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A long out-and-back.
Hiking Trail Description
This classic Kaaterskill High Peak hike starts in Platte Clove, crosses the summit, and descends to Hurricane Ledge for one of the great Catskills views.
Kaaterskill High Peak, once thought to be the loftiest summit in the Catskills, is shrouded in a tapestry of history, tall tales and tragedy. This storied mountain, rising to an elevation of 3,652 feet, was for many years believed to be the highest point in the Catskills — a title eventually ceded to Slide Mountain. Despite this, the peak retains its legendary status.
In the 19th century, Kaaterskill High Peak stood as a symbol of the sublime beauty of the Catskill wilderness, inspiring an entire school of landscape painting known as the Hudson River School. Artists like Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church were enamored by its rugged contours and the ethereal quality of light that draped its forests and valleys. This mountain was a muse.
Yet, Kaaterskill High Peak harbors darker narratives too — at least twice it has been the unwilling cradle for aviation tragedies. The first incident, in 1983, involved a small private plane that, enshrouded in fog, met its fate just below the mountain’s summit. The second, occurring in 1987, saw another aircraft succumb to the mountain’s slopes.
These twin wrecks, now part of the mountain’s lore, offer a clear reminder for hikers who come upon them of any mountain’s power and the respect they command.
The Kaaterskill High Peak hike, with its breathtaking vistas, is a serious but rewarding day hiking challenge.
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Kaaterskill High Peak Hike
The Kaaterskill High Peak hike from Platte Clove includes…
- A long road walk up Steenburgen Road
- Access to Huckleberry Point (optional)
- The most direct trailed route to the northern slope
- Usually a lot of mud
- Access to the summit plane wreck
- Amazing views from Hurricane Ledge
Allow 5-6 hours for this hike. A full breakdown is provided in the trail notes below, with 17 jaw-dropping photos.
Kaaterskill High Peak Hike Notes & Gallery
Being at the ample parking area just off of Platte Clove Road. Good backcountry navigational skills are required for this hike, as there are many intersecting trails and old roads in the area. Trail blazing is inconsistent and junctions are a mix of unofficially-marked and officially-marked.
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KHP is a significant day hike. I say it feels like 90% trail and 10% mountain.
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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
Large, popular lot in Platte Clove also serves hikes to Huckleberry Point.
Google Maps Location: 42.133649, -74.082228
The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead
Sketchy for most of this hike. Signal up high. My network is Verizon. YMMV.