Best Catskills Hiking Trails | All Catskills 3500 High Peaks

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Best Mountain Hiking Trails, Mountain Hikes & Nature Walks

Catskills | Taconics | Adirondacks

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Hike The Mountains

A Beginner’s Guide

This comprehensive list of resources, regulations and gear will help get you ready for your first Catskills campout

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Easy | Beautiful | Scenic

My new favorite route to hike this beautiful mountain

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Short | Moderate | Outstanding

One of the most popular hiking trails in the Catskills

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Popular & Scenic

Includes links to the gear and maps you’ll need to hike safely

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Short | Easy | Incredible

One of the most rewarding Catskills hikes is also one of the easiest

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Mountain Meaning

HOME QUOTE

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in an office or mowing the lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”

— Jack Kerouac

Challenging | Quiet | Very Scenic

A stunningly scenic hike with fantastic views of the wide valley below and distant mountain ranges

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Tranquil | Rugged | Scenic

If you love solitude, wildlife and fantastic views, this is the hike for you

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Easy | Historic | Calming

An easy hike through beautiful woods leads to a series of magnificent stone fences, ruins, and a memorial to John Burroughs

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Hi! Bonjour! ¡Hola! 안녕하세요! Ciao! Hallo! Dia dhuit!

 Interactive Map of Hiking Trail Reports

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

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/Easiest Mountain Hikes

The Very Best Hikes You Can Do in the Catskill Park

These lists are 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 Hikes Easy 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

Recommended Reads

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.

  Read ›

balsam lake fire tower

5½ Catskills Fire Tower Hikes You Can Absolutely Do

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.

  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 ›

sign and forest worker

PSA: Cairns Are Bad

TL;DR — Building cairns disturbs fragile, sensitive habitats and stresses whatever environment they’re built in. I didn’t know people also built them in streams…

  Read ›

mountain range in distance at sunset

The Ultimate Guide to Peakbagging the Catskills 

The most efficient way to bag all 35 Classic Catskills High Peaks is to do as many of them in groups as possible. These lists of pairs and triplets combine the Catskills in their most common groupings. Minimize your travel. Maximize your peak-bagging!

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Red Blaze on the Devil’s Path

Hiking Pace Formula: How Long Will My Hike Take?

Mountain hikes are not easy hikes 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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Hiking News & Culture

map of parcel acquired

DEC Announces Addition of 241 Acres to Catskill Forest Preserve

This has been some time in the planning. It’s great news for the area just east of the Ashokan Reservoir. The new parcel sits between Jockey Hill and Onteora Lake. Its acquisition connects all three parcels, and allows for the the construction of connecting trails to unify the area.

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news clipping

The Fried Chicken War of 1881

This weird news clipping popped up in my Catskills Twitter feed today and sent me down an internet rabbit hole full of ding-dong Catskills drama. Oh, the shade!

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doubletop

Accessing Doubletop & Graham Requires Advance Permission

For Graham & Doubletop, a reminder that permission to hike these lands is required in advance — and is currently being granted only to hikers who live in neighboring counties.

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via ferrata

The Great Twin Reroute Controversy of 2019

Until the middle of 2019, the trail from Pecoy Notch to the northern summit of Twin Mountain included a difficult rock ledge that required a semi-technical lift. The lift itself depended on a single tree root as a handhold. It was super fun.

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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 Wooly Adelgid and how you can help.

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sign with warnings on tree

COVID-19: New York Pushes Back Opening State Campgrounds until June

According to the DEC’s 2020 Campground & Day Use Area Schedule, all state campgrounds will remain closed until at least June 1. ”To reduce potential community spread of COVID-19, all campgrounds, and pavilions are closed to overnight visitation through May 31.

  Read ›

Catskills | Taconics | Adirondacks

Latest Mountain Hiking Posts

All recent posts in chronological order

Backcountry Campout in the Catskills — First Experience

Having never camped out before, and certainly never in the backcountry, I researched for weeks, pulled the necessary kit together, and finally screwed up enough courage to solo camp overnight in the wilderness.

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.

Hunter Mountain Hiking Trail (Full Loop)

An absolutely wonderful loop over Hunter’s massive, gorgeous and super-scenic summit. Descend via the Devil’s Path for a rugged walk-out, with a short side-quest to visit Southwest Hunter.

Ginseng & Hayden: Quiet Northern Catskills

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

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.

5½ Catskills Fire Tower Hikes You Can Absolutely Do

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.

Hike Windham High Peak from Cross Road / Route 23

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.

Red Hill Fire Tower Hiking Trail

This short, easy hike up beautifully-maintained trail in bucolic New York leads to dramatic views of the Southern and Western Catskills.

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.

PSA: Cairns Are Bad

TL;DR — Building cairns disturbs fragile, sensitive habitats and stresses whatever environment they’re built in. I didn’t know people also built them in streams…

Hike Overlook Mountain Fire Tower for Sunrise

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 this insanely scenic hike.

PSA: Dog Days of Summer — How to Hike Your Dog Safely When It’s Hot & Humid

From springtime on, temperatures and humidity can spike, but July & August bring heat indices that regularly shoot past safe limits for our canine companions. Mountain hikes are much harder, and much longer, than regular walks. All of this presents an elevated risk for dogs.

Hike to Mount Tremper Fire Tower

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.

DEC Announces Addition of 241 Acres to Catskill Forest Preserve

This has been some time in the planning. It’s great news for the area just east of the Ashokan Reservoir. The new parcel sits between Jockey Hill and Onteora Lake. Its acquisition connects all three parcels, and allows for the the construction of connecting trails to unify the area.

Hike Cross Mountain from Woodland Valley

This moderate hike along quiet trail packs a punch: stunning forest, dramatic rock formations, and a spectacular panoramic scenic lookout.

Hike Blackhead & Black Dome via Batavia Kill

This route crosses some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the Catskill Mountains. I think this is the best route for hiking Blackhead.

 Mountain-Hiking.com

This site is currently an early version of what I hope will become a valuable resource for Catskills hikers over the next few years

My immediate next actions for the site are…

Okay, have a great hike! Hope to see you out there…

Sean

 

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