The Best Catskill Mountains Hiking Trails

Catskill Mountains & Best Catskills Mountain Hiking Trails

New Catskill Mountain Hikes Added Every Week

Featured Catskills Mountain Hike

Before the deep winter snow arrives, light snowfall in fall turns Balsam Lake into a glittering winter wonderland that’s a cinch to hike

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Featured Catskill Mountains Sunset Hike

A short but intense hike through beautiful woods to a large, flat summit packed with twisted trees.

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Featured Catskill Mountains Hike

This route features an easy ascent, great views before and after the summit, and a slightly different descent route

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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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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.

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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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rock ledge

Hike Kaaterskill High Peak & 2 Plane Wrecks

This hike starts from Platte Clove in the south but winds around the east side of the peak to tackle the final ascent via the easier northern route. The route hits all the major points of interest on Kaaterskill High Peak, and is a nocturne — a calm beginning, a burst of drama, a return to calm.

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Hiking News, Reviews & Views

Stuff you should know about…

Ashokan Reservoir

Open Space Institute Secures 871 Acres Near Ashokan High Point

The Open Space Institute has just announced the acquisition of two properties adjacent to the Catskill Park’s Sundown Wild Forest. The newly-protected properties have the potential to serve as a new access point to the Ashokan High Point hiking trail.

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Two buffs, orange and and gray

New Kit: Buff

With cold weather on the way, I’m looking to make some changes to my winter kit from last season. Sometimes small tweaks yield big benefits, and that’s exactly what adding a buff does. A buff is a leg-warmer for your face It’s a thin, light tube of fabric you pull over the top of your head until it wraps around your neck, trapping a layer of warm air next to your skin.

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Ashokan Rail Trail, Fall 2019

Ashokan Rail Trail Now Open

The newly-opened Ashokan Rail Trail on the north side of the Ashokan Reservoir is ridiculously wonderful. Ulster County and the DEP have absolutely aced this project. If you’re a walker, runner or cyclist, this is nine miles of absolute heaven. And unlike other promenades around the reservoir, dogs are allowed.

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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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