Giant Ledge and Panther Mountain Trail is a 6.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Big Indian, NY that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and snowshoeing and is accessible from December until February.
December 3, light snow, good views of big slide. First hike in the Catskills. Will return in the summer!
did this hike December 1st 2016. The view from Giant ledge was absolutely amazing. The view from Panther mountain was OK but the ledge is small and there were trees cleared to provide a better view. I think a little more trees need to be cleared for a better view. My girlfriend and I completed the entire hike in 4.5 hours but we took it easy. Overall it's not a difficult hike. The ascent in the beginning was the hardest part and the rest was pretty easy. The trail was very muddy but it wasn't a big deal. If I do it again I'll just go as far as the Giant Ledge which was well worth the hike.
From Giant Ledge there are nice views of the surrounding Catskills. I did it on December 1st - a weekday so there were no crowds. I was hoping for a more challenging hike though. Panther is on the easy side of moderate.
My friend and I hiked Giant and Panther today with clear blue skies and occasional fair weather clouds. Temps in the high 40's and about a 5 hour trek. Terrific vistas especially on East side of Giant. We reached Panther peak (no real signs to mark summit) and enjoyed some good vistas north and east back towards Hudson valley and Kingston in the distance. Met quite a few hikers who ventured up from NYC or Westchester county, including a delightful lunch with two of them on Panther summit. The only caveat is to be careful on descent when blue trail turns back to yellow, as there are 2 yellow trails...one that heads to Slide parking lot and one back to Giant Ledge parking near hairpin curve in road on County route 47. Easy to take the wrong one if you're not paying attention!
Great views on giant ledge, panther mountain good hike as well, did it in the first snow of the year. Moderate/easy hike don't be fooled by the steep incline at the beginning it is relatively easy after that. Recommended
Amazing hike. It's on the easier side of moderate.
I only went to the giant ledges I plan to go back to do panther mountain on a weekday when its less crowded . The veiws are pretty cool but they certainly draw some pretty big crowds. Hearing other people's conversations and the guy blasting maroon 5 on his blue tooth speakers kind of took away from it though . still a pretty cool veiw for a pretty moderate hike .
The overlooks cant get better than this. In the peak fall season crowds are common on giants ledge but if you put in the work for an extra 1.5 mile and 700 ft difference the evergreen forest on panther mountain is incredible with way less people.
Loved the views. Peak was a little hard to find. Maybe not ideal for dogs. Lots of rocks.
Great hike! Not too long and strenuous on the way to the ledges. Think 1.6 miles or so from the DEC..
Views are incredible!! Best view Ive seen so far in Catskill park. You can catch the sun up on one side as well as sundown on the opposite side. No need to go beyond to Panther if the views are what your into..Camping areas are all along the ledges to your left when you get to the first ledge. There are multiple fire pits and run offs connecting the sites. Plenty of flat ground and open areas for tents. There is even a privy...Find the signs...
Recommend a clear day and night. Stars covered the sky. We hung out on the ledges at night, 90 second walk from our camp.
My only complaints are there is no cell service and the Spring was just about dried up. Took hrs to fill up our water bottles. It also gets crowded on the weekends so Weekdays are recommended. Id also bring all the water you need as the hike is only around 1.6 miles from the DEC as mentioned.
I will definitely go back!!
I only did the Giant Ledge leg of this hike but the views are AMAZING. Ate at the Phoenicia diner for a filling meal before and we definitely burned through it! There's a lot of upward climbing but it's so worth it once you get to the vista. It's a popular hike so go on an off-day but that's what I did and only saw two other people. This is one of my favorite hikes in the Catskills hands down. It's also really close to Otter Creek Falls so after the hike, I'd definitely recommend a dip in those falls which is only about 1/3rd of a mile from the trail head on the road if you're coming from the Phoenicia direction. All in all, so great. Can't say enough good things. Also multiple routes you can take! The trail system is pretty extensive and there are a couple campsites too!
View from the summit was awesome. A little crowded at the first ledge, but the commoners don't travel much past that and there's more views after the first. Overall a great hike, took about 5 hours all the way to the summit and back, including stopping to check out the views and eat a snack. There's nothing to signify that you made it to the summit, you'll come up to one last overlook well beyond the 3500 foot sign. And according to the trail map on this app that's the summit. The trail continues past that down to another parking area according to other reviews on here.
The view from Giant Ledge is unreal.
Good hike specially the leg to panther mountain so worth the view.
It was absolutely beautiful. If you have a good sense of direction you should be fine. I went last week with a few friends and it was so great.