Best Hikes of 2022

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fall view from jay mountain ridge in the adirondracks

Jay Mountain Ridge in fall

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These are the best hikes I did in 2022 — 17 amazing day-hikes sorted by level of difficulty.

This mix of Catskills and Adirondack hikes is sorted into easy, moderate, difficult and very challenging hikes. On this list, there’s an amazing hike for everyone.

If you’re new to hiking, start with the easiest hikes and work your way up from there. Make sure you pack The 10 Essentials and, if you’re heading out in cold weather, make sure you’ve read everything in How to Winter Hike: the Essential Roundup.

Ready to rock these amazing hikes? Check out this short video teaser and enjoy the list!

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Best Hikes 2022: the Easy Routes

Exterior of Saugerties Lighthouse and signposts
Saugerties Lighthouse

Saugerties Lighthouse Trail

This is a wonderful, short family nature hike to a gorgeous lighthouse on the Hudson River. You’ll pass over boardwalks through swaying stands of reeds on a sandy shoreline where flocks of birds come to rest. All around The Catskills are visible. One mile out and back, flat easy walking the whole way.

Looking back toward your car, you’ll see the Catskills: Plattekill and Overlook mountains, Kaaterskill High Peak and South Mountain.

You might also enjoy…

two waterfalls side by side
Diamond Notch Falls

Diamond Notch Falls & Diamond Notch Scenic View

Want two destinations in one? The twin waterfall at Diamond Notch is rightly famous, but fewer people know about the wonderful scenic view from the narrow gap between West Kill and Southwest Hunter. At its tightest point the pass is so narrow, you can literally stand on both mountains simultaneously.

There’s also a beautifully situated lean-to to visit and/or sleep in.

There are two very different approaches to Diamond Notch. Trail guides for both coming soon. In the meantime…

Kaaterskill Falls Fall Foliage 2022
Kaaterskill Falls / Oct 16, 2022

Kaaterskill Falls

Kaaterskill Falls has long been one of the top destinations in The Catskills. The two-tiered falls are world famous and ever-popular for a reason. It’s been that way since the early 1800‘s when the painter Thomas Cole and the writer Washington Irving put it on the map as a great American natural wonder. The falls now typically host over 200,000 visitors per year.

There are several routes to the falls:

More Easy Hikes

Here is my full list of all trail guides for the easiest hikes on this website.

Best Hikes 2022: the Moderate Routes

scenic view from Red Hill Fire Tower
Red Hill Fire Tower view

Red Hill Fire Tower from Denning

This route is a little longer and tougher than the classic route, but so much sweeter. The new trail, which opened in February 2021, greatly improves access to the fire tower — one of the six towers currently featured in the Catskills Fire Tower Challenge.

Frick Pond Boardwalks

The longest and loveliest boardwalks I’ve found in The Catskills. More on this soon.

inspiration point view
Inspiration Point

Inspiration Point

Inspiration Point is an amazing location — and there are multiple amazing views before and after the main ledge. All along the way, the view across Kaaterskill Clove toward Kaaterskill High Peak and Poets Ledge is truly breathtaking.

It’s such a great location, in 2022 I visited it twice.

Rooster Comb

The trail to the summit of Rooster Comb in the Adirondacks is relentlessly uphill but also quite short. You will be rewarded with three fantastic lookouts, each more stunning that the last.

Jay Mountain

The Jay Mountain Hiking Trail is one of my very favorite hikes from 2022. It’s quiet-quiet-quiet until, all of a sudden, major wow views.

This is an absolute jewel of a hike.

Baxter Mountain

I loved this hike so much. Super short. Super scenic. A great introduction to the Adirondacks and a great second-day treat if you hiked a high peak the day before; so easy to add this superb hike to your itinerary on your way home.

More Moderate Hikes

Here is my full list of all trail guides for the moderate hikes on this website.

Best Hikes 2022: the Difficult Routes

hiker at forested summit sugarloaf mountain in the catskills / best hikes of 2022
Sean at the summit of Sugarloaf in February

Sugarloaf in Winter (Safest Route)

Take the safest route to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain in winter: via Dibbles Quarry and Pecoy Notch from the Roaring Kill trailhead.

Poets Ledge

This hike is generally described as moderate. However because of its length, and because of the fairly relentless elevation gain, I felt it was on the upper end of moderate. I would suggest thinking of this route as “hard-moderate”.

There are no easy hikes to Poets Ledge. It’s in a relatively remote location. But the reward for your effort is one of The Catskills’ most dramatic scenic views. You will not be sorry you worked hard on this hike!

Blackhead Mountain Trail Run

Blackhead is one of the most beautiful mountains in The Catskills. The trail up its northern ridge is steep and tough, with rugged terrain and scrambles below the summit. The whole area is stunning. It was so fun to run it as one of my first mountain trail runs.

Jay Mountain Ridge

I can’t wait to write this trail guide. Probably the most stunningly scenic hike I’ve ever done. An absolute shocker. Trail guide coming soon!

More Difficult Hikes

Here is my full list of all trail guides for the difficult hikes on this website.

Best Hikes 2022: the Hardest Routes

Seymour mountain hikers in rainy muddy forest
Hikers descending Seymour’s gnarly herd path

Seymour Mountain

Hiking the Sewards means long and treacherous hikes — but they’re so rewarding, even on a socked-in day with no views.

I did this hike with friends, one of whom who was finishing her Adirondack 46er journey at the summit. That made the day extra special, but it also snowed a little — in June! — so it was pretty magical all round.

Even the drive in to the trailhead was stunning…

Sketchiest Hike in The Catskills

If you thought the sketchiest hike in the Catskills would be the Devil’s Path, it’s not. This bushwhack hike is much shorter — and much sketchier! However, the sketchiest hike in The Catskills also turned out to be the funnest hike in The Catskills.

Slide › Cornell › Wittenberg (OAB)

This is my favorite tough-but-beautiful Catskills hike. Long, rugged, technical and remote, it brings you over three summits to some of the most stunning lookouts in the Catskill Park. I’ve done it several times and it never disappoints. It’s also a great full-body workout!

Lower Wolf Jaw from Route 73
Scenic view from Lower Wolf Jaw

Lower Wolf Jaw

Easily the most technically demanding of the hikes I did in 2022, the long hike out to Lower Wolf Jaw is steep and rugged, passing over Hedgehog Mountain. It also includes a formidable slab rock scramble.

More Hardest Hikes

Here is my full list of all trail guides for the hardest hikes on this website.

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I hope you enjoy this list of my favorite hikes from 2022.

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