Catskills Trail Conditions

Similar Entries In: Hike Safety, .

Hike Slide Mountain in the Catskills

View from below the summit of Slide Mountain

Disclosure: This content may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Catskills Trail Conditions Info

Check the forecast from several sources to make an informed decision about your next hike. Use to feel out if it’s too cold to hike or too windy to hike. If it’s wet, it’s Catskills mud season. If it’s October, it’s time for some incredible Catskills Fall Foliage.

Catskills Weather: East

Forecast for the town of Hunter, NY, at 1700 feet. This forecast is a proxy for general conditions in the Eastern Catskills at lower elevations — not for summit conditions.

HUNTER Weather at 1700ft

Catskills Weather: West

Forecast for the town of Seager, NY, at 2000 feet. This forecast is a proxy for general conditions in the Western Catskills at lower elevations — not for summit conditions.

SEAGER Weather at 2000ft

You might also enjoy…

Catskills Trail Conditions

If you’ve been on a Catskills hike in the last few days, please add your Catskills Trail Conditions report below for our community. Comments are moderated before they post so there’s no abuse.

Your comment can include the following helpful information:

  1. The DATE of your hike — all caps “JAN 1” format is fine
  2. The NAME of the MOUNTAIN(S) — all caps helps the name pop
  3. The ROUTE you took
  4. The CONDITIONS you found — ice, snow, mud, problems, or lack thereof!
  5. Any NOTES you’d like to include — did you enjoy your hike?

111 responses to “Catskills Trail Conditions

  1. Feb 4, 2024 / WITTENBERG & CORNELL / From Woodland Valley / This might have been the best day to be outside we’ll get this year! Temps around freezing and great trail conditions: plenty of snow but my hiking partner and I used spikes the whole way up and down. (Our snowshoes went for a ride.)

  2. OCT 27 / TREMPER MOUNTAIN / From Plank Road / Very dry, with lots of fallen leaves on the ground. Great views from the cabin which was open.

  3. OCT 23 / Online, I’m seeing winter conditions on Hunter and Rusk. SHOULDER SEASON is definitely here. Time to start packing MICROSPIKES on all your hikes.

  4. JUL 9 / OVERLOOK MOUNTAIN / From Platte Clove / The trails were already very muddy to begin with, but then and incredible storm blew through and drenched the whole area.

  5. JUL 2 / VROMAN’S NOSE / Loop trail from north side. / Unsettled weather brought low clouds and rain showers to The Catskills — and the mosquitoes were out in force too, so pack your bug spray!

  6. MAR 19 / Black Dome & Thomas Cole via Lockwood Gap / Cold cold cold but the trench was in great condition — apart from postholes on either side the whole way! Less traffic between Black Dome and Thomas Cole meant the trench wasn’t as well defined, but BD and Blackhead are fully broken out.

  7. MAR 11 / VAN WYCK LOOP / From Route 42 (Peekamoose Road) / Spikes through Bear Hole Brook then snowshoes the rest of the way. This was just before the big nor’easter hit.

  8. MAR 5 / INDIAN HEAD / Full loop from Prediger / Mashed potatoes underfoot. Snowshoes the whole way. Gorgeous day to be outside, though. All trails broken out, but Jimmy Dolan trail is more heavily trafficked so it’s… more fully broken out.

  9. FEB 13 / WINDHAM HIGH PEAK / From Peck Road — Patches of ice down low. Up high, patches of bare rock and melting snow. Spikes on and off for the whole hike.

  10. FEB 4 / BALSAM / From Rider Hollow / -4°F (-20°C) at the Rider Hollow trailhead at 11am. Wore spikes the whole way, following mostly hardened trench with a few spots of fresh snowdrift. Met three dudes who had camped out in the lean-to overnight and somehow survived. Incredible.

  11. JANUARY 28th. Kaaterskill High Peak – Snow Mobile trail out and back, starting with a bushwhack from Gillespie Road.

    The last 1/2 mile of road required a higher clearance and four-wheel drive because of snow on the road.

    Snow all the way. The trail was broken already. There was mud in spots where the ice on the trail melted. We wore spikes the whole way, snow shoes could have helped, but weren’t necessary. The summit push from the snow mobile trail was hairy with a lot of thick ice, or ice covered in snow. tractions devices are an absolute must. Descending the same rather uses the tried-and-true method of butt sledding and butt scooting.

    This is the second time on two weeks in the Catskills where I found myself wishing for actual crampons (not micro-spikes) and an ice axe.

    We did hike down to hurricane ledge, views were beautiful and clear!

  12. JAN 28 / WEST KILL / From Diamond Notch / Solid snow cover for the whole trail. Switched from spikes to snowshoes after the bridge, then followed the well-defined trench to the summit. Kept snowshoes on for the rest of the hike. Stunning sunny day to be outside.

  13. JAN 22 / SOUTHWEST HUNTER / From Stony Clove Notch / Wore spikes the whole way. Snowed a little, on and off. Perfect hiking conditions!

  14. Dec 15 / Blackhead / Black Dome Range Trail
    Dry trail up until about 800 meters of the summit where traction device were critical for safety because of thick ice on the trail covering all of the rock scrambles.

    This is the first time on a hike in the Catskills where I wished I had an ice/alpine axe for extra traction on certain sections. Beyond this, even with low cloud cover it was beautiful with trees encased in ice.

  15. JAN 16 / CATSKILLS GENERAL / Conditions right now do not require snowshoes but please do not hike any mountain in winter without proper hiking footwear and a pair of microspikes: Hillsounds or Kathoolas. There has been a rash of rescues lately, all due to ill prepared hikers slipping on icy patches. (Don’t be fooled by conditions at the trailhead. It won’t be long before you encounter ice as you head uphill.)

  16. JAN 3, SUGARLOAF & PLATEAU, via Mink Hollow Road
    Mix of slush, ice and post holes. Both mountains have covering of ice as you ascend. Spikes were not necessary, but always bring incase you need. Weather was 40s with drizzle and humidity. No views but love the scrambles!

  17. JAN 2 / OVERLOOK mt trail – lots of running water down the trail and patches of ice the whole way up. Didn’t wear my spikes but there were a few spots where I could’ve put them on.

  18. NOV 20 / BLACK DOME from big hollow road – there’s finally some snow! I brought my microspikes but didn’t have to use them. Maybe 1-2 inches of snow and a few icy spots towards the top to watch out for.

  19. October 22 / Sugarloaf via Mink hollow – sunny and clear skies, so many leaves on the ground make it difficult to see the rocks underneath. Mixture of water and leaves made the way down pretty slippery.

    1. So helpful. Thanks, Shelby! I was thinking of trail running Sugarloaf but with those wet leaves maybe now is not the best time to be trail running a mountain!

  20. October 7th / WINDHAM HIGH PEAK / Peck Road / Mostly dry with occasional mud in the lower elevation flats. Interior elevations near or at peak with increasing leaf loss near 3500’.

  21. SEP 27 / THOMAS COLE & BLACK DOME from Barnum Road / Wet trails with patches of mud, glad to see it. Fall foliage is just starting in earnest, with maybe 5% change happening on the Blackhead Range.

  22. SEP 18 / HUCKLEBERRY LOOP / full loop from Huckleberry Brook Road / Wet trails down low but no serious mud, and dry up higher with hints of fall here and there.

  23. SEP 1 / INSPIRATION POINT / via Scutt Road / Despite the deluge of rain last week, our trails are still bone dry — and all New York mountain ranges remain extremely vulnerable to fire.

  24. AUG 20 / ROMER, PLEASANT, CROSS, WITTENBERG / Striped Maple trees so stressed, they think it’s the fall. Large sections on Mount Pleasant had leaves covering the trail like it was late October. So it was a surprise to see the spring on Romer running pretty well. Otherwise, though, bone dry all around Cross Mountain Hollow.

  25. August 21 / SLIDE, CORNELL, WITTENBERG / CR-47 to Woodland Valley / All water sources were dry, including the spring just east of Slide summit. No mud anywhere, though!

  26. AUG 7 / TREMPER / From Willow / Trail was a little wet from recent rain, and the newts were out, but there were no muddy sections on the trail as would normally be the case. The Catskills are very dry right now. Even reliable mountain springs are barely trickling along. If you’re planning on water being available on a long hike, make sure to do your current research.

  27. May 18 / BALSAM LAKE / Fire Tower from Millbrook Road / No ice and very little mud; trails are drying out. But the black flies are coming. They weren’t bad today but they were definitly a presence.

  28. Thursday, May 5 / PLATEAU MOUNTAIN / From Notch Lake and back via Warner Creek / Beautiful day and soft dirt on the trail; snow is pretty much gone except traces found under rocks near the summit area; mud is probably back with today and yesterday’s weather though …

  29. Apr 30 / NORTH DOME & MOUNT SHERRILL / in via the Devils Path, out via the Fisherman’s Lot / icicles up high, and small patches of mud all over, but way less ice than expected. We were able to bareboot the entire bushwhack.

  30. APRIL 23-24/ TWIN & INDIAN HEAD/ from Mink Hollow Road trailhead to Devil’s Kitchen shelter and back. wet trail and mud throughout lower elevations. snow & slush starting about halfway up peaks. snow was melting quickly over both days, making day 2 even muddier. challenging, fun hike with fantastic views from multiple spots on both mountains! descent down west side of Twin on day 2 was very sketchy with the snow and melting ice. we didn’t have spikes and probably should have.

  31. 4/24 BURROUGHS RANGE from Route 47 / wet trail the whole way across from slide to Cornell to Wittenberg and back / some waterlogged sections / spikes above 3000’ helped with grip in the mush / much of the snow had melted away by the end of the day.

  32. April24 / Red Hill Fire Tower Trail / muddy! But not too bad, only in a few spots. Short hike with some great views from the fire tower.

  33. VERNOOY FALLS / Apr 10 / no snow or ice, bareboot to the falls / though very wet and muddy trail (and higher up in the Catskills there’s still plenty of ice)

  34. 3/27/22

    NORTH DOME / SHERRILL: devils path to bushwhack all the way to Sherrill, bare boot or micro spikes, minimal ice, no issues over the cliffs. overall good conditions

    HALCOTT from rt 42. Easy to follow heard path, bare boot and micro spikes on the danger leaves, overall fast and easy trip

  35. March 25 / WEST KILL / From Spruceton Road. Ice started about a half mile up the mountain from Diamond Notch Falls, requiring spikes. Some tricky sections on hard, wet ice around the ledges. Quiet woods day. Views from that lookout never disappoint! Diamond Notch Falls are going strong.

  36. March 13 / Overlook Mt from meads mt rd – micro spikes the whole way. Some deep snow after the hotel and some thick ice throughout. Beautiful day out!

  37. Mar 10 / RUSK & EAST RUSK from Spruceton / less than 4” fresh snow on the ground but patches of hard smooth ice underneath. Spikes all day. No snowshoes.

  38. Feb 27/ SOUTH PEAK OF TWIN / FromPrediger road.

    Absolute bluebird day, just above freezing by late morning (my favorite conditions). Less than 8” of snow and a nice sidewalk all the way to the head wall. Carried snowshoes but stuck to spikes. Stream crossing were fine until afternoon sun made ice soft and sketchy. From Jimmy Dolan Notch on the devils path up to the south summit heavy ice flows covered by snow. Easily maneuverable, treacherous without traction. Gorgeous views. Great day.

  39. Feb 26 / TREMPER MOUNTAIN Fire Tower from Plank rd / Snow shoes all the way but spikes would’ve been fine. Spikes used the entire way down the snow started to melt turning the trench to mush and making for slippery conditions.

  40. Feb 21 / RED HILL Fire Tower from Denning Rd / Beautiful short hike up and back. 2.5 hours round trip with time for snacks and pictures at the top. No snow shoes needed but used our spikes. Some thick Ice patches, so spikes and poles were useful.

  41. Feb 20 / BALSAM from Rider Hollow / parking lot was a sheet of ice (surprise!). Started at 12ish, finished at 4:30. Went clockwise. The north side was muddy with occasional ice until you got above 3000′, then the snow got a lot deeper, still pretty packed from snowshoers though. Ice got really bad towards the top. Then after the overlook, it was basically powder on top of ice the whole way down. Made it with spikes and trekking poles!

  42. Feb 20/ KAATERSKILL FALLS. Trail from the Laurel House parking lot to viewing platform and continuing on to the trail to lower falls. Trails were pretty much all solid ice covered in a dusting of snow. Saw one person in snow boots fall in a flat icy area. With spikes, most of the steps down to the bottom of the falls seemed safe but we turned around before reaching the bottom of the falls and saw others do the same due to a couple of extremely steep icy patches that were basically ice chutes and not safe even with spikes. Beautiful views from the viewing platform though!

    1. My wife and I turned around at that exact spot last week. Even though we had our spikes on too. We watched a girl go down in YakTrax with her dog, but noped out for ourselves.

  43. Feb 20 / SUGARLOAF via Pecoy Notch / Trail is frozen hard the whole way up, with an inch or two of fresh powdery snow on top. Wore spikes the whole hike. Didn’t need to switch into snowshoes, even on the summit.

  44. Feb 20th / Acra Point from Big Hollow Rd – micro spikes the whole way. Last half mile to Acra Point has some thick ice hidden by a dusting of snow so be careful.

  45. Feb. 12 / DIAMOND NOTCH via Spruceton Road. Trail is wide and packed so spikes are OK up to Diamond Notch Falls. From the falls to the lean to the trail begins to get narrower and snowshoes should be worn. Not far past the lean to you will absolutely need snowshoes if you wish to continue. The trail becomes almost nonexistent and you are right on the slope between two mountains. We turned around as it just seemed too dangerous, especially with our two dogs. Since it’s winter and the trees are bare, you can still get a decent view of the notch, just from a lower elevation.

  46. Feb 11 / KAATERSKILL FALLS from the upper lot. / Beautiful day to be outside. Snow is thawing so a little mushy and sloppy underfoot. Traction a must.

  47. Feb 11 / WITTENBERG / from Woodland Valley Rd / Packed icy snow on the trail, lots of hard ice on the Wittenberg ledges. Microspikes (at least) definitely needed. The ledges were challenging today, but beautiful with a coating of ice on their sides. Lovely day for a hike. Heard two barred owls calling to each other in the late afternoon.

  48. Feb 7 / PHOENICIA EAST TRAIL / from Woodland Valley / hard, packed down snow – i used spikes (might have been able to do without but it’d probably have been much more slippy) – snowshoes not necessary

  49. Feb 6 / BALSAM MOUNTAIN / Hiked the “loop” from Rider Hollow. The entire trail was hard packed from snowshoes, with an occasional pre-storm posthole. A few hikers wore micro-spikes, but most of us wore snowshoes in case elevation gain had any surprises. There was minor blowdown from Friday’s storm. It was a stunning day! Deep blue skies, very little wind, and everything sparkled with ice. 10° at the base, and 14° by the time I summited.

  50. Feb 6 / SUGARLOAF via Dibbles Quarry and Pecoy Notch / Well-packed-down snowshoe trail the whole way with some postholes on either side. Easy hiking. Beautiful day down low but stormy above 3200’ with summits in the clouds. I turned around about 200’ below the main summit ridge because of conditions and steepness. (I was soloing.)

  51. Feb 4 / BALSAM & EAGLE MOUNTAINS / From McKenley Hollow Road / Spectacular hike in the ice storm Friday … snowshoes the entire way! Snow was very crunchy, and trees were glazed over in ice. Many branches drooped down into the trail, had to maneuver through and go around many. Also, be alert for hanging tree limbs; I heard an incredible amount of snapping branches from the weight of ice. There will probably be a lot of tree debris on roads and trails this weekend.

  52. Jan 23 / PANTHER SUB SUMMIT / Bushwhacked a super steep ridge of Panther to its eastern sub summit (2846’ on NYNJTC maps). Snowshoes the whole way. At least a foot of snow for most of the route. Exhausting, beautiful terrain.

  53. Jan. 20 KAATERSKILL FALLS from Laurel House Road. Ice and snow from the PA to the falls, spikes needed. We also started hiking on the Escarpment trail but shortly before you reach Layman’s Monument you will need snowshoes. If you head down the Rail Trail from the Laurel House Road PA, looks like you will need snowshoes for most of that trail too.

  54. Jan 22 / SLIDE / From Oliverea Road / Snow is completely powdery rather than icy and crusty like it is in lower elevations, but snowshoes not needed. Packed down enough to walk on without sinking or posthole-ing. Snow is still covering the trees once you get to the alpine forest. Looked like a winter wonderland. Parking lot completely packed. People double parking and parking on the road.

  55. Jan 22 / SLOAN GORGE / Stayed down low today. Trail was well broken in and hardened. Spikes only for the full loop.

  56. Jan 22 / BALSAM MOUNTAIN from Rider Hollow – plenty of snow, Snow shoes the whole way! Deepest snow was heading up to the summit. Clear blue skies today.

  57. Jan 14 / Windham High Peak / From Peck Road / the 1st mile of the trail was covered in ice / spikes are definitely required for that section / after the pine tree forest there was about 6 inches of snow in the ground it got deeper as I reached the summit / no clear views from any of the overlooks since it was snowing

  58. Jan 14 / ARIZONA MOUNTAIN & BLACKHEAD / From Stork’s Nest Road / Conditions were quite volatile on the Escarpment today; wind chills were freezing and strong albeit occasional. Less than an inch of snow until the col between Arizona and Blackhead … then, random snow drifts up to 6-8 inches at times! I used microspikes above 3500 feet and until I returned to Dutcher Notch. I imagine snowshoes will be handy after Sunday night’s storm …

  59. Jan 13 / TACONICS / Bash Bish Falls and Sunset Rock / Very little snow and ice on the trails but I did use my spikes hiking down to the falls, because the trail was iced up. For the rest of the day, I was able to bare-boot.

  60. Jan 8 / BALSAM / From Rider Hollow / Slippery snow and not much ice but the spikes were necessary. Not a cloud in the sky and the views were beautiful.

  61. Jan 8th / Indian Head and Jimmy Dolan Notch from Platte Cove maybe an inch of snow to start, thick layers of ice heading up towards the notch and towards the summit. Micro spikes the whole way. About 3 inches of snow after the notch heading up to the summit.

  62. Jan 8/BALSAM LAKE MOUNTAIN – FIRETOWER/From Dry Brook Ridge Trailhead on Mill Brook Rd/ 14° at trailhead, 22° at tower. Consistant 2″ of snow for the entire route with occasional icy patches hidden under snow on the lower trail below the gate, with substantial icy patches above the gate. Few people. Crystal clear skies with little to no wind at the tower base and a slight breeze just under the tower cabin. A magical day!

  63. Jan 6th Hunter via Becker Hollow. Just a dusting of snow. Maybe an inch or two near the summit. Ice past 3500ft needed spikes from there.

  64. Jan 7, Hunter via Becker Hollow. A few inches of snow up top with a lot of ice underneath! I wouldn’t do it without spikes. Trekking poles were super helpful too

  65. Jan 8 / DIAMOND NOTCH / Only an inch or so of snow on the trails. Easy beautiful hiking. Didn’t venture above 2750’ today. Microspikes to the falls and then up to Diamond Notch.

  66. Jan 4 / ARTIST’S ROCK, SUNSET ROCK, & NORTH POINT / From North-South Lake Campground / mostly ice free with some frozen streams along the way. Spikes aren’t needed yet. Since the campground is closed for the winter, the trails are quiet and peaceful. It was such a lovely day!

  67. Jan 3 / BLACKHEAD / From Big Hollow Road / Freezing cold with icy patches towards the top, but we were able to get around them without using spikes. Views were clear and beautiful.

  68. Jan 3 / INDIAN HEAD via Devil’s Path / from Platte Clove / no snow or ice at the beginning, but becomes extremely icy towards the top. Just a bit of snow in sections. Spikes are necessary, gaiters saved me from some wet socks! Also visited Plattekill falls. The path was safe (no ice) and the fall was beautiful

    1. Feb 1 / KAATERSKILL FALLS via Kaaterskill Rail Trail / Previously made snowshoe track is there that is now completely packed down and can be easily walked without snowshoes. Falls are almost completely Frozen and are totally spectacular right now. A few super sketchy spots on the way down to the falls which definitely should not be attempted without spikes.

      1. Thanks Marisa! You rock. It’s crazy who goes up there without any traction. I saw so many slip-and-falls last time I was at the viewing platform.

  69. Dec 23 / BALSAM CAP & FRIDAY / From Moonhaw / No snow or ice down low, but up high it was a magical winter wonderland. Spikes above 2700’. No need for snowshoes.

Your comments are welcome here…