Have you been dreaming about a hiking trip to the spectacular Catskill Mountains?
You’re not alone! 12 million people head off to explore the magnificent region every year. 98 mountains, 425 miles of hiking trails, and a wonderland of natural scenery await.
Check out our beginner’s guide to hiking the Catskill Mountains.
Getting to the Mountains
By far the easiest and most convenient way of getting to the Catskill Mountains, and getting around, is by car. Many of the hiking trails begin on backroads and a car makes it easier to access them.
That being said, Amtrak and the Trailways bus li stop in Kingston, Saugerties, and the town of Catskill. And once you’re there, you can hop on local buses and hiker shuttles to get you to the trailhead.
Where to Stay
Are you going to be camping with friends or staying in a hotel? There are plenty of campgrounds and amazing accommodation options such as The Mountain House – find out more here.
If you have a specific hiking route in mind or want to accomplish the summit of a specific peak, find accommodation that is nearby so that the trailhead is easily accessible and you don’t need to waste time traveling.
Catskill Hiking Trails
There are a ton of trails to choose from. First, you need to identify your desires and limitations. Are you hiking with small children? What is your experience and fitness level? The trails range from easy to extremely challenging and you should choose a route with consideration.
Some of the most epic hiking trails include Mount Tremper, Kaaterskill Falls, Overlook Mountain, and Balsam Lake Fire Tower. Explore the best trails with maps and route description here.
Your Hiking Checklist
In order to get the best out of your hike, make sure you are adequately prepared. These things will not only keep you safe but will ensure maximum enjoyment too.
- GPS system and a map
- Appropriate clothing including good hiking shoes and weather protection clothes
- Adequate food and water (at least 2 liters)
- Snacks for hiking
- First aid kit
Best Seasons for Hiking
The Catskill Mountains make for a spectacular trip all year round. However, the best season for you depends on what you want to get out of the trip.
This is a fantastic time to visit the waterfalls. It is also trout season, so keen fishers can combine a beautiful hike with some excellent fishing.
If you’re looking to take a dip in the many lakes, this is an excellent time to go. It’s still relatively cool up high in the mountains so hiking isn’t too uncomfortable.
The scenery in Fall is unbeatable. The views during this time are a huge attraction but you should be prepared for cold weather, especially when hiking.
If you want to enjoy fun snow sports alongside your hike, this is the season for you. Winter is definitely more appropriate for experienced mountaineers as the weather and mountain conditions can be unpredictable and dangerous.
Head off on a Catskill Mountains Adventure
Regardless of the time of the year or your hiking experience, the Catskill Mountains are sure to provide you with an unforgettable adventure. Prepare well for your trip, choose the best hiking trails, and snap lots of pictures!
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