Explore 2015 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Awesome trail! Make sure to wear the proper shoes though!

Hiked Thomas today and the views at the top were gorgeous. As someone who is relatively new to hiking, I found the climb to be rewarding and very acceptable to new hikers out there looking for a new challenge. The terrain was sporadically covered with snow or leaves but I wore micro spikes and would recommend them for stability and safety.

Super scenic! Easy reverse hike (downhill first). Pretty sure it’s only 1 mile total.

Great views in all directions, not too hard, fun to climb over rocks near the top.

Great intro trail! A little wet after a rain since it follows creek beds for a while.

Very satisfying hike, though a bit crowded. Beautiful views at top.

hiking
14 days ago

Can be very muddy and slippery if there has been rain recently. Otherwise quite pleasant and accurately described.

I was so impressed by how well-maintained the trail is! The stairs and bridge made the trail feel very safe despite being on a pretty steep incline. Even though it was a short distance, the rocks to climb and bigger switchback near the topmost tier of the falls made me feel like I was still getting a great hike in.

I could see it getting very busy during the afternoon (and was told so by someone I bumped into on my way down), but getting there around 8 am allowed me to park in the first lot with easy access to the trailhead and have the trail nearly entirely to myself - including the upper observation deck, on which I got to look at the falls by myself for quite a while. It’s a gorgeous view and was a perfect fall hike.

Awesome hike today on this trail! As a beginner it was a bit challenging but my buddy and I got through it. It was well worth it at the summit very nice views!

hiking
20 days ago

Easy trail in summer and early fall. Watch out for slick rocks during rain and especially ice patches in the winter. The amphitheater midway through the larger falls is just incredible. Several people die here each year, so be careful. It helps to take a single trekking pole for balance and insurance. I did and I’m glad I did. Have fun! This place is breathtaking in October.

hiking
20 days ago

As other reviews state quite rocky and steep right from the get go. Ankle support and good tread this time of year is necessary. If you’ve hiked before it should be no problem. My husband had a hip replacement a yr ago and we made it up in an hour and 15.

Blue trail was easy and pretty, the yellow was fun with great views !

Hiked the Escarpment Trail counterclockwise. Walked down the little detour to the Kaaterskill Falls and made a loop behind the upper falls. This is not to be missed as the falls are in a spectacular setting and if you're careful and have good boots, you can carefully walk behind the falls and make a loop around the upper basin, explicit warnings of "deaths have occurred in this area" in mind.
I then continued on the Escarpment Trail to Layman's Monument, Inspiration Point, Boulder Rock, and the site of the Catskill Mountain House (CMH).
Note that the Alltrails map shows a trail that is supposed to run parallel to South Lake Road, beginning a bit south of the CMH. However, I could not find the first section, even after verifying the GPS location. So I hiked back to Boulder Rock and found the trail, but there are no trail markers and it turned out to be a rather wild trail that seems barely used and is not maintained. The GPS was really needed in this section, as I lost the barely visible trail multiple times. There were multiple fallen trees, mossy and hollow ground, and an overall feeling of being in the middle of the wild, which is very nice if you're into that. I eventually came out onto South Lake road and made a left on the South Lake Access Rd which brought me back to the Escarpment Trail.
The entire hike with these extensions was 8 miles, but next time I'll probably stick to the original loop, just adding the Kaaterskill Falls viewing platform and a hike down to the basins.

hiking
25 days ago

Great hike! A lot of rock...I mean a lot. Would try to have a good pair of hiking boots, ankle support recommended, but it's up to you. Wind and cooler temps at the top, so I always bring an extra layer, (when hiking in the Fall, and early Spring). Don't let the elevation fool you. Good photo opportunities at the top. Good photo opportunities on the way up as well. Be safe and have a good hike! Don't forget to let someone know where you are!

Pretty straight forward, crowded however in summer with a lot of of bathers in the falls! Fun for kids.

Hiked sleeping beauty today. Trail was a little wet in spots as is typical. Views were beautiful. The trail is moderate by comparison with its neighbors Black and Buck especially if you can park at Dacey clearing. That shortens the hike by about 3 miles. Although the road fromHoggs Town parking to the trail head is very nice in winter when closed. Great views, beautiful scenery just challenging enough.

Extremely rocky and muddy but I had on good hiking boots. I could not believe what I saw some people wearing on their feet. I don’t suggest doing this trail without hiking boots. The trail itself was pretty nice but the view from the point was spectacular! Definitely worth the hike.

Not to difficult of a hike and the view is breath taking.

A good 3-hour hike that leaves time to enjoy the day. Some pretty steep spots and good footwear is a must because there is a lot bare rock and wet leaves. The wind can really howl at the top too. Rewarding view - and a climb up the fire tower is an unexpected (and a little nerve-wracking) delight. Plan roughly 1:45 up, 20-30 minutes at the top, and 45 minutes down. Expect to see plenty of others enjoying the trail.

The falls itself is beautiful when viewed from either the upper viewing deck or from below. A strong word of caution is that in wet weather the trail down to the falls becomes very wet and extremely slippery. The trail itself is narrow and borders a sharp cliff before transforming into the rock steps that guides hikers to the falls themselves. People are frequently injured on this descent and I would advise groups to take their time be careful with children and be mindful of the weather to ensure all can have a safe fun time enjoying the beautiful scenery.

I am extremely disappointed in how visitors of the Catskills behave when they’re at the falls. Whether it’s the lower or upper falls trail, people always seem to be making it a mess for everyone else. People parking and standing in the middle of the road, standing in the middle of the road to direct traffic while they back their cars right up to the falls, parking all over the side of the mountain road (at least they get ticketed), going way too close to the cliff edges, swimming in the water right before the waterfall...I can’t believe it. People act out of line at the falls and it’s unsafe for them as well as the people who are just driving up the road. The falls is one of the most beautiful places in the Catskills but skip it if you’re not in the mood to deal with disrespectful visitors. If people don’t shape up, they’ll ruin it for everyone and the falls will be closed. Hopefully a shuttle system from Palenville or Haines Falls will fix this. But for now, visit any of the less crowded waterfalls near by.

Fantastic view from overlook. Relatively rocky trail. Definitely moderate or harder.

hiking
29 days ago

Hiked Hadley 10/19/18, great conditions, sunny day, slightly muddy so with the mud and leaves I suggest boots or shoes with good traction. Views were great, peak leaf season, a little past peak at the top. Good mix of pines and deciduous. Nice little hike that gets your blood pumping for sure. I’m in okay shape and it took me a little over an hour to reach the top. Fire tower was open. Views are spectacular. Enjoy!

Awesome fall colors illuminated the forests leading to Kaaterskill falls. A little steep at times and leaves make for slightly slippery terrian. but overall fantastic hike.

Fall trails conditions as in any NE area. Mixed wet day yesterday in area, planned a weather break day amidst the Berkshires & had one. As a first time, chose the Blue Indian Monument Inscription Trail. An old wagon trail ending proximate to the Red Summit Squaw Trail. An easy south shoulder to summit climb, gradual ascent. The Red & Yellow Hickey Trails meet at the Monument. The red then used scrape & ledge & rocks (some as steps) to Squaw Mountain, clearly blazed. Children & newbies should be watched - the cliffs are real, a 900 foot drop. My altimeter read 1615-1640 height. A couple of “Pulpit” rock formations adjoin the cliff face here, one the Devil’s Pulpit. The trustees allow no rock climbing here. Descent can be had by the Squaw Trail Red .5 mile which intersects the 1.6 mile Blue Monument trail up or down. The .8 mile Hickey Yellow Trail is correctly styled strenuous. In fall, leaves conceal rocks & pits. Yellow blazes are adequate. Taken downhill the trail is 2/3 sharp incline & rocky. Very attentive. Two bridges & views of the lower cliff rockfalls & some flatter slopes appeal. All (the Red via the blue north or south, the Yellow at the Monument) commence & end at the picnic & parking area. If time, a ride back via State 183 to the West show a rich valley romantic view of the massif along the Housatonic River. The northern water from Squaw Mountain is Agawam Brook Pond. The trail condition is good. Weather turns a risk at the summit. Pay to park or donation encouraged with solar powered ATM/Debit/Credit machines.

This was a great hike on a nice autumn day with my dog. We hiked the trail from Edgecomb pond to the top of Cat. The directions were a bit confusing as to parking. There are two parking lots on Edgecomb pond, both marked with the town of Bolton water shed signs. Since we parked in the first lot, our overall hike was a bit longer with some road walking. We followed the red trail to the intersection with the blue trail, and then the blue trail to the top, which ended up being 2.7 miles according to the Trails.com map app. This was a pretty nice woods walk on an old road for the first 2.2 miles, then got a bit steeper and a little rougher for the last half mile or so. The top offers a beautiful panorama view of Lake George – Tongue Mountain, the Narrows and the southern basin. The Green Mountains of Vermont were also outstanding. From the top, we followed the red trail down off the face. This way was definitely more difficult – it was steeper with plenty of wet leaves to make things interesting. The woods were very thick and the trail barely noticeable. Luckily it was well marked with red spray paint just about every 10 feet or so. Even so, I still lost the trail a couple of times. About 2/3 of the way down it opened up, with crossings of old logging roads and rock walls. There were also cairns every now and then. This trail was also a more direct route back. We were back at the car after about three hours total, including a half hour on the peak for lunch and views. Total distance was 4.7 miles.

Great view. Worth the trip. Fall is spectacular

amazing views, great hike rock scramble was fun. Get their early or you will park 3 miles down the road.

hiking
1 month ago

We showed up early and trekked through muddy trails, rock-hopping and both passing hikers and pulling over to allow others to pass us by.

The rock scramble towards the end of the hike is sketchy. Both the false summit and the actual summit are beautiful views. The wind was whipping at the summit but the sun made our summit beer manageable.

On the way down we passed probably 100 hikers. I'm glad we went up somewhat early.

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