Burroughs Range Trail is a 18.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Phoenicia, NY that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until November.
Climb highest Catskill peak 4180ft, Wilderness area, The toughest day hike. This hike has to be my favorite one. You traverse 3 peaks all above 3500ft. The views are the best around, you have to climb over ledges and the elevation gain over the entire rout is incredible. Once you get above 3000ft the air is thinner and you get into the Balsam/Spruce forest that are found farther North. The trail starts at Woodland Valley. The first 4 miles you gain about 200ft. Once you get on top of Wittenburg 3790ft you get views of the Ashokan Reservoir and High Point. From Wittenburg to Cornell is short compared to what you just did. From Cornell 3870ft you get views of Slide MT and the climb you are in for. The col between Cornell and Slide is long but great due to the Balsam/Spruce forest. The Climb up slide is short but brutal. You have to climb ledges and ladders on the ledges. On Slide 4180ft you get limited views. the better views are just off of slide summit. The final decent to your end point is on an old fire RD.
A rewarding trip that can be done as a day hike (9.5 mi) or as an overnight, adding Slide peak and doing it as a loop (16 mi).
From the Woodland Valley campground, the trail ascends over mixed terrain with a number of caves, crags, and boulders. It gets steeper over the last ¾ mi with some rocky sections and scrambles that challenge the quads. Spacious views of the Catskills and Ashokan Reservoir from the Wittenberg summit make it well worth it.
Continuing to Cornell, the trail drops into a valley, then ascends again through mostly wooded terrain to the more modest summit. Views are less expansive, but from several lookouts you can see your progress from Wittenberg's summit. Recommend continuing on to Slide peak if you have the time or plan to overnight.
If you do, the path first runs more or less flat along the ridge, then steepens for the ascent, with three harder cracks and scrambles that are easier done by climbing without a pack, then having a buddy pass it up. After that is a cool and clean creek just off the path before the top. A bald rock with a plaque commemorating John Burroughs (for which this section is named) marks the top, which also has great views facing east toward the reservoir. Several secluded areas off the trail are perfect places to pitch a tent for the night.
The descent is tricky, with loose rocks and poor poor drainage in wet conditions, and is pretty relentless. It levels then drops several times before meeting Rte. 47, which you can follow (or hitch) 2 mi to meet the trail again for the final 3 mi over rocky stairs to complete
Tough hike, but starting at the trailhead on Route 47 is easier than starting from Woodland Valley Campground. The DEC PA on Route 47 is about a 1000 feet higher than Woodland Valley. So, Slide is an easy climb but the hike really gets difficult, especially for someone with aging knees, on the far side of Slide going down. Steep descent. The climb up Cornell is pretty easy too but the descent is even steeper than the one on Slide. Views West from Cornell show an impressive view of Slide. Views from Wittenberg are probably the best on the trail, at least if you hike in the summer. The hike down Wittenberg to Woodland Valley is B-R-U-T-A-L. An actual dirt path on this 3+plus mile descent is a rare thing. Rock hopping for 3 miles will beat your feet like some sort of interrogation nightmare. I am writing this review about 6 hours after finishing my hike and I am still hobbling around. Still, a day on the trail is worth a thousand elsewhere! Enjoy....
Did this joint in a disjointed fashion. Enjoyed feels good kind of thing. Encountered a nerd man skinwalker who was following me in a car wearing a cool alien t-shirt in and around Woodstock at an earlier date. We enjoyed a steely Dan cover band together despite our differences. He of course had a different face the first time I encountered him and was wearing cool bad dude shades upon our second meeting. I think he works for "the company" tripped out and this lady whispered my name as I fell asleep at the Wittenberg summit. Don't worry no fire. Jim Morrison.