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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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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chimney

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, Onteora Lake is perfect for casual hikers, trail runners, and snowshoers. Three loops of increasing ruggedness allow you to choose your own adventure.

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Scenic Catskills View

Ashokan Quarry Trail

A short, super-easy hike almost anyone can do with fantastic terrain and scenic views — and a superb set of ruins to explore.

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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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Spruce & Sunshine

Kelly Hollow Loop

Short, easy and thoroughly absorbing, Kelly Hollow Loop is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the Catskills. It came highly-recommended and it absolutely delivered.

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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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Ashokan Rail Trail, Fall 2019

Ashokan Rail Trail Now Open

The newly-opened Ashokan Rail Trail on the north side of the Ashokan Reservoir is ridiculously wonderful. Ulster County and the DEP have absolutely aced this project. If you’re a walker, runner or cyclist, this is nine miles of absolute heaven. And unlike other promenades around the reservoir, dogs are allowed.

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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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Hi, I’m Sean

🏔 I help hikers find amazing hikes — at all skill levels
🏔 Catskills, Adirondacks, Hudson Highlands — Gunks coming soon!
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Grab this before your next hike…

Winter Gear Checklist

The perfect quick reference to keep you safe on your next cold weather hike