10 Best Hikes In Catskills, New York

hiking in the catskills

Hiking in New York’s Catskills may be one of the most wonderful and memorable experiences you can have. They occupy the state’s southeast corner and offer miles of hiking trails, carpeted with lush greenery and strewn with gushing waterfalls and hidden fishing spots. Regardless of what your hiking experience may be – novice or expert – the Catskills has an amazing hiking experience in store for you. Once done, stop by some of the many acclaimed farm-to-table restaurants and local breweries that the area is famous for. So, lace up those hiking boots and head out on any of these best hikes in Catskills, New York.

1. Giant Ledge - Panther Mountain

Giant Ledge Catskills, NY

Posted by Damon King on Friday, 4 October 2019

Giant Ledge - Panther Mountain is among the Catskills’ most popular hikes and its about 10 km (6.3 miles) long. It is rated as a moderately difficult route and is almost always bustling with enthusiastic hikers, some even accompanied by dogs. The route eventually leads visitors to majestic Panther Mountain, offering scintillating views, but can also stop at Giant Ledge, which is the lower of the two peaks.

While the ascent to Giant Ledge is gradual and consistent, the one to Panther Mountain is steep at certain points. However, the end result more than makes up for all the challenges faced during the climb.

Giant Ledge and Panther Mountain

Address: Big Indian, NY

2. Sam's Point Preserve

A beautiful hike through the Catskill Mountains in New York, lead us to this gem. We had to squeeze through some tight...

Posted by Basecamp Brooklyn on Monday, 25 November 2019

Sam’s Point Preserve follows moderately rocky terrain, leading to waterfalls, ice caves, and postcard-perfect natural landscapes, making the hike every bit worthwhile. The route is covered with dwarf pines and much of the hike will have you exposed to the sun. We recommend that you carry along necessary essentials (hats, sunscreen, caps, etc.) to ensure that the heat doesn’t get to you. Do note that the ice caves on this route are inaccessible until spring or summer, so you won’t be able to pass through them.

Sam's Point Preserve

Address: 400 Sams Point Rd, Cragsmoor, NY 12420, United States

3. Buttermilk Falls Blue Trail (Hunter, NY)

Parque estatal de Buttermilk Falls 1
Source: Photo by user LBM1948 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located in the Peekamoose Valley, Buttermilk Falls is another spot hikers can easily access via the Buttermilk Falls Blue Trail. The waterfall cascades down from a height of about 14 meters (46 feet) and is quite the photogenic attraction. Once at the destination, visitors can spend time bird watching and exploring the area. The trail is well marked with directions and you can even take your dogs along, though remember to keep your furry buddies on a leash.

Buttermilk Falls Blue Trail

Address: 106 E Buttermilk Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States

4. Kaaterskill Falls Trail

Kaaterskill Falls in the Catskill Mountains of New York. pc Julia Brophy, doi

Posted by TrailMob.com on Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Kaaterskill Falls Trail is about 4 km (2.5 miles) long and it is most popularly used by hikers from April through October. Since the distance to the falls is not great, it is pretty easy for novice hikers to access. However, do remember that if you’re planning to take on this hike during the summer, there’s a good chance you may not be able to catch the falls in all its glory. During rainier times of the year, while the cascade may be at its best, the trail is likely to be slippery and slightly risky, so check before you head out on the hike.

Kaaterskill Falls Trail

Address: North Lake Road, Haines Falls, NY

5. Hunter Mountain Fire Tower

Hunter Mountain (4,040') is the the second-highest peak in the Catskill Mountains. While the mountain is closely...

Posted by Han Wah on Saturday, 18 August 2018

Hiking to the Fire Tower atop Hunter Mountain, Catskills’ second-highest peak, makes for a slightly challenging, but thoroughly refreshing experience. While Hunter Mountain is also famous amongst skiers, it is also an abyss of fun for hikers. There are several trails you can follow, but the one from Spruceton Road is probably among the easiest, though not the shortest. The trailhead is right next to the parking lot and hikers are meant to register themselves before heading out.

The trail begins on an easy note, travelling through the Ox Hollow area, lush with greenery and the whistles of bird calls periodically peppering the serenity. Follow the signs along the route and they’ll eventually lead you to the Fire Tower. Once there, you can catch some super views!

Hunter Mountain Fire Tower

Address: 64 Klein Avenue, Hunter, NY 12442

6. Frick Pond Loop

It's Water Wednesday on TPSC! Pictured is Frick Pond which is found in the Willowemoc Wild Forrest. "Located in the...

Posted by Think Positive Sullivan County New York on Wednesday, 11 June 2014

The Frick Pond Loop is an easy, approximately 3.5-km (2.2-mile) hike, offering superb views of fern fields, the surrounding mountains, and Frick Pond. This hike is best accessed in the summer when the wetlands are relatively dry, allowing for a convenient climb to the hikers. However, do remember to be extra careful in mossy areas – these can get quite slippery, regardless of the weather.

Frick Pond itself is a sight to behold and, coupled with the amazing greenery, the many birds, and other wildlife species that call the area their home, quite a stellar experience. Following the shoreline of the pond and you can access several other trails, as well.

Frick Pond Loop

Address: Frick Pond Nys Trail, Rockland, NY 12758, USA

7. Neversink River Unique Area

That’s NYC water flowing in the East Branch Neversink River near Claryville, NY. Happy Friday!

Posted by NYC Water on Friday, 11 August 2017

With most trails marked as moderate in terms of difficulty level, hikers can enjoy numerous hikes at the Neversink River Unique Area, also known as Neversink Gorge. The Three Falls Loop, Cold Spring Road Access (Red Trail), Neversink River Trail, and the Denton and Mullet Brook Falls are only to name a few. Hikers can also spend time fishing and paddling through the gorge at several spots along the trails here. Plus, even some hunting. Why not throw in a bit of extra fun during your hike?

Neversink River Unique Area

Address: Eden Rd, Cuddebackville, NY 12729, United States

8. Bramley Mountain Trail

Posted by Jake Dillon on Saturday, 17 October 2015

Best accessed from April through November, the Bramley Mountain Trail is ideal for trail running, hiking, and nature trips. It features impressive stone walls, caves, a bluestone quarry, and cliffs along the route, along with the final destination offering brilliant views of Mount Pisgah, as well as the southern High Peaks if you choose to continue ahead to the Summit Trail.

The entire Bramley Mountain Trail is about 5.7-km (3.5-miles) long and we suggest that you make the ascent via the Quarry Trail and descend down the Summit Trail to enjoy the best of everything that the trail has to offer.

Bramley Mountain Trail

Address: Glen Burnie Rd, Delhi, NY 13753, USA

9. Catskills Scenic Trail

NY 32 approaching Catskills
Source: Photo by user Daniel Case used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Perfect for novice as well as expert hikers, the Catskills Scenic Trail is about 15.5-km (25-miles) long from point to point. The trail offers some of the best spots for wildlife watching, as well as walking. It is not heavily trafficked, so you can hike it at any time of the year, although, trips between February and November have been reported to be the most rewarding.

Catskills Scenic Trail

Address: Intersection of Railroad Avenue and South Street, Village of Stamford, Stamford, NY 12167

10. Mount Tremper Trail

Posted by Matty Lonergan on Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Mount Tremper Trail, rife with rock scrambles and steep climbs, is best for expert hikers. While the route itself offers many a fantastic sight, including rivers, the one from the summit (understandably) remains top-notch. There’s a fire tower atop the summit, which hikers are not allowed to climb, but you can always head up the highest flight of stairs and enjoy some beautiful views from up top. The overall rating – hard, but awesome!

Mount Tremper Trail

Address: 5096 Route 28, Mount Tremper, NY 12457-5134

The ultimate beauty

The Catskills serve as a muse and inspiration for many – artists, photographers, writers, nature lovers, and the like. The tranquillity of the mountains’ verdant forests is such that it manages to captivate everyone who visits. Keep your cameras ready and prepare yourself for some of the most brilliant experiences. These are the best hikes in the Catskills, New York, that’ll bring home your unforgettable getaway.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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