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A long hike in and out, but the summit has so much.
Hiking Trail Description
This hike starts from Platte Clove and winds around the east side of Kaaterskill High Peak to tackle the final ascent via the northern ridge. You’ll hit all the major points of interest.
Kaaterskill High Peak is said to be neglected but, on this day, there were 20 people ahead of me in the register. Some hikers may have been going to Huckleberry Point, a popular short hike, but I met plenty of people on the mountain itself too.
Every week, online, I see new photos from Kaaterskill High Peak. With hiking numbers up across the country, KHP seems to be back on the hiking radar.
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Kaaterskill High Peak Hiking Trail
During the warmer months, when the eastern side of Platte Clove Rd is open, the dramatic drive up the winding cliff road is always 50% fun / 50% nerve-wracking — they close this route in winter for a reason. (Here’s the alternate route to use when Platte Clove Road is closed.)
The parking lot for this hike is the same one you use for hiking to Huckleberry Point, to visit Plattekill Falls, or even to hike into Echo Lake. The lot is large enough but it fills up quickly on busy weekends.
The Kaaterskill High Peak hiking trail includes…
- A long, muddy walk in
- Many, many junctions
- Mohawk camp site
- Two plane wrecks
- A 3500 canister
- Amazing view from Hurricane Ledge
- Pine Planes
Allow 5-6 hours for this hike. A full breakdown is provided in the trail notes below, with 23 remarkable photos.
Trail Notes & Gallery
This route is a nocturne: it has a calm beginning, a burst of high drama, then a return to calm.
The register is on the west side of the lot, and marks the entrance to the trail. Sign in and begin your hike on the blue trail, heading north.
Cairns & Blazes
I was surprised to see so many cairns on the lower portion of this hike. They kept me company for quite a while, marking entry points into the woods heading west. I heard a lot of animal activity in this area. I suspect the cairns may be markers placed by hunters.
This trail is also a snowmobile trail so the trail blazes are doubled up: blue and red together.
After you pass the junction with the yellow trail, the woods switch abruptly to a hardwood stand. For the next while, the flora switches back and forth between hardwood and deciduous forest, over very wet and swampy terrain.
This hike is known for its long stretches of deep, thick mud — so a pair of gaiters is a good idea for this hike.
There are several footbridges to cross. The brooks and streams are very lively…
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This was my final Catskill 3500 hike. It was such a great mountain to finish on. From Hurricane Ledge, I was able to look directly across at Indian Head where my mountain hiking journey began. That was a very special feeling.
If you’re working on your 3500’s, keep a few special ones for the end: Sugarloaf, Black Dome, Twin, Hunter and Balsam Lake all offer wonderful views of multiple Catskill peaks. It’s such a nice way to bring your quest to a close.
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The parent mountain for this hike is Kaaterskill High Peak.
If you do this hike, LMK how it went…
Trailhead Info for this Hike
Medium-sized lot. Fills up early on busy weekends and holidays.
Google Maps Location: 42.133525, -74.082396
The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead
No signal down low. Patchy up high. My network is Verizon. YMMV.