The Taconics

The Taconic Mountains are a range of the Appalachian Mountains, running vertically for 150 miles or so along the eastern border of New York State and adjacent New England including parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

The Taconics were formed around 440 million years ago from the collision of the North American Plate into a volcanic island arc, similar to modern-day Taiwan. The sedimentary and igneous rock between the land masses were intensely folded and faulted, and were subjected to intense metamorphism. The Taconics are considerably older than The Catskills.

The word “Taconic“ is said to come from an Algonquian word meaning “tree” or “in the trees“ or “forest”.

Hiking the Taconics

The Taconics contain several hundred miles of blazed hiking trails, including parts of the Appalachian Trail. Many of the southern Taconic summits and ridges offer sweeping views of the Catskills, the Hudson Highlands, and north as far as Mount Greylock, the tallest mountain in Massachusetts. A spot on the trail between Brace Mountain and Mount Frissell is — at 2,380 feet — the highest point in Connecticut.

Deer, bear, raccoons, and snakes are common. In season, deer and bear hunting (rifle/shotgun/bow), turkey hunting (bow/shotgun), rabbit/hare hunting, squirrel, fox and ruffed grouse hunting are permitted.

Taconic summits tend to be windswept and grassy, and are often tufted with blueberry bushes. Dense stands of mountain laurel dominate many of the hills, along with scrub oak and birch. Alander, in addition, has many glorious pitch pines.

Especially at sunset, the entire range is spectacularly beautiful.

Note: Unlike the trail blazes in the Catskills, Taconic blazes are non-reflective. If you don’t have a headlamp and batteries in your pack, make sure you’re off these hills before dark. Also, keep an eye out for rattlesnakes.

Difficult Taconics (1)


South Brace 2300’

 Northern Catskills

 Fully Trailed

 Scenic

A tricky climb leads to a strange and surreal landscape.

No. of Entries: 1


Moderate Taconics (3)


Mount Frissell 2454’

 Southern Taconics

 Fully Trailed

 Scenic

Covered in dense stands of mountain-laurel, this quiet mountain boasts wonderful scenic views, the junction of three New England states, and the highest point in Connecticut.

No. of Entries: 1


Brace 2311’

 Northern Catskills

 Fully Trailed

 Scenic

A large grassy summit that’s perfect for picnics also offers a panoramic view of the Catskills, and lines of sight north as far as Mount Greylock, 44 miles away.

No. of Entries: 1


Alander 2239’

 Southern Taconics

 Fully Trailed

 Scenic

A tranquil, beautiful, scenic mountain with highly-varied terrain and geology.

No. of Entries: 1


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!