Help: COVID-19 has changed the hiking world. Please hike only with people you live with, and carry a mask for moments when you can’t socially distance.
If you have feedback on this page, please comment below or feel free to contact me directly.

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 Hike

Route Type: Out-and-Back

Includes: Blazed Trail, True Bushwhack, Stream Crossing

Parent Mount Pleasant

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

glacial erratic covered in moss

Shark-shaped glacial erratic on Romer Mtn

 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 10 mile section that was recently built 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 lot 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.

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.

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

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.

Toward Mt 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 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 to Ashokan High Point, which is 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 another 1000’ or so up the trail to gain some elevation before beginning the bushwhack at the first section that looked passable.

rock outcropping
My jumping-off point

There were two ledge systems to climb. The woods are really thick up there, so it took a bit of effort for 10-15 minutes to get to the summit, which is marked with a boulder and a cairn. Nothing fancy, no views.

boulder in woods
Summit boulder
Cairn on boulder
Summit cairn

I enjoy out-and-backs about as much as thru-hikes. I love seeing cool things for a second time, from the reverse angle, and after a few hours when the light has changed.

One Last View

Who wouldn’t want to look at this one more time?

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

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.)

Trailhead Info for this Hike

Description: Small lot, fits 5-6 cars.

GPS Location: 42.078212, -74.318984

Location: 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.

Leave a Reply — Comments Now Working! 🤦🏻‍♂️

Irregular-but-Awesome NewsletterZero spam. An inspiring mix of Catskills hiking trails and hiking news. It’s FREE and it’s awesome.

Sign up and get great hiking content!