Catskills Hiking Trails
In the Great Northern Catskills of New York, discover the enchanting landscape, best viewed along wooded paths, bubbling streams and cascading waterfalls. Greene County offers a "big mountain" experience, year-round adventure and delight.
Find the "cloves" where legendary Rip Van Winkle succumbed to the magic of Henry Hudson's drink, and where painters and poets paused to capture the region's stunning natural beauty.
Use caution at all times when hiking. It's helpful to know the most up-to-date conditions of the trails you plan to hike so you can adequately prepare. View the trail conditions HERE.
The Great Northern Catskills of Greene County are home to some of the most epic hiking trails in New York State, and offer outstanding views. Hikers in the Catskills should exercise caution to limit the risk of personal injury with these simple, easy-to-follow tips for hiking:
- Stay on the marked trail. Taking shortcuts or bushwhacking can lead to trail erosion and greatly increase your chances of getting lost and/or injured.
- Wear sturdy shoes for hiking or outdoor activities.
- Pack water and extra snacks or meals, especially if you are planning an extended hike.
- Carry bug spray and a first aid kit.
- Never climb on waterfalls as water can make the ground and rocks slick, increasing your chances of injury.
- Wear bright colors.
- If you carry it in, carry it out. There is a $250 fine for littering in the Catskills.
- No glass allowed.
- Carry a map and compass for extended hikes. Expect limited cell service and do not rely on GPS as your only source for directions.
- Do not light a campfire.
- Most importantly – have fun and enjoy our beautiful wilderness!
Hike the Long Path, or the shorter Escarpment Trail
For the experienced hiker, try the Long Path which includes the 21-mile portion of the Escarpment Trail. Beginning in Ft. Lee NJ, the 347.4 mile path winds through State Parks and continues through the Catskill Park for 95 miles and climbs some of the highest peaks in the Catskills, including Kaaterskill Clove and Windham Peak. The path offers challenging climbs interspersed with gentle walks.
Along the Escarpment, find Kaaterskill Falls, the highest cascading waterfall in New York State. Admired for generations, and one of the best outdoor activities, the falls have captivated and inspired some of the Hudson River Art School's most famous works of art.
Hunter Mountain Fire Tower
Climb to the top of Hunter Mountain and discover several Greene County wonders. The Hunter Mountain Fire Tower was the first of 23 fire lookout towers built in the Catskills, and it is one of five that is still standing. From the summit of Hunter Mountain, discover panoramic views of the Catskill peaks and the Hudson Valley. On a clear day – hikers can see as far Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont. Visitors to Hunter Mountain's summit may also stumble upon the larger-than-life carving of literary legend Rip Van Winkle. Recently completed, this stone carving is a masterpiece - the work of sculptor Kevin Vanhentenryck and David Slutzky.
Best Hikes in the Catskills
Hike to the summit of Newman's Ledge, once home to one of the 19th century's premier resort – the Catskill Mountain House. From this lofty height, peer across the lush Hudson River Valley. Go camping in the Catskills and take the short trek to the "Mount Rushmore of the East" - Pratt's Rock. This Prattsville monument chronicles the life of Zadock Pratt – a 19th century leather tanning tycoon who commissioned the carvings to immortalize his life and contributions to the region.
Greene County offers the pastoral beauty of the Hudson River Valley and the region's wild boreal forests. Discover the Great Northern Catskill's timeless charm - Awaken to Adventure. Print out our hiking PDF and bring the guide with you while you're exploring the Catskills!