hiker with extended arms welcomes the sun from a mountain ledge

How to Prepare for Your First Sunrise Hike

What to bring, when to go, what to expect. Everything you need to know.

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Ashokan Rail Trail scenic water view

5 Best Hiking Trails Near Woodstock

Here are the best hiking trails near Woodstock, New York. All kid-friendly so the whole family can enjoy a deep nature excursion.

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blue trail blaze affixed to tree near stone steps

Red Hill Fire Tower from Denning

This new route to Red Hill Fire Tower is a little longer and tougher than the classic route, but so much sweeter.

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fire tower shot from below

Catskills Fire Tower Challenge 2022

Everything you’ll need to complete the Catskills Fire Tower Challenge safely.

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sunset over mountain peaks

Shop @TotalCatskills Prints

Many of my best photos are now for sale, framed, via an exclusive deal with KeepsakeFrames that entitles you to 15% off 5 frames!

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photo of fire tower at Hadley Mountain

Hadley Mountain Fire Tower

Delightful hike, sometimes steep, but a very rewarding payoff from Hadley Mountain Fire Tower.

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sunset view from Tremper Mountain fire tower

Tremper Mountain Fire Tower from Willow

A much quieter and more interesting route to Tremper Mountain Fire Tower

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fire tower shot from below

Bramley Mountain Fire Tower (Kaatscast)

At Bramley Mountain, in the western Catskills, the fire tower was dismantled in the 1970s, but a local family has been keeping it safe in a nearby barn…

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cabin in snow on mountain summit

Hunter Mountain Fire Tower (Best Route)

This moderate and very scenic hike can be completed in 4-5 hrs. This is the easiest route to climb Hunter Mountain.

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view of cabin and mountains from tower

Hunter Mountain (Loop)

Hike over Hunter’s massive, gorgeous and super-scenic summit to descend via the Devil’s Path for a rugged walk-out — with a short side-quest to Southwest Hunter.

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cabin in woods and small wooden outhouse

Red Hill Fire Tower Classic Trail

This short, easy hike up beautifully-maintained trail in bucolic New York leads to dramatic views of the Southern and Western Catskills.

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pre-dawn mountain ridges

Overlook Mountain Trail

You can hike up Overlook Mountain’s easy trail in about an hour. The fire tower at the end of this short trail is positioned to give one of the most dramatic views in the Catskills.

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footbridge by roadside

Classic Tremper Mountain Fire Tower Hike

This short, moderate hike to one of the most popular fire towers in the Catskills ends with an incredible 360° view of dozens of classic Catskill mountains.

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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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the cabin in woods

Balsam Lake Fire Tower

Even light snow cover turns Balsam Lake into a glittering winter wonderland. And it’s a cinch to hike. A cold fall morning is the perfect time to take in the fire tower’s incredible 360° view. Winter hikes to the tower are absolutely spectacular.

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fire tower and cabin

Hike Hunter & Southwest Hunter from Stony Clove Notch

This hike tackles two routes on Hunter’s eastern side: the rugged Devil’s Path, and the relentlessly steep Becker Hollow. Hunter itself is an immense mountain, but the 360° view from its fire tower will charge your batteries for weeks.

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Hello, I’m Sean

I write independent hiking content to help hikers like you find amazing hikes in the Catskills, Adirondacks, Gunks, Hudson Highlands, Taconics and beyond.

On social media, I’m @TotalCatskills. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

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