Never Wonder Where You’ll Hike Next

Hundreds of hyper-detailed hiking trail guides and how-to articles written by a single, experienced hiker—so you can enjoy accurate, reliable trail info, to hike safer, hike better, hike more

CatskillsAdirondacks • Gunks
Hudson HighlandsTaconics

Hello, my name is Sean, and you can follow me @TotalCatskills

An extremely rewarding hike that includes the infamous Cornell Crack and breathtaking views from both mountains.

Head to Falling Waters Preserve for a delightful stroll that’s all about the simple joys of being outside.

A deeply lovely route through some of the Catskills’ most beautiful terrain.

A steep bushwhack through old farmland, dotted with stone fences, to excellent unique views.

A stunning hike up Mount Chocorua via the Piper Trail, one of the most celebrated paths in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. 

If you’ve never hiked in winter, this is a great page to get started on your winter hike journey.

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

The classic Kaaterskill High Peak hike route.

The 10 Essentials is a list of items you should carry on every trip into the backcountry.

Amazing Vacation Rentals

Rent These Incredible Properties

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 Start Your Mountain Hiking Here

With hundreds of mountain hiking trails, and countless bushwhack routes, there are so many ways to hike the mountains. I hike all year long and add new super-detailed trail guides every month…

Apart from the Classic Catskills High Peaks and the Best Hikes in the Catskills, you can also view lists of Popular Catskills Hikes and Scenic Catskills Hikes.

If you’re just starting out hiking, check out this Easy Hikes list. And, if you have family in tow, this list of 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.

Master Map for All Trail Guides

Check out this Adirondack and Catskills Hiking Map — it’s a master map of all the Catskills hiking trails in the Catskills High Peaks that have trail guides on this website. This map also includes my Adirondack Mountains Trail Map guide to all the Adirondack hiking trails on the site.

Catskills Fall Foliage

Get the latest intel on Catskills fall foliage, including the best Catskills fall foliage hikes and some truly incredible Adirondack fall foliage hikes.

What is the Hardest Hike in The Catskills?

It’s The Devil’s Path, one of the most difficult and notorious hikes on the East Coast. From end to end, the Devil’s Path is about 24 miles in length — and you’re looking at almost 9000’ of elevation gain with a similar amount of loss over the length of the trail. Pack your a-game!

Leave No Trace

Get up-to-speed with best practices in no time with the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace.

Hiking News & Culture

Elon Musk Backcountry T-Mobile Coverage

Is Elon Musk’s Backcountry Satellite Network a Lost Cause?

SpaceX and T-Mobile’s ambitious project to bring connectivity to the backcountry stirs debate among hikers.

  Read ›

mountain scenic view

How Indian is Indian Head?

Native American communities were forced out of The Catskills by the Indian Removal Act, signed into law in 1830 by President Andrew Jackson.

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hiker welcomes dawn daylight savings all year DST

Ditch the Switch: The Case for Year-Round Daylight Saving Time

Our twice-yearly switch between Daylight Saving Time and standard time is disruptive, damaging, and dangerous. It needs to end.

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Trail Guides

The Best Hikes

These are the best hikes in the Catskills, Adirondacks, Hudson Highlands, Gunks, Taconics….

View of Balsam Cap from Friday Mountain

Friday, Balsam Cap & B-25 Crash Site

A long, tough, rewarding hike that follows woods roads and herd paths, and ends with a true bushwhack to the wreckage of a WWII military bomber.

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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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Blackhead from Black Dome

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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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.

view from balsam lake fire tower of balsam forest below

Balsam Lake Fire Tower (updated)

Incredible 360° wilderness views make this hike spectacular at any time of year.

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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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creek

Hike Rochester Hollow

An easy hike through beautiful woods leads to a series of magnificent stone fences, ruins, and a memorial to John Burroughs. This is an underutilized and under-appreciated trail. Especially suited to skiers, trail-runners and animal track lovers.

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  Moderate Hikes

slide mountain view

Slide Mountain (Best Route, Updated)

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

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Windham High Peak from Burnt Knob

Windham High Peak via Burnt Knob (with Acra Point)

Hike to Windham High peak through beautiful riparian terrain to a long ridge that’s peppered with amazing views.

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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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   Difficult Hikes

View from West Kill’s Buck Ridge Lookout

West Kill via St. Anne’s Peak

A long, strenuous hike over a massive Devil’s Path mountain that includes a variety of Catskills terrain and an epic view from Buck Ridge Lookout.

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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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Balsam Cap Canister

Hike Balsam Cap in the Clouds

A direct line from Moonhaw takes you up the shortest possible route to Balsam Cap but be warned: the way is steep. This is a tough Catskill hike.

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Recommended Reads

catskills fall foliage 2022

The 3 Best Ways to Not Die on a Hike

Every month, people get into trouble in the Catskills, almost always because they are under-prepared. Here are the 3 best things you can do to stay safe on your hike, while making sure you’re prepared in the event of an emergency.

  Read ›

Yellow backpack with the 10 essentials inside

The 10 Essentials: What to Pack for Every Hike

The 10 Essentials is a list of items you should carry on every trip into the backcountry.

  Read ›

Hiking Kit List

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.

  Read ›

Wilderness Safety For You

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 the advice you’ll need, all in one place.

Stay Safe

The Best Mountain Hikes

The Best Hikes You Can Do in the Catskills, Adirondacks, Gunks…

This mountain hiking list is a personally-curated selection of the most rewarding hikes you can do in the Catskills, Adirondacks, Hudson Highlands, Shawangunks, Taconics and elsewhere. Hike an awesome hiking trail 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

Best Hikes in the Catskills, Adirondacks, Shawangunks, Hudson Highlands, Taconics and more…

The most recent posts on this site…

Wittenberg & Cornell from Woodland Valley

An extremely rewarding hike that includes the infamous Cornell Crack and breathtaking views from both mountains.

Falling Waters Preserve

Head to Falling Waters Preserve for a delightful stroll that’s all about the simple joys of being outside.

Overlook Mountain from Platte Clove

A deeply lovely route through some of the Catskills’ most beautiful terrain.

Overlook Mountain Trail

You can hike up Overlook Mountain’s easy trail in about an hour. The fire tower at the end of this short trail is positioned to give one of the most dramatic views in the Catskills.

Bushwhack Ticetonyk South Ridge

A steep bushwhack through old farmland, dotted with stone fences, to excellent unique views.

Mount Chocorua via Piper Trail

A stunning hike up Mount Chocorua via the Piper Trail, one of the most celebrated paths in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. 

How to Winter Hike: The Essential Roundup

If you’ve never hiked in winter, this is a great page to get started on your winter hike journey.

Poets’ Walk Park on the Hudson River

An inspiring trail that leads to a large pavilion with impressive views.

Is Elon Musk’s Backcountry Satellite Network a Lost Cause?

SpaceX and T-Mobile’s ambitious project to bring connectivity to the backcountry stirs debate among hikers.

How Indian is Indian Head?

Native American communities were forced out of The Catskills by the Indian Removal Act, signed into law in 1830 by President Andrew Jackson.

Slide Mountain (Best Route, Updated)

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

Steep Ravine, Dipsea Trail & Matt Davis Loop

The storied Steep Ravine/Dipsea/Matt Davis loop has it all: Redwoods, gorges, chaparral, even the Pacific Ocean.