pre-dawn mountain ridges

Overlook Mountain Trail

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.

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footbridge by roadside

Classic Tremper Mountain Fire Tower Hike

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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wooden cabin, two stories

Slabsides / John Burroughs Nature Sanctuary

Slabsides is the rustic two-story cabin hand-built by famous naturalist John Burroughs at the end of the 1800’s. It is preserved just as he left it, including its personal contents. A series of interconnected trails wind through woods, a swamp, past dramatic rock outcroppings and waterfalls, and alongside peaceful lakes. The terrain is rugged but the trails are appropriate for well-managed children.

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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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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 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 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

Slide Mountain (Best Route)

This loop features an easy ascent, great Catskills views, and a beautiful walk-out that passes through 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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Hello, I’m Sean

I write independent hiking content to help hikers like you find amazing hikes in the Catskills, Adirondacks, Gunks, Hudson Highlands, Taconics and beyond.

On social media, I’m @TotalCatskills. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

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