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Moderate out-and-back, requires permission to park on and use private grounds.
Hiking Trail Description
This moderate hike to Manitou Ledge from the Winter Clove Inn offers one of the grandest Hudson Valley views in The Catskills.
This hike can be done on its own, but is best done in combination with the wonderful hike to Rip’s Rock, the location of Rip Van Winkle’s 20 year slumber in The Catskills. (When done on its own, this out-and-back route is actually a little longer than the loop that includes Rip’s Rock!)
The word “Manitou” comes from an Algonquin word meaning “spirit”. The Catskills Escarpment, rising abruptly from the broad, flat Hudson Valley floor, is often referred to as “The Great Wall of Manitou”.
Manitou Ledge from Winter Clove Inn is definitely one of the best Catskills hikes.
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Manitou Ledge Hiking Trail
PLEASE NOTE: This hike begins and ends on private property, at the very lovely Winter Clove Inn in Round Top, New York. 95% of this route is on public lands owned by New York State but, before you begin your hike, please stop by the reception area of the Winter Clove Inn to ask permission to use their trails. The staff are very friendly and the owners are keen for respectful hikers to enjoy the trails which surround the Inn. Please make sure to carry out everything you carry in, and leave no trace.
The Manitou Ledge hiking trail includes…
- A start on private property that requires permission
- A lean-to
- Modest stream crossings
- Beautiful trails
- An imposing quarry
- One of the best views in Catskills
Allow 2½-3 hours for this hike.
Manitou Ledge Hiking Trail Notes & Gallery
Positioned at the foot of North Mountain, the Winter Clove Inn might be the loveliest trailhead in the Catskills. Park away from the main building, past the smaller buildings on the far side.
If you’re looking at the front of the Winter Clove, this trail begins to its left, and behind where this photo was taken. So, to begin, walk away from the building and look for the dirt road and trail signage on your right.
You will be following red painted blazes most of the way. (You can ignore the older blue painted blazes.)
Deeper into the woods, you’ll find junctions which are generally well sign-posted…
But there are also many more junctions and trails in the area than either AllTrails or GaiaGPS show — so a digital navigation aid is very useful here, and will help you stay on the correct trails for this route.
Quarry & Junction
You’ll pass a wonderful quarry on the way. 20-25 minutes after the quarry, you’ll come to a junction from which you can leave the main route and head down to Manitou Ledge.
This is a wonderful spot to picnic and to just sit and take it all in.
The ledge is very large, with lots of space to spread out, and a fire pit…
From here, you can return the same way to your car — or visit Rip’s Rock, which is just 10-15 minutes away, for an equally stunning view into Rip Van Winkle Hollow.
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The parent mountain for this hike is North Mountain.
If you do this hike, LMK how it went…
Trailhead Info for this Hike
This hike begins on private property. Pop into the reception area to ask for permission. (Staff are super friendly.)
Google Maps Location: 42.241474, -74.032292
The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead
Because this route hugs the Catskill Escarpment, I had cell service for the whole of this hike. My network is Verizon. YMMV.