Escarpment Trail

HARD 3 reviews
#29 of 54 trails in

Escarpment Trail is a 24.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Jewett, NY that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

24.6 miles 7795 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips


trail running




wild flowers




Amazing Catskills and HudsonValley views from multiple view points along the way. Significant climbs and descents with the occasional rock scramble. Multiple trail entry points from other trails to do sectional out and back hiking in addition to the full point to point. Easiest sections are at South end of trail near North Lake. Trail more strenuous past Dutcher's Notch and towards Black Dome

1 month ago

The Escarpment Trail is a Catskill delight. Great views, historic places, awesomely exhausting climbs, and great options for side trips. We hiked S > N as an overnight. After climbing Black Dome ducked off the blue blazed escarpment trail to the lean-to and hung the hammock. The next morning we took a short jaunt to tag Black Dome and Thomas Cole mountains then return to the trail. Finished by going over Windham High Peak. Make sure not to miss the short jaunt (~.2m) down to the top of Kaaterskill Falls by the southern terminus at North-South Lake and the quick (~.2m) Yellow side trail to Artists Ledge. You'll get better views of N-S lake further along (and higher up) on the Escarpment but Artists Ledge is a place of significance to early painters in the area. Very cool to see the paintings and know you've stood in that spot, looking at that view. I highly recommend the side trip to tag Black Head and Thomas Cole, especially if your working on your 3500 club list. Go mid-July through the fall after black flies die off, fall is the best if you can pull it off so it's not so hot.

3 months ago

This trail head is not located where your map says. I have been lead to the middle of nowhere.

4 months ago

Completed this over Memorial Day w/e 3 nights and 3 days (we came from Central PA) following one of the detailed guides found online. We prepared and understood the challenges on this hike: water and lots of rocks. We parked our vehicle (free) at the Laurel House Rd trail head and took a taxi to Rte 23 trail head for $47. There were quite a number of day-hikers on the trail fr Rte 23 to Windham High Peak; fr Batavia to Black Dome/Thomas Cole; and after Newman's Ledge to both trail heads (Schutt/Laurel House Rd). In between, we hardly saw anyone. We camped at Colgate Lake, Batavia Kill, and North Mtn. We divided the trek into 9.5/8.5/9.0 miles. The toughest was on the 2nd day, climbing Blackhead Mountain (3940'). Like they say the total elevation gain is 9,000 ft - this is exhausting. Expect an average rate of 1.5 mph. The distances seemed much longer, these are not your regular miles. The black flies were horrendous esp at Batavia Kill. Meals had to be planned well due to water being scarce - we limited our cooking to when we were at the water source. The spring water at the junction of Dutcher Notch and Colgate Lake is 0.4 mile down a hollow but it's so slow flowing it will probably run dry during the summer. We brought 3 liters of water each and it was just enough to keep ourselves hydrated. The trail is well maintained, only saw 2 garter snakes. Washed out sections are slippery due to loose rocks and gravel. The descents precipitous. The ascents heart-pumping. The views are magnificent. The experience exhilarating. I will definitely go back.