Trail

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

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 Catskills Hikes

The Very Best Hikes You Can Do in the Catskill Park

This list is 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 Catskill 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

Catskills Mountain Hikes

A mix of recent and recommended hikes in the Catskills

snowy trees at sunset

Sunset Hike Halcott in the Fall

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.

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knoll and mountain from indian head

Sunset Hike Indian Head in the Fall

Indian Head is the smallest mountain on the infamous Devil’s Path trail. But it’s also the most delightful. The other five peaks are wonderful too, of course, each in their own way — the scale! the drama! the views! — but hiking Indian Head is a very special, intimate, and rewarding experience.

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the cabin in woods

Snow Hike Balsam Lake in the Fall

This route combines the easiest ascent to a summit in the Catskill Park with a much more interesting (and far less trafficked) descent down the south side of the mountain. I also tried to find the scenic view, and visited a lean-to. It’s quite easy to drive past the parking area for Balsam Lake because it’s directly after a curve on Millbrook Rd.

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Windham High Peak from Burnt Knob

Hike Windham High Peak via Burnt Knob (plus Acra Point)

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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View of Balsam Cap from Friday Mountain

Hike Friday, Balsam Cap & B25 Crash Site from Moonhaw

If you want a long, rewarding untrailed hike, this is it: some of the toughest miles you can do in the Catskills. This track shows my preferred route up Friday Mountain. Take a minute to review the main Friday Mountain page which describes the two main approaches: straight up the ridge-line or via the woods roads route.

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View from Plateau’s eastern side

Sunset Hike Plateau from Mink Hollow Road

The parking area at the north end of the Mink Hollow trail is marked on the NYNJTC maps in gray, which signifies “roadside parking”. In fact, it’s a dead end/cul-de-sac that look like it functions as a snow plow turnaround. There’s ample space for cars but be thoughtful about your parking during snow months.

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Hiking News, Reviews & Views

Stuff you should know about…

Circle W Market

Best Hiker Eats in the Catskills 2020

This up-to-date list of the best Catskills cafes and restaurants will help make your next Catskills hike extra-awesome I love Phoenicia Diner on Rte 28 for a glorious post-hike chow; their Bourbon Milkshake is such a fantastic adult treat. Circle W Market in Palenville is a superb place to pick up food before you hit the hills; their sandwiches are hefty enough for two people to share for lunch, or for one person planning a long day on the trail — and their coffee game is strong, too.

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New Note

New Permission System for Doubletop & Graham in 2020

After many years as head caretaker for the Gould Family, Bill Scholl has recently retired. The new caretaker is Bill Fiedler / (607) 221-1277 If Mr Fielder doesn’t answer, leave a polite voicemail with your full name and number, requesting permission to hike on Doubletop and/or Graham on whatever day you plan to go.

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Winter Hiking Gear: hat, gloves, ice axe

Winter Hiking Gear List

Winter mountain hiking in the Catskills is spectacular — the snow-blasted woods, the bleached landscape views, the harsh elements that test your mettle — but the days are shorter, the nights are longer, and the temperature is lethal. The stakes are way higher: a lack of preparation or a missing piece of kit could mean death in a very short time.

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This site is currently an early version of what I hope will become a super valuable resource for Catskill mountain hikers over the next few years, particularly for new hikers and new mountain hiking enthusiasts.

My immediate next actions for the site are…

  • Finish adding hike posts so that every mountain has at least one associated hike
  • Add brief mountain notes to all mountain header pages
  • Add a lot more photography to all posts
  • Go hiking
  • Add kit reviews — particularly winter kit reviews and lists
  • Add more hikes so all mountains have an increasing number of alternate routes
  • Go hiking
  • Add other kinds of content
    • Best places to eat for hikers
    • Best hiking apps
    • Best Catskill hiking websites
    • Best beginner hikes
    • Best clubs for group hikes — there are several excellent clubs running group hikes in the Park
    • Posts on hiking health, Catskills history and geology, and climate change
    • Catskills news
  • Get feedback from early users and integrate
  • Go hiking

That’s my plan for now, which will keep me busy until the start of 2020. Then I can review things, look at what’s working well for the Catskills hiking community, and adjust.

Thank you for your interest in this project. I’m keen to hear your thoughts on FB or Instagram, or via the contact form here.

Hope to see you out there…



an inspiring mix of Catskills routes, insights, news and reviews
just in time for the weekend

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