forest waterfall between two rocks

Hike Van Wyck (via Bear Hole Brook), Table, Peekamoose

A stunning hike up Bear Hole Brook to the exceptionally steep Van Wyck. Two bear holes. Two plane wrecks. Two talus fields. One of the most memorable Catskills views I’ve seen. This is a very difficult route. Best tackled in a group with experienced, knowledgable hikers.

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doubletop

Accessing Doubletop & Graham: Latest Details

Latest notes from The Catskill 3500 Club who oversee the management and maintenance of the canisters on our untrailed peaks… Doubletop & Graham Caretaker Contact Information Change Due to the amount of people reaching out to the caretaker for hikes to these two mountains, he is revising the procedure for getting permission to hike on these privately-owned lands.

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scenic catskills view

Hike Giant Ledge & Panther Mountain

This classic route to Giant Ledge is a short moderate hike with a huge pay-off: a series of ledge views which are spectacular in all seasons. This is one of the most popular hiking trails in the Catskills.

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rock outcop

Thru-Hike Doubletop, Graham & Balsam Lake

This hike really has it all: stream crossings, herd paths, bear prints, a canister, a memorably steep descent, a true bushwhack, a rugged ascent, an ice grotto, some old ruins and, to top it all off, a fire tower with amazing sunset views.

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snowy trees at sunset

Hike Halcott

I didn’t think too much of Halcott when I did it last spring, but this hike changed my mind. There’s a lot to see: the woods are spectacular, the ravines are beautiful and, at sunset, the summit is a Catskill photographer’s dream.

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Balsam Cap Canister

Hike Balsam Cap in the Clouds

A direct line from Moonhaw takes you up the shortest possible route to Balsam Cap but be warned: the way is steep. This is a tough Catskill hike.

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Echo Lake and Overlook Mountain from Plattekill Mountain

Hike from Platte Clove to Plattekill to Echo Lake

This hike is mostly very easy, with about 75% on well-marked trail. However, the bushwhack to the scenic lookout on the south side of Plattekill is extremely difficult, and presents some dangers. If you just want to peak-bag Plattekill, the herd path will get you most of the way there.

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View of Balsam Cap from Friday Mountain

Hike Friday, Balsam Cap & B25 Crash Site from Moonhaw

If you want a long, rewarding untrailed hike, this is it: some of the toughest miles you can do in the Catskills. This track shows my preferred route up Friday Mountain. Take a minute to review the main Friday Mountain page which describes the two main approaches: straight up the ridge-line or via the woods roads route.

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rock ledge

Hike Kaaterskill High Peak & 2 Plane Wrecks

KHP’s summit is a Catskills classic with a spectacular view from Hurricane Ledge. This route takes in two eerie plane wrecks, and there is much to see on the long trek in and out. This a tough, muddy, rewarding hike.

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Covered brigde

Hike Doubletop from Seager

My favorite part of this hike was actually the first mile of trailed section along Dry Brook, heading southeast from the parking area. By mid-June the banks on both sides of the brook are lush. All along the stream feels wild and natural, and the crossings are a lot of fun.

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Hiker in the thick of it

Hike “The Six”: Friday, Balsam Cap, Rocky, Lone, Table, Peekamoose

I was definitely nervous to go on this hike. I knew it was long and demanding. It crosses six mountains and some of the gnarliest terrain in the Catskills… Friday Mountain is always hard, but Rocky and Lone are in another league, the two prickliest peaks you can tackle in the Park.

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summit of bearpen mountain

Hike Vly & Bearpen

Personal opinion: these are the only two boring Catskill 3500 hikes. Vly has a few small ledges to keep things interesting, barely, but I swear the trailed route up Bearpen has almost nothing to recommend it. Luckily, you can bag both of these hills together on a single, easy out-and-back.

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North Dome Marker

Hike North Dome & Mount Sherrill

This hike begins with an easy section of marked trail on the Devil’s Path but then switches to one of the most challenging Catskills bushwhacks. The ledges of North Dome will absolutely test your nerve.

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stream in snow

Hike Big Indian & Fir via Biscuit Brook

This was one of my earliest mountain hikes and by far my longest hike at the time. In the shin-deep snow, I found it extremely tiring. However, after another year in the hills, with much stronger legs, I would now class this as a moderate hike — which seems to suggest: one’s experience hiking depends on one’s hiking experience.

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Mark Eis leads the way on Rusk

Rusk: First Bushwhack

Like me, if you’ve never been on a bushwhack hike—a hike without a trail—the thought of wandering into the woods with zero guide-rails seems completely intimidating. The best thing to do, here, is to join a group hike, or hook up an experienced pal who can show you the ropes.

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