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Find amazing hikes in the Catskills, Adirondacks, Hudson Highlands and Beyond

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Hike The Mountains

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

What's the difference between a walk and a hike? How did my first bear interaction go? How about that time I almost died on Blackhead mountain? Click here to listen.

Microspikes have, effectively, opened up the world of winter hiking

When the fall foliage hits, the Catskills offer a true golden spectacle. Here are a the most popular Catskills hikes to view the autumn extravaganza.

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

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

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

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

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

This is my favorite tough-but-beautiful Catskills hike. Long, rugged, technical and remote, it brings you over three summits to some of the most stunning lookouts in the Catskill Park.

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.

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

This is a great hike if you crave solitude among mountain laurel and pitch pines, as well as interesting geology — but also enjoy solid scenic views! The parking area is the same lot used by visitors to Bash Bish Falls (which are currently closed to the public due to COVID-19).

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.

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

Hiking News & Culture

idiot and Sean

Cidiot Episode 55: Hike Your Own Hike

What's the difference between a walk and a hike? How did my first bear interaction go? How about that time I almost died on Blackhead mountain? Click here to listen.

  Read ›

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.

  Read ›

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 ›

Fall Foliage 2021

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…

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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.

  Read ›

Mountain Hiking Trails

The Best Hikes

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

rugged, rocky mountain trail

Hike Sugarloaf Mountain | Best Route

A rugged, tough hike over one of the Catskills’ greatest and most beautiful mountains. This counterclockwise route uses Mink Hollow as a pleasant leg warm-up before the difficult climb up the western side of the mountain, and saves the beautiful hike through Pecoy Notch and Dibbles Quarry for the end of the hike.

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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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summit of Stoppel Point

Stoppel Point (Plane Crash)

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

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fire tower and cabin

The 6 Catskills Fire Towers

Everything you need to know about the five classic Catskills towers — plus the newest (sixth) addition. Includes links to the gear and maps you’ll need to hike safely.

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hikers on breakneck ridge

Breakneck Ridge

Super scenic and super sketchy — this is the funnest and most popular day hike in New York’s Hudson Highlands.

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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.

  Read ›

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.

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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scenic view of mountains

Big Crow

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

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cascade’s open rocky summit

Hike Cascade & Porter

This entry-level Adirondack High Peak hike is a great introduction to the rigors of mountain hiking: rough trails, rocky scrambles and incredible views make this short day-hike super rewarding.

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summit of Stoppel Point

Stoppel Point (Plane Crash)

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

  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 Hiking Trail

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

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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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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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old broken hiking trail sign

Hike Balsam, Haynes & Eagle from McKenley Hollow

A long hike over rugged terrain that takes you to one of the best lookouts in the Catskills Park and through one of my favorite cols.

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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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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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Covered brigde

Hike Doubletop from Seager

My favorite part of this hike was actually the first mile of trailed section along Dry Brook, heading southeast from the parking area. By mid-June the banks on both sides of the brook are lush. All along the stream feels wild and natural, and the crossings are a lot of fun.

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   Difficult Hikes

Devil’s Path

Traverse Panther from Oliverea to Fox Hollow

The views on this hiking trail are some of the best in the Catskills. The route crosses the entire ridge of Panther Mountain, from south to north.  This was one of the first group hikes I went on. Giant Ledge in particular is one of the most popular hikes in the area.

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Echo Lake and Overlook Mountain from Plattekill Mountain

Hike from Platte Clove to Plattekill to Echo Lake

This hike is mostly very easy, with about 75% on well-marked trail. However, the bushwhack to the scenic lookout on the south side of Plattekill is extremely difficult, and presents some dangers.

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Mark Eis leads the way on Rusk

Rusk: First Bushwhack

Like me, if you’ve never been on a bushwhack hike—a hike without a trail—the thought of wandering into the woods with zero guide-rails seems completely intimidating. The best thing to do, here, is to join a group hike, or hook up an experienced pal who can show you the ropes.

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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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boulder channel

Hike Sugarloaf from Roaring Kill, Clockwise

Pass through Dibble’s Quarry, rock-hop over a stream and around a beaver pond, make your way up to the col between Sugarloaf and Twin, and then head west over Sugarloaf’s enormous boreal summit — to a fantastic view of the Southern Catskills. Sugarloaf is a lot of mountain. An awesome lot.

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red plastic summit marker on young tree trunk

Plateau from Stony Clove Notch

After a steep mile, this hike up Plateau rewards with three great scenic lookouts — and then an easy walk across a stunningly wooded ridge.

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Recommended Reads

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.

  Read ›

blue plastic brush cleaning dirt off bottom of dirty hiking hoot

Leave No Trace at the Trailhead

Step up your LNT game with this simple post-hike trick.

  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 Woolly Adelgid and how you can help.

  Read ›

6 Easy Catskills Hikes

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

  Read ›

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.

  Read ›

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.

  Read ›

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

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.

Cidiot Episode 55: Hike Your Own Hike

What's the difference between a walk and a hike? How did my first bear interaction go? How about that time I almost died on Blackhead mountain? Click here to listen.

Winter Hiking Gear: Microspikes

Microspikes have, effectively, opened up the world of winter hiking

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.

Best Fall Foliage Hikes in The Catskills

When the fall foliage hits, the Catskills offer a true golden spectacle. Here are a the most popular Catskills hikes to view the autumn extravaganza.

Top 6 Hiking Dangers

With some basic knowledge and gear, mountain hiking is rarely dangerous. However, without adequate prep, things can turn ugly quickly. 

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.

Hiking Safe 101

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

Hiking Sit Pads

When your legs need a rest, there’s no need to punish your butt

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.