Cross Mountain Meathook

A long, quiet, remote and insanely beautiful hike with epic views.

Hike Length: 16.5 miles (26.55 km)

Total Ascent: 2,500ft (762m)

Intensity: Difficult Catskills Hike

Route Type: Shuttle

Includes: Blazed Trail

Parent Cross

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scenic view from Cross Mountain Meathook

Ledge view from Mount Pleasant

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 Long point-to-point hike that requires a car shuttle — or a bike.

Hiking Trail Description

I wanted to do this hike for a long time, and it takes a long time to do this hike. It’s beautiful. It’s challenging. It ends in an explosion of fun. I’m so glad I did it. 

I’ve named this route The Cross Mountain Meathook mostly of its distinctive shape — but also because the tip of the meathook will mess you up. After 9 miles of hiking, the last two miles coming down Wittenberg will test your legs. They’re steep and rugged miles. If you’ve ever done Wittenberg/Cornell, you know it’s the last two miles back down to Woodland Valley that wreck you the hardest. Same deal here.

On the other hand, this is one of the most beautifully trailed and scenic routes in The Catskills. There’s so much to describe.

You will need a car shuttle, or a bike, to complete this hike. So hike it with a friend, and stage one car in Woodland Valley and the other on Lane Street. Or do like I did, and stage your bike(s) in Woodland Valley for a super sweet 20 minute downhill ride.

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Cross Mountain Meathook Hiking Trail

The Lane StreetRomerMount PleasantCross MountainWittenbergWoodland Valley hiking trail includes…

  • Water source near the start
  • Exceptionally stunning, sustainably designed trail
  • Multiple stone staircases
  • Lots of remote, quiet trail
  • Long flat trail sections
  • Mixed forest with many large multi-trunk oaks
  • Amazing glacial boulder deposits
  • A sweet rock chasm 
  • One of The Catskills’ most impressive views
  • A sweet scenic angle on the Ashokan Reservoir
  • An impressive panoramic view (unusual in The Catskills)
  • An open slab rock view point (unusual in The Catskills)
  • Great campsite above a cleft rock
  • A steep and lumpy descent
  • An insanely fun 5 mile downhill bike ride finish

Cross Mountain Meathook Trail Notes & Gallery

This hike begins in the small Lane Street lot in Phoenicia, New York. It fits only six or so cars. The trail goes up immediately along the back of the homes on Lane Street, until switchbacks take you away from the world of people.

glacial boulder on Cross Mountain Meathook trail
Lots of glacial boulders

In spots, the trail is just so lovely with open woods and easy hiking.

Chasm

This rock chasm/channel below the summit of Romer Mountain is always a treat…

chasm on Cross Mountain Meathook
Rock chasm

Romer Summit

The summit of Romer Mountain is marked with there large glacial boulders. The trail passes right through them, taking a sharp left and heading south toward Mount Pleasant.

summit boulders on Romer Mountain
Summit of Romer Mountain

Incredible View

The trail does not pass over the (unremarkable) summit of Mount Pleasant. However, not far below the summit is a large ledge that has one of the finest views in The Catskills, of Wittenberg across Woodland Valley (with Balsam Cap, Friday and Slide Mountain behind)…

Wittenberg seen from Cross Mountain Meathook Trail
Incredible view from Mount Pleasant

And that’s Cross Mountain to the left, which you’ll soon be hiking across…

Wittenberg seen from Cross Mountain Meathook Trail
Incredible view from Mount Pleasant

Also visible to the left are Samuels Point and Ashokan High Point.

BTW, as I approached this ledge, I scared away two gray vultures who had, apparently, spent several hours pooping on the ledge. This is one of the poopers…

gray vulture on Mount Pleasant
Gray Vulture

From here, continue south along the trail towards Cross Mountain…

woods on Cross Mountain
Cross Mountain forest

One of the best views is still to come…

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Similar Hikes

In terms of how my legs felt, this hike reminded me of thru-hiking over North Dome and Mount Sherrill from Spruceton to Shaft Road. Also a pretty scenic route!

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The parent mountain for this hike is Cross.

If you do this hike, LMK how it went…

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Trailhead Info for this Hike

Small lot behind a suburban setting.

Google Maps Location: 42.078172, -74.319049

The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead

Cell Service

Strong LTE signal in spots. Patchy to non-existent in other spots. My network is Verizon. YMMV.