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Did this hike yesterday. Over 3,000 feet of elevation gain in about 3 miles so it’s definitely one of the harder catskill hikes. Add on to this the route finding difficult and I would classify this as a hard hike. When ascending the col between Friday and balsam always stay to the left of the cliffs you run into.
I did spend an hour on top of Friday and could not find the canister! Good luck

We got to the trailhead Nov. 29 and to our surprise there was too much snow to walk it, even though no significant snow at lower levels. Area stunningly beautiful--we didn't regret the hikeless drive. (My 4* rating based on summer experience.)

This was not a hard bushwhack to navigate, but breaking trail will tire you out. The water crossings weren’t any problems, but the snow drifts upwards of the summit was deep and I sunk down deep in places. I didn’t make it to the summit of Fir but I’ll be back for it.

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!

hiking
27 days ago

Myself and my crazy akita mix hiked straight up and back to Slide Mtn summit from Rt 47 parking, did not take slight option for the small loop due to time constraints.
5.5 miles total, just under 3 hrs total with 20 mins of that taking in the different top views.
First creek crossing was sketchy, water on either side of obvious crossing was at least 1 to 1.5 ft deep so I carried Rory across the ice-covered rocks and logs, crossing my fingers and toes the whole way.
Bottom third of the trail was covered in a dusting of snow and with ice on some rocks and small puddles frozen.
Middle third was heavy dusting and lots of ice.
Top third could not see any rocks or ground with probably inches of snow and heavy ice covering the whole trail.
Brought microspikes and crampons, I barebooted up the whole way, carefully dancing on all the ice towards the top. After sharing respect for Mr Burroughs at his plaque I spiked up on top for our trip back down and it made life much easier and even jogged most of the way with confidence in my freshly-filed kahtoolas.
Trail was very easy to follow, shorter hike with not much variation in terrain except hardwoods below and softwoods up top, but no real reason to drop a star off rating, especially with the various great views up high (west view before and around plaque ledge after).
I was first to sign in around 7 and we had solitude all the way up, on the way down passed a bunch of groups going up.
Definitely looking forward to doing this one again in middle winter and also dry/warm summer, especially with option for Corn/Witt and the other trail options and possible whacks.
This is probably great for an intro high-peak hike with its ease in following and shorter length, I would just pay mind to recent rains due to the first creek crossing within view of parking area.

Hiked from Rider Hollow parking area on October 21, did the loop clockwise with spur out over Haynes to Eagle Mtn. Just short of 10 miles total, about 5 hours. Started before 7 and was the first to sign into register that day, didn't see anyone til 3 hours later, and saw total of 6 other hikers so was a nice quiet morning.
Snow covering on top of both Balsam and Eagle, brought microspikes along for first time of the season but didn't need them that morning with barely any ice seen.
I didn't feel there was an issue whatsoever following the trail for the duration even with the leaves or snow, and even starting out in the predawn conditions. Descending from the 2 high peaks the mossy rocks were a bit slick. Creeks and streams were all flowing pretty good, the last stream crossing on my route (big one back down low by lean-to) was still low enough to stay dry with careful rock-hopping. Only views from the trail were on Balsams northern summit area.
Nice variety of scenery on this trail with the deciduous sections, short ledgey area, beautiful tight trail through some firs on top, valley trail down toward rider hollow.
Couldn't come across a reason to drop off a star from rating.

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

The hike up Vly was pretty well marked with large blue blazes all the way up to the canister. There were some steep sections and some parts where the tread was thick mud, loose rock, or covered in slick leaves. It was a fun scramble and there are some great moss covered boulders, but it wasn't easy. No views up top.

Going up Bearpen was pretty uneventful. Mostly an old secondary road but eventually splits off into a snow machine trail that doesnt seem to get a lot of use. Decent amount of blowdown and A LOT of mud. Once off the road, the blazes become less frequent and I would imagine it would be easy to lose the trail in the winter. Two clearings at the top with some good views.

Pleasant hike with nice views from Giant Ledge. Hiking over to Panther is not really worth it though for the view itself, but walking around in the woods there is really soothing. The forest floor is covered in mats of bright green moss and it feels like walking in an enchanted forest.

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!

There is a great viewpoint before the summit of Friday.

This is my first! I would go again.

Did this hike on Oct. 24th and there was snow above 3100’. Really beautiful the entire way. Great transition from autumn colors down by the creek to snow up on the peak.

Also didn’t see anyone else the entire hike, so it’s a good trail for some solitude.

I just did the yellow to blue and then back from the summit. But I’ll agree with prior reviews that yellow to blue to red... aka clockwise is probably a good bet if the creeks are flowing high and fast.

It’s easy to get off trail with the leaves down/snow on the trail so be on the lookout for the markers.

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.

awesome hike to panther mtn. over ledge. views are spectacular. a bucket list hike for sure

on Halcott Mountain

1 month 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.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail was muddy in spots due to rain the night before. The day was sunny and cool. The summit offered limited views but there were views prior to summit. iWe had planned to hike on to Cornell but instead took an alternate trail (East Branch) for some nice views during our descent..

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.

Great hike with beautiful views. Views from giant ledge are better than panther. Deff longer than 6.3 miles if you go up to panther.

hiking
1 month ago

Very well marked trail. First mile is difficult, very steep, but after that it's quite easy. Just watch your footing. Lots of roots and muddy patches.

1 month ago

Beautiful view. Short trail but rather steep. Wear shoes with ankle support.

We went back to this beautiful trail yesterday. The trails were mostly dry views were amazing! Foliage should be peak by the weekend.

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