How to Hike the Catskills

How to Hike the Catskills
The Catskill Mountains, located northwest of New York City in Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster counties, offer hikers countless trails to use. Hikers of all skill levels can find a suitable trail in the Catskills. Most of these trails are plainly marked and offer wonderful looks at the countryside.


Difficulty: Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Hiking equipment trail maps
  • Hiking equipment
  • trail maps
Step 1
Go to the Kaaterskill Falls and hike the easy trail off Route 23A near Palenville. Kaaterskill Falls is the tallest in all of New York at 260 feet, with two separate tiers of falling water. Use the trail that is only 0.8 mile round-trip, but be careful of the slippery rocks. The trail takes hikers to the base of the falls and then to the top if they so desire.
Step 2
Use the Ashokan High Point Trail for excellent views of the Ashokan Reservoir and Hudson Highlands. Realize that this is not a well-defined trail but the 7.2-mile hike provides wonderful opportunities to see the scenery.
Step 3
Hike the moderately difficult Curtis-Ormsbee trail up the 4,180-foot Slide Mountain. This tallest mountain in the Catskills is home to unparalleled views of as many as 70 other mountains in the range. Be aware that the change in elevation measures some 1,800 feet and that the trail is 7 miles long. The yellow Phoenicia-East Branch trail turns into the red Wittenberg-Cornell trail before finally leading to the blue Curtis Ormsby trail. A fee is charged for parking below the mountain.
Step 4
Hike the five-mile long Overlook Mountain Trail for outstanding vistas of the surrounding countryside. This hike goes up some 1,300 feet and rewards the hiker with great panoramas of the Indian Head Wilderness, Hudson Highlands and the Black Mountains.
Step 5
Trek the rugged Devil's Path if you are in shape for a 24-mile one-way hike. This trail is inappropriate for the inexperienced hiker and scales mountains such as Indian Head, Plattekill, Sugarloaf, Twin and Plateau. The trail is steep in many spots and traverses densely forested areas. Arrange a ride from the end of the trail on Spruceton Road.

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