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Catskills Hiking Trails & Tips

Experience the beauty of the Great Northern Catskills along tree-lined paths and mountaintops.

The Catskills offer some of the best Upstate NY hiking trails close to the city. Experience the enchantment of walking along wooded paths, pausing by bubbling streams, and feeling the thunder of cascading waterfalls in Greene County. Explore 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. 

Stay at one of our popular Catskills resorts and be close to the trailhead, a brewpub, and downtown shopping. 

Best Waterfall Hikes

We have compiled a list of the best waterfall hikes in the Catskills!

Great Northern Catskills' Hiking Guide

Journey to greater hiking adventures! Whether you choose a local park, nature center, walking path, or more challenging climb, be sure to follow the Leave No Trace principles.

Couple hiking in the Catskills
Catskill Mountains with flowers in the foreground

Best Hiking in the Catskills

One of only two "Forever Wild" parks in New York State, the Catskill Park offers amazing hikes for all abilities. Greene County is also home to the highest peaks in the Catskill Mountains. From North-South Lake, hike to the summit of Newman's Ledge, once home to the Catskill Mountain House, one of the 19th century's premier resorts. From this lofty height, peer across the lush Hudson River Valley. Take the short-but-super-scenic 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. 

Explore some possible itineraries to find a hike that suits your ability level and meets your Catskills bucket list needs. Wherever you hike, please be respectful of the land and other visitors by following the seven Leave No Trace principles.

 

Couple hiking to a scenic overlook in the Catskills
Dad and daughter hiking in the Catskills

Choose your Greatest-Of-All-Time Adventure

Best Waterfall Hikes

  • Diamond Notch Falls -2 miles round trip via Spruceton Road and 4 miles round trip via Diamond Notch Road, features a 15-foot waterfall.
  • Bastion Falls - ~0.5 miles roundtrip, three drops, located on Route 23A trail to Kaaterskill Falls
  • Ashley Falls - 0.6 miles roundtrip, scenic, located via Mary Glen Trail

Best Scenic Overlooks

  • Catskill Mountain House - Short walk from North-South Lake State Campground's beach. View of Hudson River
  • Kaaterskill Clove Lookout - 1.8 miles round trip offers dramatic views and historical importance
  • Five State Lookout - From Route 23 along the Mohican Trail, enjoy a panoramic view of five states: NY, VT, MA, CT, NH
  • Pratt Rock - 3.1 mile round trip hike with steep section that leads to carvings in the cliffside

Best Short Family Hikes

  • RamsHorn Livingston Sanctuary - 3 miles of trails through the Hudson's largest tidal swamp
  • Mountain Top Arboretum - 4 trail networks through meadows, forests, and glens
  • Sunset Rock - 1.4 miles roundtrip. See the view Hudson River School painters Cole, Cropsey, and Gifford immortalized
  • Hunter Mountain - Take the Scenic Skyride to the summit and walk the short distance to the large carving of Rip Van Winkle

Best Hikes in the Catskills

Viewing Listings: 19 - 36 of 44
Hudson River Art Trail
mountain top cooking in the catskills
Everything You Need to Know

Tips for Hiking in the Catskills

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. While you soak in the experience, exercise caution at all times to limit the risk of personal injury, minimize endangerment to others, and preserve the natural beauty of the land.

 

Simple, Easy-To-Follow Hiking Tips:

  • Before you begin your hike, prepare yourself by researching your route.
  • As you plan your trip, keep the weather in mind. Check forecasts, and remember that conditions can differ from trailhead to summit.
  • Keep to marked trails. 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 and all other outdoor activities.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather and the trail. Pack extra layers in case of rain or cold temperatures.
  • Pack plenty of food and water, especially if you are planning an extended hike.
  • Carry a map and compass for extended hikes. Expect limited cell service and do not rely on GPS as your only source for directions.
  • Carry bug spray, sunscreen, a first aid kit, and a flashlight or headlamp.
  • Opt for reusable plastics or metals instead of breakable glass or single use containers.
  • Carry out what you carry in. There is a $250 fine for littering in the Catskills.
  • Never climb on waterfalls. Water and algae can make the ground and rocks slick, increasing your chances of injury.
  • Only light small campfires in designated areas. Fires are not permitted above 3,500 ft.
  • Be respectful of wildlife. Give them space and never feed wild animals.
  • Most importantly – have fun and enjoy our beautiful wilderness!