Hike Romer Mountain & Mount Pleasant

The hike to Romer’s summit is locally popular for good reason: the trail is beautiful. The hike to Mt Pleasant is less travelled but absolutely worth it: it ends with one of the most spectacular vistas in the Catskills.

Hike Length: 10.4 miles (16.74 km)

Total Ascent: 2,144ft (653m)

Intensity: Moderate Catskills Hike

Route Type: Out-and-Back

Includes: Blazed Trail, True Bushwhack, Stream Crossing

Parent Mount Pleasant

Similar Entries In: Catskills, The Moderate Hikes, , , , , , , , .

glacial erratic covered in moss

Shark-shaped glacial erratic on Romer Mtn

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 A straightforward trailed out-and-back, with a short bushwhack to the summit of Mt Pleasant.

Hiking Trail Description

This trail is so beautiful. This hike track covers half of a recently-built 10 mile section that was constructed over three years following the latest trail-building standards. It is the best-designed and built new trail in the Catskills, and contains some of the best views in the Park.

My original plan was to hike from Woodland Valley down to Phoenicia, but that requires a car shuttle — and COVID has stopped car-sharing cold. So I did the first half as an out-and-back, from Phoenicia. I’ll do the other half soon.

Getting There

The hike from this end is not super well-know but is beloved by locals, for good reason: the hike up to Romer is only 3 miles and the trail is exceptionally lovely.

The parking area is small, with space for 5 or 6 cars, and maybe 2 more parked carefully to the side. You have to drive through Phoenicia briefly to get to it.

Romer Mountain Hiking Trail

The trail passes directly into the woods and zig zags uphill through a series of switchbacks, crossing drainages and small streams. The first mile-and-a-half is moderately steep.

First you’ll pass this section, just below a spring

trail in woods
Beautiful trail

Then a ridiculously picturesque series of steps

cut steps uphill in woods
Stepped section

This boulder is as big as a small bus…

glacial erratic in woods
Glacial erratic
glacial erratic in woods
Woods view

The First Marker

After 1.5 miles, you’ll come to this massive long rock, one of many dramatic rock outcroppings and erratics on the trail. Good spot for a snack.

Enormous long flat boulder in woods
First marker

Not long after the first marker, you’ll pass this insane-looking glacial erratic

glacial erratic covered in moss
Shark-shaped glacial erratic on Romer Mtn

From here, keep an eye to the right side of the trail. When the leaves are off the trees, you’ll get your first glimpse of Wittenberg which seems to constantly move farther away, the closer you get to it.

Rock Channel

At 1950’ you’ll come to this fun rock channel

rocky channel in woods
Rock channel

At around 2000’ just below the summit of Romer, you’ll pass through this weird arrangement of large boulders.

Boulders in woods
Rock assembly

Climb a few steps and soon the summit comes into view.

Boulders on summit
Summit of Romer

Romer Mountain Summit

I poked around for a bit and this does seem to be the highest point, though it’s not the spot marked on GPS maps.

summit boulder
Summit boulder (turn right here, passing under the blowdown)

Most people end their hike here and return to the parking area, for a total of six miles. But there is so much goodness beyond…

The trail continues to the right. Pass under this blowdown trunk and between the boulders.

Hike to Mount Pleasant

The first scenic view on the way down Romer is partially screened by trees. But you can clearly see the Eastern Devil’s Path and Ticetonyk Mountain.

The trail winds up the northern side of Mt Pleasant, through open deciduous woods. I saw my first porcupine here, and was impressed by its comically unhurried waddle.

The terrain here is a little higher than Romer. There’s a sweet hemlock stand to pass through, and lots of chartreuse-colored moss carpeting.

moss on trail
Mossy trail

The next scenic view marked on NYNJTC maps is the first real view of Wittenberg. Merely an appetizer of what’s to come.

The third scenic view is again looking east to the Eastern Devil’s Path…

Devil’s Path Mountains
Twin & Indian Head

Grand Vista: The Wittenberg

Not long after — a little less than 2 miles from the summit of Romer — you come to a rocky outcropping that GaiaGPS calls “Den with a View”. A bald, open, rocky ledge faces southwest up through Cross Mountain hollow to the unbelievably dramatic-looking vista.

Wittenberg’s shark-fin is flanked on the right by Slide Mountain and, on the left, Friday Mountain & Balsam Cap. This view is crazy ridiculous and was beyond anything I‘d hoped to see. I can‘t wait to get back out here in the fall and in winter.

scenic view of Wittenberg Mountain
Wittenberg in spring, seen from Mt Pleasant

The view also extends well south, past Samuels Point, to Ashokan High Point about 8 miles away.

scenic view
Ashokan High Point (in the distance) seen from Mount Pleasant. On the right, that’s Samuels Point.

I dropped down to explore the “den“ a little. I didn’t find any much evidence of coyotes or bears but, honestly, I spent most of my time just soaking in that incredible view.

Bushwhack to Summit of Mt Pleasant

From the ledge, I hiked 1000 feet further southeast along the trail to gain some elevation before beginning the bushwhack. At the first section that looked passable, I headed off-trail and uphill…

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hiking trail

Similar Hikes

This is definitely a beautiful hike, the trail is just exceptional all the way. If you’re prepared to work for an amazing scenic view, and don’t mind a long hike, this is the hike for you. (And if not, here are some short hikes you can do.)

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The parent mountain for this hike is Mount Pleasant.

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Trailhead Info for this Hike

Small lot, fits 5-6 cars.

Google Maps Location: 42.078212, -74.318984

The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead

Cell Service

Surprisingly bad all along the main route, until the epic lookout at the far end where there was a strong LTE signal. My network is Verizon. YMMV.