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The easiest and most beautiful route to Lone and Rocky — but this is still one of the hardest hikes in The Catskills
Hiking Trail Description
This hike combines one of the easiest and most beautiful trails in The Catskills with its most challenging bushwhack.
The blazed trail from Denning to Table and Peekamoose is a cinch to follow.
Over the last two years, the herd path from Table to Lone has become very worn in and easy to follow. On that stretch, this time, I didn’t have to consult my compass or phone even once.
The hike between Lone and Rocky remains a mix of herd path and long stretches of true bushwhack. The woods here can be unforgivingly dense. As always, the north side of the col is your best bet to avoid the thickest forest. There are sections of Rocky where, if you get off track, you’ll end up wrestling with Christmas trees for way longer than feels fun.
I had packed a pair of safety goggles for this hike but, as it worked out, I didn’t need to use them — unlike when I hiked Rocky from the Fisherman’s Path.
Here’s a super short video showing some of what you can expect on this hike.
Denning Trailhead & Parking
Driving through Denning is always a treat. The last 2-3 miles to this popular lot is so beautiful. It’s such a lovely part of The Catskills — and always just a little odd with its mix of low yurts and the big Asian-themed house.
Full lot details at the bottom of this post.
Table & Peekamoose Hiking Trail
Hike in to the first junction following the yellow blazes of the Phoenicia East Branch Trail. At the first junction, notice the new trail signposts then turn right, and head downhill — now following the blue blazes of the Peekamoose Table Trail — toward the Neversink. In short order, you’ll come to two fantastic footbridges. This is the first…
The climb to Table Mountain, is a little lumpy in spots but is mostly a very moderate hike.
Pass over some modest ledges.
Shortly after the trail turns sharply east/left, keep an eye out for an amazing rock formation. I’ve photographed it before but, without a human model, you can’t effectively get a sense of the enormous scale.
My friend Zoeann was a good sport and posed so you can see how incredible this place is.
At the back of the formation is a giant Monty Python foot that looks like it might easily squish a person…
Head back to the main trail.
Pass over a small knob, after which you’ll lose some elevation, and then begin your final climb to Table’s summit.
On the way up, the Boulton Memorial lean-to is worth visiting, surrounded as it is by some intensely creepy birches.
Further along, there is also a modest view of Slide Mountain in the distance; look through openings in the treeline to your left.
Eventually, the trail flattens out in the pine forest and, after a little while, you arrive at the summit, currently marked with a small cairn — though it’s a pretty obvious spot, anyway.
From here, the hike to Peekamoose is lovely.
First, follow the trail along Table’s long flat ridge. Then, just before the descent, keep an eye on your left for an entrance to a fairly obvious herd path. You’ll return to this spot later to begin your bushwhack to Lone Mountain.
The col between Table and Peekamoose is one of my favorite in The Catskills; it’s wonderful in snow or in summer.
The hike to Peekamoose doesn’t take long.
If the summit erratic is dry, it’s fun to climb — when wet, it’s steep enough to be slippy and dangerous.
To the left of the erratic, we briefly explored a herd path that led into the woods but didn’t find anything significant. Maybe it eventually leads somewhere interesting…?
Back on the main trail, just beyond the erratic, on the left side of the trail, look for a short spur trail down to a very nice lookout ledge. The view is tremendous.
Ashokan High Point is prominent, as it will be from several other vantage points on this hike.
We had our first snack here. It’s a fantastic spot to rest and refuel.
From here, most hikers turn around and return to Table, then to Denning.
Bushwhack from Table to Lone to Rocky
Return to Table Mountain. If you want to do the bushwhack section of this hike, keep an eye for that herd path, now on your right.
As the path heads into the forest it’s mostly quite discernible and easy to follow. After just a few hundred feet, the route dips downhill and heads north, toward Lone.
As you head down, there are some views of Lone and Balsam Cap in the distance.
You can see how defined the herd path has become in the photo below…
In terms of difficulty, the hike up Van Wyck and over to Table is similarly challenging.
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The parent mountain for this hike is Table.
If you do this hike, LMK how it went…
Trailhead Info for this Hike
Medium sized lot that fills up quickly on busy weekend mornings
Google Maps Location: 41.964913, -74.452535
The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead
No service in Denning but good service from all four summits. My network is Verizon. YMMV.