The Lower Catskill Peaks

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

For example, East Rusk is so much nicer than Rusk. And Van Wyck is one of the 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 incredibly steep, Van Wyck rewards hikers with two “bear holes”, two plane wrecks, and a summit ledge to remember.

Hikes Coming Soon!


Difficult Lower Catskills (1)


Plattekill 3106’

 Central 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: 1


Moderate Lower Catskills (9)


East Rusk 3628’

 Northern Catskills

 Bushwhack

This is a far more interesting mountain than its taller cousin — adding East Rusk to Rusk turns a dull climb into an excellent Catskills hike.

No. of Entries: 1


Camel’s Hump 3558’

 Northern Catskills

 Fully Trailed

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

Hikes Coming Soon!


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’

 Northern Catskills

 Partially Trailed

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

No. of Entries: 1


Huntersfield 3423’

 Northern Catskills

 Fully Trailed

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

Hikes Coming Soon!


Haynes 3413’

 Central Catskills

 Fully Trailed

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

Hikes Coming Soon!


Giant Ledge 3214’

 Southern Catskills

 Partially 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: 1


Rose Mountain 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


Tremper 2730’

 Central Catskills

 Fully Trailed

 Scenic

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

No. of Entries: 1


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