Iced-up Kaaterskill Fals

Kaaterskill Falls via Kaaterskill Rail Trail – Upper Route

This is a short, super-easy hike to one of the most popular Catskills destinations. It includes views not seen by those who park closer to the falls, and is the perfect trail in winter for some easy snow-shoeing or cross country skiing.

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sunset over devil’s path mountain summits

Huckleberry Point Trail

Huckleberry Point is one of the most beloved Catskills destinations. For a mountain hike, this hiking trail is short and relatively easy. With very little effort, in 75 minutes or so, you’ll get out to one of the most dramatic vistas in these hills. This is an extremely popular and memorable hike.

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orange and gray tent in campsite in woods

Backcountry Camping in the Catskills: A Beginner’s Guide

If you want to camp out in the Catskills backcountry, it’s probably because you want to experience the wilderness on your own terms. This comprehensive list of resources, regulations and gear will help get you ready for your first Catskills campout.

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balsam lake fire tower

5½ Catskills Fire Tower Hikes You Can Absolutely Do

Everything you need to know about the five classic Catskills towers — plus the newest (sixth) addition. Includes links to the gear and maps you’ll need to hike safely.

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boulders and trees on summit

Hike Windham High Peak from Cross Road

This might be my new favorite way to hike WHP. The easy first mile and the hemlock-rich woods at the start of this route make it such a pleasant way to begin and end this beautiful day hike.

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cabin in woods and small wooden outhouse

Red Hill Fire Tower Classic Hiking 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

One of the most popular hikes in the Catskills can be completed in 2-3 hours. Overlook’s fire tower is 60 ft tall and is placed for one of the best views in the Catskills. An excellent view from a large ledge near the summit trail caps an insanely scenic hike.

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footbridge by roadside

Mount Tremper Fire Tower Hiking Trail

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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hemlock and white pine trees, sunset

Israel Wittman Sanctuary

This beautiful, serene and contemplative nature walk has so much to recommend it: lovely quiet woods of mixed evergreen and deciduous trees, easy stream crossings over delightful footbridges, dozens of stone fences built by settlers, small quarries and exposed rock faces, as well as fine field of glacial erratics.

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forest cliff face

Sloan Gorge Preserve

You don’t have to climb a mountain to experience the Catskills. The lowlands have so much to offer. Sloan Gorge Preserve is a great example: an absolutely delightful, short, and family-friendly nature walk.

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fishing dock, pond, mountains, trees, catskills

Kenneth L. Wilson State Campground Nature Trail

This kid-friendly nature trail winds through mature hemlock, spruce, and red/white pine woods between Ticetonyk Mountain and Mt Tobias. There are views of Wittenberg and Cornell, and the campground amenities are top notch.

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wooden cabin, two stories

Slabsides / John Burroughs Nature Sanctuary

Slabsides is the rustic two-story cabin hand-built by famous naturalist John Burroughs at the end of the 1800’s. It is preserved just as he left it, including its personal contents. A series of interconnected trails wind through woods, a swamp, past dramatic rock outcroppings and waterfalls, and alongside peaceful lakes. The terrain is rugged but the trails are appropriate for well-managed children.

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sunset view

Hike Windham High Peak from Peck Road

One of the easiest Catskill high peaks to hike is also one of the most rewarding — with an enchanted spruce forest, great views of the Blackhead range, and three awesome summit lookouts.

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lake view

Onteora Lake

Half way between Kingston and Woodstock the three loops at Onteora Lake are perfect for casual hikers, trail runners, and snow-shoers. Three loops of increasing ruggedness intersect to let you choose your own adventure ranging from 2.4 miles to 7 miles.

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Scenic Catskills View

Ashokan Quarry Trail

The Ashokan Quarry Trail is a new, short, but highly entertaining hike most people will be able to do in under an hour. It’s so varied in terms of terrain, flora, views and ruins, it’s a hit with younger hikers, too.

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creek

Hike Rochester Hollow

An easy hike through beautiful woods leads to a series of magnificent stone fences, ruins, and a memorial to John Burroughs. This is an underutilized and under-appreciated trail. Especially suited to skiers, trail-runners and animal track lovers.

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