The Lower Catskill Peaks | Mountain-Hiking.com

The Lower Catskill Peaks

There are so many excellent mountains under 3500’ I’ve yet to explore. In the Catskills, “lower” does not mean “lesser”. Many of these mountains are even more challenging — and even more rewarding — than many of the Catskill High Peaks.

For example, East Rusk is so much nicer than Rusk. And Mt Pleasant will give you one of the most stunning views in the Catskills. Meanwhile, Van Wyck offers one of the steepest and toughest climbs in the park.

Local hiking legend Alan Via has compiled a deeply-researched list of 67 Catskills Mountains Under 3500’. I consult his notes regularly to deepen my appreciation for the Park. The 3500 Club also regularly runs group hikes to the lower peaks and I encourage you to join those hikes as often as possible.

So many peaks, so few days…

Hardest Lower Catskills (1)


Van Wyck 3206’

 Southern Catskills

 Bushwhack

 Scenic

Remote and steep, Van Wyck rewards hikers with two “bear holes”, two plane wrecks, and a summit ledge to remember.

No. of Entries: 1


Difficult Lower Catskills (6)


Arizona 3407’

 Northeastern Catskills

 Fully Trailed

 Scenic

Outrageously under-hiked peak that’s packed with classic Catskills terrain and a spectacular 180° scenic view.

No. of Entries: 1


Plattekill 3106’

 Northeastern Catskills

 Bushwhack

 Scenic

This tough bushwhack mountain has one of the truly great Catskills views — but you’ll have to fight for it.

No. of Entries: 2


Ashokan High Point 3086’

 Southern Catskills

 Fully Trailed

 Scenic

Beloved peak with views of the Ashokan Reservoir and the Burroughs Range, blueberry heaths, and a plane wreck.

No. of Entries: 3


Mount Pleasant 2800’

 Central Catskills

 Partially Trailed

 Scenic

A beautiful mountain that boasts what might be the most stunning vista in the Catskills.

No. of Entries: 1


Little Ashokan 2790’

 Southern Catskills

 Bushwhack

 Scenic

Little Ashokan’s summit is very beautiful. But this is a very sketchy bushwhack peak. For experienced mountain hikers only!

No. of Entries: 1


Ticetonyk 2510’

 Southern Catskills

 Partially Trailed

 Scenic

The steep climb up this beautifully-positioned mountain is rewarded with sweeping views of the Ashokan Reservoir. A bushwhack to the summit is even more rewarding (but is very tough).

No. of Entries: 3


Moderate Lower Catskills (12)


East Rusk 3628’

 Northeastern Catskills

 Bushwhack

A far more interesting mountain than its taller sibling. Adding East Rusk to Rusk turns a dull climb into an excellent Catskills hike.

No. of Entries: 1


Camel’s Hump 3558’

 Northeastern Catskills

 Fully Trailed

Varied terrain leads to a sweet summit with two solid views — and then it’s a short walk to Thomas Cole.

No. of Entries: 1


Mill Brook Ridge 3465’

 Central Catskills

 Bushwhack

 Scenic

The highest of the sub-3500’ Catskills. This mountain is trailed from the east from Balsam Lake Mountain, and from the west from Alder Lake. But but the summit can also be bushwhacked from several directions. It’s on my radar for 2020.

No. of Entries: 1


St. Anne’s Peak 3423’

 Northeastern Catskills

 Partially Trailed

St. Anne’s doesn’t get a ton of traffic. It’s equal parts tranquil and wild.

No. of Entries: 1


Haynes 3413’

 Central Catskills

 Fully Trailed

Often passed over on the way from Balsam to Eagle, or vice versa, Haynes offers gentle charms.

No. of Entries: 1


Giant Ledge 3214’

 Southern Catskills

 Fully Trailed

 Scenic

One of the most popular destinations in the Park. It has all everything the Catskills can offer — rocks, roots, gnarly trees — and a famously breathtaking view.

No. of Entries: 2


Rose 3078’

 Central Catskills

 Bushwhack

Nondescript peak on private property. Obtain permission to hike. The real draw, here, is to the south: Rochester Hollow.

No. of Entries: 1


Mount Hayden 2932’

 Northern Catskills

 Fully Trailed

A peaceful, ferny, deciduous peak among some of the quietest Catskills.

No. of Entries: 1


Ginseng 2805’

 Northern Catskills

 Fully Trailed

Steep but hikeable, Ginseng (like close-by Mount Hayden) offers miles of peaceful, ferny mountain hiking.

No. of Entries: 1


Mount Tremper 2730’

  Fire Tower

 Central Catskills

 Fully Trailed

 Scenic

One of the five Catskills fire tower mountains. Equally famous for its timber rattlesnakes.

No. of Entries: 3


Cross 2511’

 Central Catskills

 Fully Trailed

 Scenic

A woodsy delight with an absolute gem of a scenic lookout.

No. of Entries: 1


Romer 2240’

 Central Catskills

 Fully Trailed

A quietly popular mountain with one of the loveliest trail sections in the Catskills.

No. of Entries: 1


Easiest Lower Catskills (3)


Huntersfield 3423’

 Northern Catskills

 Fully Trailed

A quiet, peaceful, mountain situated in spectacularly bucolic surroundings.

No. of Entries: 1


Overlook 3141’

  Fire Tower

 Northeastern Catskills

 Fully Trailed

 Scenic

One of the most popular peaks in the Catskills, and a fire tower peak.

No. of Entries: 4


Red Hill 2979’

  Fire Tower

 Southern Catskills

 Fully Trailed

 Scenic

A beautiful mountain, beautifully situated, with beautiful fire tower views!

No. of Entries: 2


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