red snowshoes stacked on wooden floor

Snowshoe Basics

The number of snowshoe options is overwhelming. Here’s a quick guide on what to look for, and where to get your first pair.

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How Cold is Too Cold to Hike?

January 2021 had some spectacularly cold weather in the Catskills, with wind chills dipping close to -40°F / -40°C at summits. But how cold is too cold? Here are 6 things you need to think about: weather, comfort, safety, frostbite, hypothermia, and gear.

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winter day hike checklist, catskills PDF

Winter Day-Hike Essentials Checklist

Download this helpful PDF with explanatory notes and a handy winter day-hike essentials checklist.

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mountains at sunset

Platte Clove Road Access in Winter

In winter, Platte Clove Road is closed at its eastern side. Here’s the alternate route to the Eastern Devil’s Path mountains and Kaaterskill High Peak.

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upturned trail crampons showing spikes

Microspikes & Trail Crampons – Winter Traction

This short post discusses the basic differences between cleats, microspikes, trail crampons, crampons, and snowshoes — and describes the safety benefits of each.

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discarded orange peel sitting on snowy ground

PSA: How Long Does Trash Last on the Trail?

Many people don’t know how long it takes natural items to decompose, assuming that whatever biological matter they discard will break down quickly. But many of our most common scraps take an astonishing amount of time to fully disintegrate…

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catskill mountains in distance

How Windy is Too Windy To Hike?

I moved my hike from a windy Friday to a less windy (but much colder) Saturday. 80% of my online followers agreed with me. Here’s why.

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google doc screenshot of spreadsheet

Catskill 3500 Trail Conditions Google Spreadsheet

For current trail conditions, this shared Google spreadsheet is a great resource to check before (and after) your next Catskill 3500 hike.

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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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scenice view of Blackhead Mountain

Hike Blackhead & Black Dome via Batavia Kill

This route crosses some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the Catskill Mountains. I think this is the best route for hiking Blackhead.

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tremper in shadow

Catskill 3500 High Peaks List (Ultimate Peakbagging Guide)

The most efficient way to climb 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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scenic view mountain summits

Van Wyck (via Bear Hole Brook) plus Table and 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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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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cave

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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american flag on mountain summit at sunset

Hike Brace & Frissell from Quarry Hill

A stunningly scenic hike with fantastic views of the wide valley below and distant mountain ranges. Brace’s summit is especially magical at sunset.

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Winter Essentials Cheat Sheet

This checklist is the perfect quick reference for your next winter hike