Hiking trails in the Catskills Mountains of New York

Grab your hiking boots and let yourself go!

Hiking is perhaps the most popular activity in Catskills.

The origin of many hiking trails in the state of New York has its roots in the paths made by Native Americans to various seasonal hunting grounds. Later, loggers with ponies pulled hemlocks from the Catskill forests to make a tanning solution and the blue stone quarries dragged huge slabs of this dense gray-blue rock to pave New York City. The intrepid artists of the Hudson River School used these trails to find beautiful panoramas to draw and then paint in their studios. Naturalists like John Burroughs recorded the unique flora and fauna variety of the Catskill High Peaks, while Ralph Waldo Emerson was inspired to write his innovative essay Nature, from Catskills himself.

Fortunately for today's Catskill hiker, there is a wide variety of hiking trails that range from the easiest, such as paved and flat, such as the path along the Ashokan reservoir. to the extremely difficult three-mountain circuit of Devil & # 39; s Path or the ascent to Slide Mountain. Whatever level of walk you want, we have chosen the best of the Catskills walk that offers beautiful views; The reward for what can be a more vigorous exercise!

How to plan a Catskill mountain hike

There are some sensible precautions that should be considered before embarking on a hike, whether in New York or anywhere else. While the Catskills can be easily traveled and are close to New York City, it is certain that knowing their terrain will make the day more enjoyable. Not sure about hiking in the mountains on your own? Add a little luxury and comfort to your New York getaway; Look for local resorts like the Emerson that offer guided hiking and lodging packages.

What you will need to walk through the Catskill mountains:

1) Water: Bring plenty, since natural sources can become contaminated with giardia, unless it is marked as a natural spring.

two) Crazy: Catskills hiking trails are cool and wet, so expect mosquitoes. And although Lymes disease carrying ticks generally prefer warm and dry conditions, it is a good practice to put pants in socks and use a strong insect repellent.

3) Gear: Wear good walking shoes with sturdy socks to avoid blisters. Dress lightly but wear a sweatshirt and a rain poncho in your backpack, as the weather may suddenly change. A cane can be an excellent stabilizer if the terrain becomes difficult.

4) Animals: The Catskills are full of wildlife and none is dangerous as long as you respect their space. Bears are just a nuisance if you are camping with a lot of unprotected food. Bears tend to be shy but if they meet; Make a soft noise and they should run away. Another concern may be snakes, but if you don't bother them, they won't bother you. If you see a rattle, admire it from a distance. Snakes are most often found on the sunny side of the cliffs between large rocks and rocks.

5) Plan: Be sure to let someone know before you go to nature. Take a map and don't expect to depend on the GPS of your cell phone.

6) Respect: Finally, take out what you bring. Paper and plastic have no place in nature.

Where to go on an excursion: choose the perfect escape to New York in nature

Very easy trails: Ashokan reservoir and Lake Colgate
These hiking trails are good for families, from grandparents to children who need a level walking surface without jumps or climbs.

Ashokan Reservoir:
The two long walkways of the Ashokan reservoir, one as a royal promenade and the other as a closed road that the public now uses, offer a panorama of the Catskill Mountains and the virgin Ashokan reservoir that serves as drinking water for the city of New York

Ideal for bicycles, walkers and wheelchairs, the two trails are beautiful stretches of paved trails that curve for 3 miles along the Ashokan reservoir. To get to this wide mountain view, travel to Winchell & # 39; s Corners on Route 28, turn on Reservoir Road. At the crossroads of "BWS road", turn left and at 28A, turn left. Travel ¼ mile and turn left and at the end of the road there is an indirect parking area for both roads.

Colgate Lake:
A hidden magical jewel of Route 23A near Tannersville, this virgin artificial lake is open for swimming, although there are no lifeguards or ropes in the areas, so visitors must take proper precautions. There is a small path that circumnavigates the entire lake surrounded by mountains. Caution should be exercised around Lake Colgate as there may be poison ivy.

Trails simple New York trails: Kaaterskill Falls, North-South Lake and Diamond Notch Falls

Kaaterskill Falls:
The two staggered falls of 175 and 85 feet are the highest waterfalls in the state of New York. The lower Kaaterskill Falls are reached by a path that begins on Route 23A. Driving east from Tannersville and Haines Falls, park in the area on the right before the road descends the mountain. Then, walk carefully along the path until you reach a sharp bend and the falls are on your left. To get to Kaaterskill Falls from the top, head east on 23A and turn left onto Country Rd 18 on Twilight Deli and then, approximately one mile later, turn right onto Laurel House Road. Park at the end of the road and follow the 1/5 mile path to a worn bench supported by wooden beams.

This is the top of Kaaterskill Falls and extreme caution must be taken to descend to the huge rocks to observe the valley below. We do not recommend a descent as the ground is slippery and there are many injuries, but there is a small short path that runs to the right. Walking carefully, you can get a beautiful side view of the falls and the natural amphitheater that you have carved over the centuries.

North-South Lake Escarpment Trail:
The short walk to the site of the Catskill Mountain House offers the reward of incredible views of the Hudson Valley and the Berkshires beyond. Longer and strenuous walks can take you to places like Artist & # 39; s Rock, Sunset Rock, Newman & # 39; s Ledge, Boulder Rock and the Kaaterskill Hotel and Laurel House sites. Follow the well marked trails and maps to take you where you want to go. Swimming is allowed in the North-South Lake, but only when a lifeguard is present.

Diamond Notch Falls:
This hike has an incredible variety of native and native plants and flowers that grow along the way. Keep in mind that any excavation or collection of vegetation is strictly prohibited. The hike is steep in some places, but it is not difficult to navigate. The waterfalls add a special interest and there is a wooden bridge over the falls that offers a different view of the waterfall. Follow Route 214 to Lanesville, turn left onto Diamond Notch Road and park at the end. The trail starts at the right end of the lot.

Moderate hiking trails in New York: Hunter Mountain, Overlook Mountain and Giant Ledge-Panther Mt. Path

Hunter's Mountain:
For a unique experience, take the Sky Ride from the Hunter Mountain ski center. The elevator will take you to a vertical 1600 feet from the valley floor. A 2 mile hike from there will take you to the fire tower with beautiful views of the Catskill High Peaks, but this is a great challenge. Less active hikers may want to enjoy the view from where the Hunter Sky Ride leaves you and just walk back to the base.

Overlook the mountain:
This popular hike is located a couple of miles north of the village of Woodstock. Take Rock City Road north from Village Green until you reach the top of Overlook Mountain, where you will change your name to Mead & # 39; s Mt. The road. The parking lot is on the right and the path is on the left. The climb is steep and uphill for 2.5 miles, but the 360 ​​degree view from the fire tower on the top of the mountain is the best in Catskills! Also note the abandoned ruin of a stone hotel from the 1930s about 3 km. Ideal for dramatic photographs or a mysterious romantic picnic!

Giant Ledge-Panther Mt. Path:
This trail starts easily with yellow markers and then changes to the most challenging blue markers after the spectacular view of Giant Ledge. Giant Ledge is approximately 1.6 miles down the trail and then, the trail follows a north-south ridge for another mile that offers more beautiful views of Catskill Mountain.

Difficult hiking trails in New York: Slide Mountain & Devil & # 39; s Tombstone

Slide mountain
Another difficult hike, but the Slide Mountain hiking trail is also the most rewarding! With an elevation of 1780 feet and a 5.4 mile round trip, you will need plenty of water and good hiking boots. Slide Mountain is the highest peak in Catskills, so the view from the top has no parallel. To get there, drive to the end of Woodland Valley Road, on Route 28, near Phenicia, and travel all the way to the Woodland Valley camp. The trailhead will be on the left with parking on the right.

Devil's Way:
Also known as the Devil's Tombstone, this route is known as the toughest hiking trail in the eastern United States. However, hikers are attracted to it, as it allows them to cover 5 mountain peaks on an excursion. The Devil's Way is a self-guided path that can be done in three sections or combined. The first section, Plateau Mountain, is 8 miles round trip and culminates in a beautiful view of Hunter Mountain. Then, the path is leveled (hence the plateau) and the highest point is at the eastern end, about 2 miles away. Continue a short distance from the summit and a view of the Sugarloaf Mountain will open. The Hunter Mountain section is 4.15 miles and the West Kill Mountain section is 7 miles for a total of 24.20 miles of walking. The best access is to drive from Phenicia 8 miles north on Route 214 and park in the Devils Tombstone daily use parking area on the left. The beginning of the path begins on the right after the huge rock that claims to be the tombstone of the real devil.

Regardless of the skill level you choose, it will be easy to find the right hike at Catskills in New York. Become a weekend getaway and enjoy everything Catskill has to offer.