Hiking Guidance / Trail Gear / Mountain Safety

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

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Hike The Mountains

Download this helpful PDF with explanatory notes and a handy winter day-hike gear checklist.

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

The fastest route to North Point’s famous view is one of North Mountain’s prettiest trails.

A much quieter and more interesting route to Tremper Mountain Fire Tower

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

Many of my best photos are now for sale, framed, via an exclusive deal with KeepsakeFrames that entitles you to 15% off 5 frames!

Please enjoy this collection of Free Zoom Virtual Backgrounds. This set contains 16 images of Catskills summits.

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.

The easiest and most beautiful route to Lone and Rocky — but this is still one of the hardest hikes in The Catskills

Microspikes have, effectively, opened up the world of winter hiking

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

Giant Mountain is one of the most popular peaks in the Adirondacks. This route offers a super fun climb and a super scenic descent.

Want a deep Catskills experience without the angst of a rigorous mountain hike? These are the hikes for you.

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.

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.

Hiking News & Culture

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.

  Read ›

sunset over mountain peaks

Shop @TotalCatskills Prints

Many of my best photos are now for sale, framed, via an exclusive deal with KeepsakeFrames that entitles you to 15% off 5 frames!

  Read ›

knoll and mountain from indian head

Free Zoom Virtual Backgrounds: Catskills Summits

Please enjoy this collection of Free Zoom Virtual Backgrounds. This set contains 16 images of Catskills summits.

  Read ›

toast with almond butter and Nutella

PB&J vs AB&N

We hikers love our PB&J’s, of course, but a super tasty (and slightly healthier) alternative is an AB&N

  Read ›

idiot and Sean

Cidiot Episode 55: Hike Your Own Hike

What's the difference between a walk and a hike? How did my first bear interaction go? How about that time I almost died on Blackhead mountain? Click here to listen.

  Read ›

Circle W Market

28 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.

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Mountain Hiking Trails

The Best Hikes

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

view of Hudson River looking north at dusk

Storm King Mountain

Storm King Mountain from Cornwall-on-Hudson has better parking and quieter trails — and you still get all the same incredible views.

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hikers climbing rugged trail in autumnal scene

Best Fall Foliage Hikes in The Catskills

When the fall foliage hits, the Catskills offer a true golden spectacle. Here are a the most popular Catskills hikes to view the autumn extravaganza.

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scenice view of Blackhead Mountain

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.

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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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Giant Mountain seen at a distance

Giant Mountain

Giant Mountain is one of the most popular peaks in the Adirondacks. This route offers a super fun climb and a super scenic descent.

  Read ›

sunset over mountain peaks

Shop @TotalCatskills Prints

Many of my best photos are now for sale, framed, via an exclusive deal with KeepsakeFrames that entitles you to 15% off 5 frames!

  Read ›

Get ready for the cold / hike safe

Order snowshoes now

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.

orange steel and concrete bridge

Ashokan Rail Trail

Take a leisurely nature stroll (or cycle) along the scenic Ashokan Rail Trail, a premier Catskills destination.

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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 ›

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.

  Read ›

master map graphic

Master Map of Hike Reports

This interactive master map lists all my hike reports to date

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cascade’s open rocky summit

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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screen cap of video

Windham High Peak in 3 Minutes (Walk-Thru Video)

This is one of my favorite hikes to do in The Catskills. This video walks you through the trails and junctions from trailhead to summit, giving you a clear sense of just how lovely this hike is.

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  Moderate Hikes

view of Hudson River looking north at dusk

Storm King Mountain

Storm King Mountain from Cornwall-on-Hudson has better parking and quieter trails — and you still get all the same incredible views.

  Read ›

the cabin in woods

Balsam Lake Fire Tower

Even light snow cover turns Balsam Lake into a glittering winter wonderland. And it’s a cinch to hike. A cold fall morning is the perfect time to take in the fire tower’s incredible 360° view. Winter hikes to the tower are absolutely spectacular.

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rock outcrop, trees

Hike Thomas Cole & Black Dome from Barnum Rd

A moderate Catskills hike — over consistently interesting and varied terrain — to two epic views.

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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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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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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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   Difficult Hikes

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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wintery waterfall

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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view of cabin and mountains from tower

Hunter Mountain (Loop)

Hike over Hunter’s massive, gorgeous and super-scenic summit to descend via the Devil’s Path for a rugged walk-out — with a short side-quest to Southwest Hunter.

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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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View from Plateau’s eastern side

Plateau from Mink Hollow

This is the shortest/fastest way to climb Plateau. Mink Hollow Trailhead & Parking 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.

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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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Recommended Reads

white and blue headlamps sitting on wet wood in woods

How to Buy a Hiking Headlamp

For hikers and campers, headlamps are essential pieces of gear. Whether you’re hiking out at dusk after a long day, or hiking in, in the pitch dark for a glorious summit sunrise, a headlamp will keep you on track and safe.

  Read ›

sunrise

How to Photograph Sunrise & Sunset (40+ Tips)

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 ›

Blackhead Range

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 ›

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.

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standing desk with hiking gear storage underneath

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 ›

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.

  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

It’s a Great Idea to Turn Around When…

Have you ever turned around on a hike for any reason? Hike safely. Always listen to your gut.

Winter Gear Checklist

Download this helpful PDF with explanatory notes and a handy winter day-hike gear checklist.

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.

Shop Foggy Forests

These unique framed forest shots make the perfect gift for the mountain-lover in your life

Shop Wilderness Sunsets

These unique framed sunrises and sunsets make the perfect gift for the mountain-lover in your life

Shop @TotalCatskills Prints

Many of my best photos are now for sale, framed, via an exclusive deal with KeepsakeFrames that entitles you to 15% off 5 frames!

Free Zoom Virtual Backgrounds: Catskills Summits

Please enjoy this collection of Free Zoom Virtual Backgrounds. This set contains 16 images of Catskills summits.

How to Plot Hiking Routes Using 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.

PB&J vs AB&N

We hikers love our PB&J’s, of course, but a super tasty (and slightly healthier) alternative is an AB&N

Windham High Peak in 3 Minutes (Walk-Thru Video)

This is one of my favorite hikes to do in The Catskills. This video walks you through the trails and junctions from trailhead to summit, giving you a clear sense of just how lovely this hike is.

Trail Terms: Winter Lingo

Once the cold weather sets in, you’ll start to see and hear these winter trail terms online in forums and social posts. Here’s what they all mean.

Awosting Falls

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

Grab this while you can…

Winter Essentials Cheat Sheet

The perfect quick reference to keep you safe on your next cold weather hike