Secret Hike: Gunks in the Cats

A true bushwhack to a surprisingly Gunks-like patch in the heart of The Catskills.

Hike Length: 1.0 miles (1.61 km)

Total Ascent: 170ft (52m)

Intensity: Difficult Catskills Hike

Route Type: Out-and-Back

Includes: True Bushwhack

Parent : Location Hidden

Pitch pines

Pitch pines in The Catskills

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This is a short but difficult bushwhack to a surprisingly Gunks-like patch right in the heart of The Catskills.

On my @TotalCatskills Instagram account, this is one of the most popular memes…

I’m gonna hike the shawangunks in The Catskills! The fuck you are.
Except there is a place…

It gets to the heart of a misapprehension that the Shawangunks are part of the Catskills. Not the case. Geographically separated by a wide valley, the Gunks are geologically distinct.

It’s so obvious to my eye — the rock and the flora are completely different! — and yet the idea that they’re the same persists. The situation is not helped by the exit signs along I-87 that say everything above Exit 17 is “The Catskills”.

You might as well be saying Greenland is part of the United States.

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I was hoping to get to an epic view from the northern edge of the massive Kaaterskill Amphitheater on the eastern flank of Kaaterskill High Peak. I did a lot of poking around in very dense mountain laurel but couldn’t find an open clearing. I suspect the views have simply grown in.

However, I did find the wonderful ledge in this area…

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