view of mountains with cloud inversion

Hike Cross Mountain from Woodland Valley

This moderate hike along quiet trail packs a punch: stunning forest, dramatic rock formations, and a spectacular panoramic scenic lookout.

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mountain range in distance at sunset

The Ultimate Guide to Peakbagging the Catskills 

The most efficient way to bag all 35 Classic Catskills High Peaks is to do as many of them in groups as possible. These lists of pairs and triplets combine the Catskills in their most common groupings. Minimize your travel. Maximize your peak-bagging!

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labelled view of catskills from Twin Mountain

Hike Twin from Roaring Kill

This is one of the most entertaining hiking trails in the Catskill Park, leading up to one of its grandest panoramic views — but it also contains what is maybe the Park’s most challenging, technical and potentially dangerous trail sections. The Devil’s Path is famous for being one of the most difficult hiking trails in the US.

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boulder and trail sign

Hike Panther from Fox Hollow

This route, through the barely-travelled Fox Hollow — a quiet and wild place — offers ever-changing terrain and lots of wildlife. If you crave solitude and scenic views, this is the hike for you.

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New Catskills Hiking Trail: Ticetonyk Mountain

This brand new trail is un-blazed but it’s based on old roads and logging trails so it’s easy to follow. Although it’s short, it’s steep, and there are three unmarked turns along the way. I’ve included key photos in the post, and all major waypoints are included in the GPS track, which you can download.

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rock ledge and tree

Alander from Bash Bish

This is a great hike if you crave solitude among mountain laurel and pitch pines, as well as interesting geology — but also enjoy solid scenic views! The parking area is the same lot used by visitors to Bash Bish Falls (which are currently closed to the public due to COVID-19).

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catskill mountain view from overlook

Hike Balsam From Rider Hollow

A truly delightful Catskills hike. Climb Balsam Mountain by hiking up Mine Hollow and down Rider Hollow. One of the most picturesque hikes in the Catskills.

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sunset view

Hike Windham High Peak from Peck Road

This is the hike I recommend to anyone who’s never hiked in the Catskills before, or is wondering if they’d even be able to handle a mountain hike. (Yes, you can.) It’s a short and easy hike — but it’s also very beautiful and so rewarding.

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trees, snow, boulders, moss

Hike Arizona Mountain from Stork’s Nest Rd

A quiet, steep and difficult hiking trail that grows more rewarding with every step you climb. It includes one of the truly great views in the Catskills.

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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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knoll and mountain from indian head

Hike Indian Head

Indian Head is the smallest mountain on the infamous Devil’s Path trail. But it’s also the most delightful. The other five peaks are wonderful too, of course, each in their own way — the scale! the drama! the views! — but hiking Indian Head is a very special, intimate, and rewarding experience.

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the cabin in woods

Hike Balsam Lake Mountain

This route combines the easiest ascent to any summit in the Catskill Park with a much more interesting (and far less trafficked) descent down the south side of the mountain. I also tried to find the scenic view, and visited a lean-to. It’s quite easy to drive past the parking area for Balsam Lake because it’s directly after a curve on Millbrook Rd.

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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 from Plateau’s eastern side

Hike Plateau from Mink Hollow

The parking area at the north end of the Mink Hollow trail is marked on the NYNJTC maps in gray, which signifies “roadside parking”. In fact, it’s a dead end/cul-de-sac that look like it functions as a snow plow turnaround. There’s ample space for cars but be thoughtful about your parking during snow months.

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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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