Hiking in the Catskills

Hiking in the Catskills can be a real joy for outdoor enthusiasts. An almost countless amount of trails wind their way through this 6,000-square-mile region, and these trails come in a variety of forms. Some follow along rivers and lakes, while others cut through forests or lead to the tops of mountains. With so much natural terrain to explore, it is hard to believe that New York City is just 100 miles away.

There are several things to consider when planning a hike in the Catskills. Some trails lead to waterfalls that beg to be admired, for example, and it is possible to hike to a fire tower and enjoy some sumptuous views from on high. More great views can be had from the sides and the summits of the area’s higher peaks. There are actually more than 50 mountains in the Catskills Range that are more than 3,400 feet above sea level, so there is no shortage of alluring summits to conquer. This also helps to make the Catskills a popular skiing destination. A special club that is called the 3,500 Club extends membership to anyone who has hiked to the top of the region’s 35 tallest peaks.

The highest mountain in the Catskills region, for those who might be wondering, is Slide Mountain. It tops out at 4,180 feet, and there is at least one trail that crosses its summit. The views from this summit aren’t exactly great, though there are plenty of great views to enjoy at lower elevations. Burroughs Ledge, for example, is found to the near west of the Slide Mountain summit and provides delightful views.

There are plenty of Catskills campgrounds to select from, so hiking enthusiasts can easily combine their hiking pursuits with some camping. There are also opportunities to enjoy such side activities as fishing and boating, and many of the region’s hiking trails double as mountain biking routes. Also worth considering is the fact that trekking enthusiasts don’t have to limit themselves to the warmer months when looking to go hiking in the Catskills. That being said, a good pair of snowshoes might come in handy during the winter season, especially after a good snow.

Regardless of the season, Castskills visitors might look to get their hands on a hiking guide of some sort. Some regional hotels make them available for guest use, so there might not be a need to buy one. Either way, a hiking guide can come in handy.

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