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Hike The Mountains

Short But Difficult

Tough, Beautiful, Epic

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Where to Go | What You Need

Special Report

Camping in the Catskills

A Beginner’s Guide

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Easy | Mellow | Varied

Design your own nature walk

Safety | Gear

Special Report

Tick Season

Be prepared before you head outdoors

Get Rid of Ticks

Best Views | Epic Hikes

Special Report

Catskill Fire Towers

6 Amazing Towers

View This Special Report

Short | Scenic | Stunning

Adirondacks

Cascade & Porter

Rough Trails, Rocky Scrambles, Incredible Views

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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.

  Read ›

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.

  Read ›

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.

  Read ›

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!

  Read ›

Mountain Hiking Trails

The Best Hikes

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

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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Sunest view from Daley Ridge

Hike Plateau via Daley Ridge

Daley Ridge is rugged, densely wooded, and absolutely charming. Many long-time Catskills hikers feel this is one of the most beautiful hikes in the Catskills. The hike comes in three parts: the initial climb up Daley Ridge, the ridge itself, and the magical walk to Plateau’s summit. Each of these sections is exceptionally memorable.

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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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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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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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Ashokan Quarry Trail

The Ashokan Quarry Trail is a new, short, but highly entertaining hike most people will be able to do in under an hour. It’s so varied in terms of terrain, flora, views and ruins, it’s a hit with younger hikers, too.

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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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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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Hike Twin from Roaring Kill

This is one of the most entertaining hiking trails in the Catskill Park, leading up to one of its grandest panoramic views — but it also contains what is maybe the Park’s most challenging, technical and potentially dangerous trail sections. The Devil’s Path is famous for being one of the most difficult hiking trails in the US.

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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.

cascade’s open rocky summit

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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scenic looking

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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pre-dawn mountain ridges

Overlook Mountain Trail

One of the most popular hikes in the Catskills can be completed in 2-3 hours. Overlook’s fire tower is 60 ft tall and is placed for one of the best views in the Catskills. An excellent view from a large ledge near the summit trail caps an insanely scenic hike.

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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.

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Onteora Lake

Half way between Kingston and Woodstock the three loops at Onteora Lake are perfect for casual hikers, trail runners, and snow-shoers. Three loops of increasing ruggedness intersect to let you choose your own adventure ranging from 2.4 miles to 7 miles.

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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 Mountain Hikes

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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two painted blazes on tree trunk

Ginseng & Hayden: Quiet Northern Catskills

A very quiet and peaceful section of the Northern Catskill Escarpment / Long Path, free of Classic Catskills crowds.

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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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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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Fir & Big Indian

This long hike mixes beautiful Catskills trails and fun water crossings with a long bushwhack section over two substantial mountain peaks.

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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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   Difficult Mountain Hikes

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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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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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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Belleayre via Lost Clove

This challenging out and back begins with one of the steepest trails in the Catskills, passes over two sub-peaks and visits two lean-tos on the way to a ski resort with a scenic view.

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Eagle Mountain from Seager

Not many people hike this way to Eagle but it’s the most beautiful route. The Seager Big Indian trail which passes along Dry Brook is uniquely challenging and magical.

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Hike Plateau from Mink Hollow

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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 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.

  Read ›

catskill mountains in distance

How Windy is Too Windy To Hike?

I moved my hike from a windy Friday to a less windy (but much colder) Saturday. 80% of my online followers agreed with me. Here’s why.

  Read ›

sunrise

40+ Tips to Capture the Perfect Sunrise or Sunset Photo

Dawn and dusk: there’s no better time of day to shoot landscapes than when the sun is low on the horizon. Here’s everything you need to know to plan, prepare, and pull off the perfect sunrise photo shoot.

  Read ›

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 ›

PSA: Leave No Trace at the Trailhead

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

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Storage Bins for Hiking Gear

I sorted my growing jumble of hiking gear as a fun weekend project. With all my regular hike gear in a single box, I don’t have to worry I’m overlooking or forgetting anything. I spend less time preparing — which means more time doing.

  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.)

Catskills | Taconics | Adirondacks | Info

Latest Mountain Hiking Posts

All recent posts in chronological order

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 Catskills?

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.

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.

Balanced Rocks & Pitchoff Mountain Hiking Trail

This short but difficult hike to Balanced Rocks and Pitchoff’s summit can be done in 4-5 hours. Exceptional views at many points along this beautiful trail.

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.

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.

Snowshoe Basics

The number of snowshoe options is overwhelming. Here’s a quick guide on what to look for, and where to get your first pair.

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