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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
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.
- AllTrails link (until my own trail guide appears here)
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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…
- Diamond Notch Falls from Spruceton (AllTrails link for now)
- Diamond Notch Falls via Diamond Notch Road (AllTrails link for now)
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:
- From Bastion Falls on Route 23A — currently closed
- From the Laurel House trailhead (easiest/shortest — just park and walk right down)
- From the Scutt Road trailhead (a short woodsy walk – new trail guide on the way!)
- Via the Kaaterskill Rail Trail (affords an excellent view of the falls from a distance)
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
I hope you enjoy this list of my favorite hikes from 2022.
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