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Find amazing hikes in the Catskills, Gunks, Adirondacks, Hudson Highlands

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The Nun-Da-Ga-O ridge is as tough as it is magical. Do not let these low mileage and elevation numbers trick you!

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.

The best hiking apps broken into four categories: navigation/planning, field identification, photography, and fun.

Just parking for Richmond Mountain is 4WD dirt road dogfight.

The delightful Vernooy Falls hiking trail leads to one of the funnest spots in The Catskills.

Demanding and spectacular, the Dix Range is one of the most rugged and scenic Adirondack mountain ranges.

Delightful hike, sometimes steep, but a very rewarding payoff from Hadley Mountain Fire Tower.

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.

This three-tiered best bug spray system keeps me (mostly!) bite free in New York’s backcountry every season

Due to the remoteness of its two mountains, the ruggedness of the terrain, and the skin-shredding forest, this is widely regarded as the toughest hike in the Catskills.

Hiking News & Culture

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.

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Circle W Market

33 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 ›

solo woman female hiker hiking

Solo Hiking Advice for Women: Persist

Solo women hikers often face pushback from friends and family who’s anxiety is triggered by the suggestion that a woman might be heading into the wilderness alone. It’s time to call that what it is.

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Arnold Guyot Catskills Mountains Map

Arnold Guyot’s 1879 Catskills Map

Do you know where Bee Line Mountain is in The Catskills? You’re about to find out…

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Hikers helping each other

9+ Best Catskills Hiking Groups Online

A list of my favorite Catskills hiking groups online.

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Patreon vs Amazon

I currently use Amazon affiliate links on this site, in my email newsletter, and sometimes on my @TotalCatskills story feed on Instagram. Patreon may offer a way out of that compromise.

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Mountain Hiking Trails

The Best Hikes

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

awosting falls / richly flowing waterfall at dusk

Awosting Falls

Awosting Falls at Minnewaska State Park Preserve is one of the most popular destinations in the Hudson Valley.

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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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Scenic Catskills View

Ashokan Quarry Trail

A short, super-easy hike almost anyone can do with fantastic terrain and scenic views — and a superb set of ruins to explore.

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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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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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scenic catskills view

7 Amazing Scenic Catskills Views You Don’t Know

The best scenic Catskills views? Often, they’re not the ones you'll find in any guidebook.

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Best Anti-Tick Treatment

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.

summit of moxham mountain in the distance, snowing

Moxham in the Snow

This is a gem of a hike on a gem of a mountain.

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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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awosting falls / richly flowing waterfall at dusk

Awosting Falls

Awosting Falls at Minnewaska State Park Preserve is one of the most popular destinations in the Hudson Valley.

  Read ›

scenic view of mountains

Big Crow

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

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master map graphic

Master Map of Hike Reports

This interactive master map lists all my hike reports to date

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sunset over devil’s path mountain summits

Huckleberry Point

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.

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  Moderate Hikes

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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scenic catskills view

Hike Giant Ledge & Panther Mountain

This classic route to Giant Ledge is a short moderate hike with a huge pay-off: a series of ledge views which are spectacular in all seasons. This is one of the most popular hiking trails in the Catskills.

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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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sunset view

Pakatakan Lookout & Shelter

A short steep hike past dramatic rock formations leads to a sweet view over the Pepacton Reservoir.

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scenic view snow

Mill Brook Ridge via Kelly Hollow

This is the shortest route to Mill Brook Ridge’s summit over public land. It includes a full loop of Kelly Hollow, one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the Catskills. A short-but-steep bushwhack connects the two locations.

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rock ledge and tree

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.

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   Difficult Hikes

Sean looking disappointed

West Kill via Diamond Notch Falls

One of my favorite hikes in The Catskills, the route from Diamond Notch Falls to Buck Ridge Lookout and the summit of West Kill Mountain is just so beautiful.

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Subaru Forester parked in turnaround

Richmond Mountain & Richtmyer Peak

Just parking for Richmond Mountain is 4WD dirt road dogfight.

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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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woody summit

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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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.

  Read ›

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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Recommended Reads

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 ›

thumbnail for YouTube video

How to Plot Your Hiking Route with GaiaGPS

Watch as I plot a trailed route in the Catskills using GaiaGPS on my phone — after which, I plot a bushwhack route up Sleeping Lion and Halcott Mountain.

  Read ›

scenic catskills view

7 Amazing Scenic Catskills Views You Don’t Know

The best scenic Catskills views? Often, they’re not the ones you'll find in any guidebook.

  Read ›

two hikers in snowy forest

35 Best Tips for a Safe Winter Hike

These 35 tips for winter hiking will help keep you safe in the harshest conditions

  Read ›

standing desk with hiking gear storage underneath

Hiking Gear Deals

These are the best deals I’ve found this week…

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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.

  Read ›

Wilderness Safety Basics

Mountain Hiking, Planning Tips, Gear Lists, Emergency Numbers

Start mountain hiking 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, Gunks, Adirondacks, Hudson Highlands, Taconics…

This mountain hiking 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 begin mountain hiking in 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 Catskill 3500 Club.

Catskill High Peaks

Or Start Mountain Hiking Here…

With hundreds of miles of mountain 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

Nun-Da-Ga-O Ridge Loop

The Nun-Da-Ga-O ridge is as tough as it is magical. Do not let these low mileage and elevation numbers trick you!

Hike Your Dog Safely in the Summer 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.

12 Best Hiking Apps

The best hiking apps broken into four categories: navigation/planning, field identification, photography, and fun.

Richmond Mountain & Richtmyer Peak

Just parking for Richmond Mountain is 4WD dirt road dogfight.

33 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.

Vernooy Falls Trail: Waterfalls & Mill Ruins

The delightful Vernooy Falls hiking trail leads to one of the funnest spots in The Catskills.

Dix Range from Elk Lake

Demanding and spectacular, the Dix Range is one of the most rugged and scenic Adirondack mountain ranges.

This is How You Make Chaga Tea

Chaga is delicious and offers many health benefits. This is how you make chaga tea.

Shop Labeled Photos

These unique labeled views make the perfect gift for the mountain-lover in your life.

Camping in the Catskills: a Beginner’s Guide to Backcountry Campouts

Camping in the Catskills? This comprehensive list of resources, regulations and gear tips will help get you ready for your first Catskills campout.

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.

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.