Popular Catskills Hikes Archives
ledge and campers and scenic view

Ashokan High Point — Full Loop Hiking Trail with Plane Wreck

This wonderful loop hike has an easy start with almost three miles of beautiful riparian trail. Then a steep climb leads to the summit where there’s a great view of Mohonk and the Shawangunk Ridge. The hike down Ashokan High Point’s west side is notable for its beautiful meadows and views, a plane wreck, as well as a handful of steep trail pitches.

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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.

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boulders and trees on summit

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.

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pre-dawn mountain ridges

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.

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footbridge by roadside

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.

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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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scenic catskills view

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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sunset view

Hike Windham High Peak from Peck Road

One of the easiest Catskill high peaks to hike is also one of the most rewarding — with an enchanted spruce forest, great views of the Blackhead range, and three awesome summit lookouts.

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creek

Hike Rochester Hollow

An easy hike through beautiful woods leads to a series of magnificent stone fences, ruins, and a memorial to John Burroughs. This is an underutilized and under-appreciated trail. Especially suited to skiers, trail-runners and animal track lovers.

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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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the cabin in woods

Balsam Lake Mountain | Fire Tower Hiking Trail

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 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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summit of bearpen mountain

Hike Vly & Bearpen

Personal opinion: these are the only two boring Catskill 3500 hikes. Vly has a few small ledges to keep things interesting, barely, but I swear the trailed route up Bearpen has almost nothing to recommend it. Luckily, you can bag both of these hills together on a single, easy out-and-back.

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View from Slide Mountain

The Absolute Best Route for Hiking Slide Mountain

This route features an easy ascent, great views before and after the summit, and a slightly different descent route that passes through more varied woods and terrain.

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Blackhead from Black Dome

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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Mark on Wittenberg, 2019

Hike Wittenberg & Cornell from Woodland Valley

This is a long and tiring but incredibly rewarding hike. This hike was also memorable because my buddy and I met two hikers from New Jersey who got into serious trouble the same day, kicking off a massive rescue response.

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