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Catskill 3500 Club Map
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11 days ago

Beautiful winter hike. Can get icy so use crampons!

This is one of the easier hikes I’ve done in the Catskills. I got immediately off trail (which is easy to do at the start) and walked into Elm Ridge Forest, passing a long line of dramatic rock outcroppings. I would recommend doing this: take a slight left at the sign for the LEAN TO. Back on the main trail, there are some beautiful woods to walk through, especially two tall hardwood forests which were really magical; I’ll come here again just to walk through these two stands. Some views of the Blacks on the way up to the summit which is flat and exposed, with wonderfully gnarly trees on either side of the trail. On a clear day, the view north from the eastern ledge must be pretty good.

We hiked to Balsam Lake Fire Tower for the ADK/Catskills fire tower challenge. This is the only map available for the northern approach. It was a great trail. Lots of parking and clearly marked trail. I have suggested a trail edit by having just the trail to Balsam Lake for those only wanting to hike to the fire tower.

1/1/2019 Awesome Trail one of the most extreme hikes I've ever been on, halfway up there is thick ice and lots of snow barely made it up but we did,not for the faint of heart. my friend had sneakers on too lol, it was snowing and the sky look ed crazy so once we reached the tower it looked like a base on antarctica,. definetely would recommend any time of year. on the way down we just slid on our butts and it was so fun got most of the way down in a few minutes but almost died a few times, good times, good times

Great trail! Steepest trail I’ve hiked in the Catskills. View at fire tower is beautiful. Current trail conditions (12/30/2018) INCREDIBLY icy on the steepest parts of the trail. Microspikes and poles are a must! If not you will break yourself coming down this mountain. The best views in the Catskills on a hike I’ve seen as well. So much fun just be safe and smart with your gear. Mileage is actually 5.0 miles if take blue trail markers to yellow trail markers.

That Cornell Crack becomes shrouded with ice! A nice hike but I sprained my wrist and and got a contusion on my elbow that day. Ouch!

Fun hike. Not to hard to navigate the rock ledges on the way up.

love this trail hardest trail around.

The trail is extremely well marked and relatively easy for the first mile and a half or so. We had to use crampons on the steep sections, but microspikes would suffice. This trail is definitely not for those who are unequipped for winter conditions. Came across some bear prints so be aware of that. It was a fun little day hike.

This hike is great but why does the route on this map show a 3rd summit? It’s got Graham / Doubletop and Big Indian (but not the summit of B.I.) as a 3rd objective. That makes it a 17 miler and probably not an easy day hike in the winter unless you have a strong headlamp with a fully charged battery.

Amazing trail, took me and my wife 7 hours. Did loop anti clockwise. Better idea. There was lot snow today on dec 1. 6-8 inches. Climbing through devil path red was easier than what felt from clockwise

It was relentlessly gradual, but beautiful and quiet with a lot of views through the trees. Hiked from lot 1 on Spruceton, up the horse trail. Snow all over trail, but the trail was broken and the snow was compacted and I was able to summit with just my regular boots in under two hours.

Negative 15 degrees on the summit, but the fire tower was spectacular

My 8-year old and I did this last weekend after a pretty significant snowfall. We ascended up Jimmy Dolan and that was pretty easy for us. We really didn’t need our microspikes for it. Coming down the the other side was much more challenging.

One spot that is pretty well photographed here is about 30 feet down and steep. I ended up just lowering off my son with a 50’ section of rope I brought just in case and it was much safer. It could be climbed down safely with an axe by most people.

The rest of it was pretty straightforward, but challenging. We ended up walking more like 7mi and the snow makes that a little tougher. Would only recommend this for people who know what they’re getting into (my kid climbs, etc. and is pretty good).

You’ll find a couple good spots to take in a view, although not on the peak. Enjoy!

We did this trail on the weekend as part of the Catskill Firetower Challenge. The actual out and back (you don’t have to do the loop) is more like 7 miles. It’s a steady rise for the first part up a road/horse path, then pitches a little steeper for the second half. The trail is o good shape, no great views though. We got to the summit and were greeted with a blizzard white out, so now views from the tower. I’d suggest that if you’re not up for the 2000 ft in 2 miles elevation of the other trail, this is a great option.

Did this one today from the Spruceton Road Trailhead. This route is 7 miles round trip with 2000 + feet of elevation. The summit was in blizzard like conditions, but I never needed microspikes, although I had them. No views due to snow squall, but a great hike nonetheless.

did this trail yesterday and it was a great workout! it was a beautiful day and part of the trail was a little muddy. i added up doing 12miles total since i passed table view. there is no sign for either view point so make sure you dont miss it! table is after a steep climb right at a bend. after that view point you qill climb on the summit of table which is like a small forest of ever green type trees. if you enter the forest of beautiful trees then you missed the view point! i completed this in less the 6hours including breaks with my dog. make sure you time properly. i got a late start and the sun was setting as i walked out. in the mountains it starts to get dark at around 4, even though sunset is 445 currently with all the trees you start to lose light earlier. great trail overall

This was a nice day on the mountain despite the chilly temps and mud in parts of the trail. You must start VERY early in the morning this time of the year in order to make it back with day light. Sadly we were a few rock scrambles away from the summit before needing to turn around. We did end up needing a headlamp before making it out. There were a few overlooks just before the summit for some lovely views. The rock scrambles were great!

This is my first! I would go again.

A tough one, but also very enjoyable. There is some scrambling and waterproof shoes or boots would be a good idea.

Would echo another reviewer's comment to take the loop clockwise. That means that the ascent is shorter and steeper but we were glad not to have to have to climb down that steeper way, particularly through any wettish sections.

On the midweek day in October we did the hike we saw no-one else.

on Halcott Mountain

2 months ago

I hiked this on a solo attempt in November of 2003. I will never forget it. No trail, I just followed the contour lines up and my friends description. I summited in no time, already planning a second hike on my way up. On the descent, clouds quickly rolled in and the whole mountain was wrapped in fog. All the features across the valley I was using for reference disappeared. I was young, and panicked. Started almost running down, and slipped. Pulled my groin. I should have stopped to regroup and hike back up to start over, but couldn’t. Long story short, I ended up at base of mountain on the north side. WAY off trail. Took me the rest of the day to find the road and hitchhike to a bus and back to my car. Lesson learned: don’t make decisions while panicking, and obviously use a GPS! Haha. I didn’t have one back then. Great hike otherwise tho.

Did the 7.7 mile out and back to Wittenberg. Challenging ascent right off the bat. Then a respite before a challenging and rocky last mile. Great view at the top.

The photos that people are posting of the lake are false. That is a different hike in Keene, NY. Don't let them mislead you.

Just completed this trail earlier today. A great work out. Very lengthy up hill to start the trail in a counter clockwise direction. Pretty muddy at times, which is expected with the traffic and recent constant rain. Sudden 20 degree drop in temperature, sleet and severely windy as we reached the fire tower. Pleasant and appreciated descending trail back to spruceton road... Would definitely recommend for those looking for a workout. If you are solely looking for scenary, this trail may not be for you.

10/19/2018. 2 of us with a combined age of 134 did this in 4:30. I don’t think this is a hard hike as there was no scrambling. Yes to being a long trek and a good amount of ascent/descent. We wished we’d done the hike counter-clockwise as that way you’re descending without loose rocks and wet, slippery conditions. Tower views.

Lots of fun! It’s challenging but our 4 year old walked it on his own no problem :) He was a little scared going down at first though. There are definitely some steep parts.

Hiked October 13, 2018. Rained the night before, so it was very muddy - not much drainage to speak of. Some mild scrambling, nothing to be afraid of. Some views towards the top. Leaves were out in force, which made it worth it. Be advised that the peak is wooded and unmarked. Made that mistake the first time I did this hike - you’ll have no idea you’re at the top until you start going down again. Pretty slippery on the way down, but we took our time. We did this in just over 5 hours with plenty of breaks. Would rate this as moderate.

Amazon hike. Do it!

Summited Twin from Pecoy Notch. 6.8 miles round trip. The quarry and rock living room was so cool and had nice views of KHP and Twin. Right past the quarry are a number of cascading waterfalls, the biggest about 15-20ft. A few great scrambles and a number of open, expansive viewpoints up on the summits. My favorite Catskill hike so far

Great hike. I was happy with my decision to go counterclockwise. Hike starts out mellow and works up to a fun scramble up the west side if Sugarloaf. Trail was wet and covered with leaves which made it a little tricky. Once up and over the top of Sugarloaf the descent on the east side is steep but fun. I then hiked up to Twin Peaks. Another really fun scramble, challenging in a few spots. Great view from the top. On the way out I stopped and relaxed at the quarry for a few minutes. Nice view from there also. Hike took about 6.5 hours. I would recommend wearing a good pair of hiking boots as the ground is uneven on most of the trail.

Beautiful views, tough trail. Very muddy, and one particularly steep section (read: you must climb up a rock face). Overall, this trail is dedicated to my trekking poles, without whom I would have face-planted many times.

We also went up twin mountain from here: highly recommend. The view from there is breathtaking.

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