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Best Hikes in the Catskills, Hudson Highlands, Adirondacks & More

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Best Hiking Boots 2021

Great recommendations…

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40+ Tips!

How to Do It | What You Need | When to Go

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Short But Difficult

Tough, Beautiful, Epic

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Dog Moms & Dads

Everything you need to know…

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Short | Scenic | Stunning

Adirondacks

Cascade & Porter

Rough Trails, Rocky Scrambles, Incredible Views

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Helpful!

Special Report

10 Best Post-Hike Hacks

Treat yourself right after a big day

Grab These Hacks

Safety | Gear

Special Report

Tick Season

Be prepared before you head outdoors

Get Rid of Ticks

Hiking News & Culture

Death at Kaaterskill Falls

A young man from Yonkers went missing April 24. His rented car was found April 30 at the main Laurel House Road parking lot. Later the same day, his body was recovered from the base of the falls.

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map of planned project

Proposed Hydroelectric Plant at Ashokan Reservoir Raises Concerns

Officials are urging local residents to participate in the process to determine if developers can move forward with an underground hydroelectric power station on the banks of the Ashokan Reservoir.

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Catskill Mountains Happy Hikers

Catskill Mountains Happy Hikers Facebook Group

A new social group has launched on Facebook that provides a much-needed positive social hub for Catskills hikers.

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New Red Hill Hiking Trail & Trailhead

The newly constructed Red Hill Fire Tower Trailhead is located in Ulster County on Denning Road in the Town of Denning is open for use.

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Doubletop & Graham CLOSED PERMANENTLY!

Latest info for hiking Graham & Doubletop. Please read. Important changes are being instituted…

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How to Make Pine Needle Tea

This article explains how to harvest various kinds of pine needles and turn them into deliciously distinctive teas in your kitchen — in just a few minutes!

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Mountain Hiking Trails

The Best Hikes

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

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.

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fire tower and cabin

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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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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Indian Head & Twin (Sunset Hike)

This is my favorite hike in the Catskills. It has everything the Catskills can give you: classic Catskills forests, rugged terrain, excellent scrambles, and jaw-dropping scenic views.

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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. Bushwhack Description 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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Sloan Gorge Preserve

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.

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Mount Tremper Fire Tower Hiking Trail

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.

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Hike Blackhead & Black Dome from Big Hollow via Lockwood Gap

An outstanding double-bill that combines an epic view of Black Dome from Blackhead with an epic view of Blackhead from Black Dome. This is one of my favorite hikes in the Catskills.

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Hike Windham High Peak from Cross Road

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.

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Easy Mountain Hikes

Be aware that “easy mountain hike” does not mean “easy hike”! Learn how to stay safe on a mountain hike.

boulders and trees on summit

Hike Windham High Peak from Cross Road

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.

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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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calm beaver pond and low mountain ridge

Shaupeneak Ridge

Shaupeneak Ridge 936.5 acre park contains almost 10 miles of easy trails, suitable for easy hiking, kayaking, fishing, trail running, picnicking, and excellent mountain-biking.

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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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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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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.

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  Moderate Mountain Hikes

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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glacial erratic covered in moss

Hike Romer Mountain & Mount Pleasant

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

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cabin in snow on mountain summit

Hunter Mountain, Quick Route

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

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Ashokan High Point Trail (with Plane Wreck)

This wonderful loop hike has an easy start with almost three miles of beautiful riparian trail. Then a steep climb leads to the summit where there’s a great view of Mohonk and the Shawangunk Ridge. The hike down Ashokan High Point’s west side is notable for its beautiful meadows and views, a plane wreck, as well as a handful of steep trail pitches.

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Alander from Bash Bish

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).

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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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   Difficult Mountain Hikes

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.

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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.

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catskills rock band, underside

Tanbark Loop: a Short, Difficult, Beautiful Hike

A short, steep, rocky intense hike right in the heart of Phoenicia. Lots of dramatic Catskills geology. Two excellent views.

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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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Bushwhack 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.

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Hike Blackhead & Black Dome from Big Hollow via Lockwood Gap

An outstanding double-bill that combines an epic view of Black Dome from Blackhead with an epic view of Blackhead from Black Dome. This is one of my favorite hikes in the Catskills.

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 Interactive Map of Hike Reports on this Site

The icons below are color-coded for difficulty: green, yellow, orange, red. Clicking on a pin will display the link to that hike report.

Recommended Reads

Red Blaze on the Devil’s Path

How Long Will My Hike Take?

One of the simplest things you need to know about any hike is: how long will it take? Knowing a planned hike’s duration is crucial to being able to figure out what to bring in terms of safety supplies, water and food.

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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. Whether you enjoy easy scenic trails or challenging mountain hikes, these apps will help you plan, plot and prepare for your next adventure.

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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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Where are the Catskill Mountains?

The Catskill Mountains are located in New York State, just south of Albany and just west of the Hudson River.

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Tick Season

Tick season sucks. When to worry, where to look, how to avoid, the best ways to prevent, and how to treat any tick bites you find.

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Basic Mountain Hiking Gear

While hiking gear can change from trail to trail, and from season to season, the following items will serve you well on every hike. They are a fleshing out of The Ten Essentials (the absolute bare minimum you should pack for every hike). This hiking gear list focuses on day-hiking.

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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…

Latest Hike Reports & Info Posts

This website’s twelve most recent posts in reverse-chronological order

Best Hiking Boots 2021

If you’re looking for a new pair of hiking boots, this list of hiking boot brands and models will get you started with great recommendations.

Black Fly Bites

When to watch for black flies, how best to avoid them, how to repel them, and how to treat their super-itchy bites.

10 Best Post-Hike Hacks

One of my favorite post-hike hacks is to have a clean pair of socks and shoes waiting for me back at the car. It’s so amazing. Here are ten fantastic ways to treat yourself after a big day.

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.

PSA: Hike Your Dog Safely in the 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.

Death at Kaaterskill Falls

A young man from Yonkers went missing April 24. His rented car was found April 30 at the main Laurel House Road parking lot. Later the same day, his body was recovered from the base of the falls.

Where are the Catskill Mountains?

The Catskill Mountains are located in New York State, just south of Albany and just west of the Hudson River.

Tick Season

Tick season sucks. When to worry, where to look, how to avoid, the best ways to prevent, and how to treat any tick bites you find.

Shaupeneak Ridge

Shaupeneak Ridge 936.5 acre park contains almost 10 miles of easy trails, suitable for easy hiking, kayaking, fishing, trail running, picnicking, and excellent mountain-biking.

Thru-Hike North Dome & Mount Sherrill

This intense bushwhack route over two of the most difficult Catskills mountains is challenging and rewarding in equal measure: an epic climb, a great scenic ledge, a rock chasm, and something more…

Silver Hollow Notch & Edgewood Mountains

This short hike to a quiet Catskills double-peak proves how the Lower Catskills can often out-reward the Classic 3500 Peaks.

Hiking & Camping Gear List

There’s so much to read and learn about hiking gear. Here’s a basic list of the things you’ll use most often on your day hikes and campouts.

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