How to Winter Hike: The Essential Roundup

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Hiker standing in snow on mountain ridge

Well-prepared winter hiker.

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If you’ve never hiked in winter, this is a great page to get started on your winter hiking journey.

Embarking on your first winter hiking adventure can be both exhilarating and daunting, and this comprehensive list of resources is the perfect starting point for anyone looking to delve into the serene beauty of winter trails.

Winter hiking offers a unique perspective on familiar landscapes, transforming them into serene, snow-covered wonderlands. However, it also presents its own set of challenges and rewards. That’s why I’ve curated this collection of articles, each designed to help you gear up with confidence, refine your winter hiking techniques, and enjoy each step of your journey safely and comfortably. You’ll learn how to layer effectively to stay warm and dry, choose the right footwear for icy conditions, and select gear that can withstand the rigors of a winter environment.

Understanding the nuances of winter hiking is key to a rewarding experience. This includes recognizing the signs of changing weather, navigating snow-covered trails, and knowing how to respond to potential hazards unique to colder months. With appropriate information, gear and skills, you’ll be equipped not only to handle these challenges but to embrace and enjoy them.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker ready to brave the colder months or a newcomer eager to experience the unique joys of winter hiking, this page is your essential resource. Here, you’ll find a wealth of information tailored to every aspect of winter hiking—from fundamental knowledge and practical tips to detailed gear guides and crucial safety advice.

Bookmark this page as your go-to reference and immerse yourself in these comprehensive guides. As you read through, you’ll gain the knowledge and confidence needed to make every winter hike better, safer, and more enjoyable than the last. Embrace the crisp air and the quiet beauty of the winter landscape—your snowy adventure awaits!

Winter Hiking Knowledge

Winter hiking presents its own set of challenges. The trails can be tougher, and the going slower, especially after a fresh snowfall. However, a blanket of snow also smooths over rough and rugged terrain, sometimes making the hike more manageable in terms of physical effort. Plus, the peace and beauty of a snow-covered landscape are unmatched, offering an experience that’s well worth the extra challenge.

12 Life-Changing Benefits of Winter Hiking

Are you willing to give up outdoor life for months on end? The hell you are. The benefits of winter hiking far outweigh the risks of staying inside for months on end.

Trail Terms: Winter Lingo

Once the cold weather sets in, you’ll start to see and hear these winter trail terms online in forums and social posts. Here’s what they all mean.

Identify Bobcat vs Coyote Prints in Snow

One of the most exciting things to discover on a winter hike is a set of bobcat or coyote tracks in the snow — but which is which?

Identify Bear Tracks in the Snow

It’s so exciting to identify bear tracks in snow. A clean bear print is an impressive thing, always a thrill to see.

Winter Hiking Tips

Wondering if you’ll stay comfortable, even if you’re not a fan of the cold? You might be surprised. With proper layering and gear selection, you can maintain a comfortable body temperature, even in frigid conditions. In fact, you may find yourself shedding layers to cool down after a vigorous hike through a winter wonderland.

27 Unbeatable Winter Hiking Tips

Hate the coldest season? With a little extra gear and prep, and these winter hiking tips, you can stay warm and dry and hike into the wilderness for an incredible adventure.

35 Best Quick Tips for a Safe Winter Hike

These 35 quick tips for winter hiking will help keep you safe in the harshest conditions

Why skim the surface when you can plunge into the heart of every trail? By joining on Patreon, you’re not just gaining access; you’re stepping into a passionate hiker’s world, complete with vivid imagery and personal insights. Get full access to all content on this website instantly and enjoy unique supporter benefits.

Winter Hikes & Safe Limits

How Cold is Too Cold to Hike?

Here are 6 things you need to think about: weather, comfort, safety, frostbite, hypothermia, and gear.

How Windy is Too Windy To Hike?

I moved my hike from a windy Friday to a less windy (but much colder) Saturday. 80% of my online followers agreed with me. Here’s why.

The DEC Winter Hiking Video

Winter hikes can be lots of fun, but they can also be dangerous if you’re not prepared. Before you head out into the snow, set yourself up for success by reviewing what gear to pack and how to prepare. Learn more about safe winter recreation on DEC’s Winter Hiking Safety webpage:

You might also enjoy…

Winter Hike Gear

Winter Hiking Gear: Survive & Thrive in the Cold

Winter hiking in the Catskills is spectacular. Make sure you have the best winter hiking gear and know how to use it.

Essential Winter Hiking Gear Checklist

Grab this essential winter hiking gear checklist and stay safer on the hills this winter.

Winter Hiking Essentials

Winter hiking essentials — crucial gear and intel to hike safely this winter.

Winter Hiking Gear: Microspikes

Microspikes have, effectively, opened up the world of winter hiking

Snowshoe Basics

The number of snowshoe options is overwhelming. Here’s a quick guide on what to look for, and where to get your first pair.

winter hiking how-to: cabin in snow on mountain summit
Hunter Mountain summit cabin

General Hiking Safety

It never hurts to review the basics. Winter means extra gear and slower pace, and amazing winter scenery! — but it’s all built on top of regular safe hiking practices and classic gear recommendations.

Basic Mountain Hiking Gear

While hiking gear can change from trail to trail, and from season to season, the following items will serve you well on every hike. They are a fleshing out of The Ten Essentials (the absolute bare minimum you should pack for every hike). This hiking gear list focuses on day-hiking.

The 3 Best Ways to Not Die on a Hike

Every month, people get into trouble in the Catskills, almost always because they are under-prepared. Here are the 3 best things you can do to stay safe on your hike, while making sure you’re prepared in the event of an emergency.

It’s a Great Idea to Turn Around When…

Have you ever turned around on a hike for any reason? Hike safely. Always listen to your gut.

Winter Hike in the Catskills

If you’re coming to my neck of the woods, here are three links that are specific to the Catskills region.

Catskills Trail Conditions

A round-up of current Catskills Trail Conditions. Reported by hikers fresh off the trails.

Platte Clove Road Winter Access

Hitting the Devil’s Path or Kaaterskill High Peak in winter? From November 15 each year, Platte Clove Road is closed to traffic on its eastern end. but the good news is you can use this alternate route to get to some of the best hikes in the Catskills.

The Winter Posts Tag

Check out the winter tag on to see all the winter-specific content. It’s a mix of how-to and super-detailed trail guides from hikes I’ve personally done in winter.


Is winter hiking safe? Absolutely—with the right preparation and gear! Navigating the trails in winter does require more planning and caution, but it’s entirely feasible and, IMO, is incredibly rewarding. The key is in understanding the unique challenges of the colder months and arming yourself with appropriate equipment and knowledge.

Why skim the surface when you can plunge into the heart of every trail? By joining on Patreon, you’re not just gaining access; you’re stepping into a passionate hiker’s world, complete with vivid imagery and personal insights. Get full access to all content on this website instantly and enjoy unique supporter benefits.

If you have any questions or if you’re seeking advice on winter hiking, don’t hesitate to reach out to me on my Instagram @TotalCatskills.

Whether you’re curious about gear, looking for trail recommendations, or need tips to stay warm and safe, I love to help.

As a passionate advocate for safe and enjoyable winter hiking, I believe the trails in winter have a unique magic that everyone should experience. So, lace up your boots, embrace the crisp air, and discover the tranquil beauty of the trails under a blanket of snow.

Happy hiking, and I look forward to seeing you on the trail!


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