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

Chestertown trip Map

Hiked the loop and it is one of my favorite hikes to date. The hike itself is lots of fun with the ladders and the trail is super cool too! Beautiful all the way. Really loved it. My only issue was that I didn't realize that the road leading to the trailhead is seasonal i.e. not plowed during the winter months. Not only did this add an extra 0.6 miles or so in the beginning, it also added another 0.2 or 0.3 at the end because you have to backtrack a bit to return to the trailhead to sign out. Other than these minor details, the hike was awesome and the views from the summit are STUNNING. Views of the pond at sunset are also quite nice.

As it says this is definitely an intermediate to expert-level hike as it is quite steep and snow/ice make conditions even more difficult. I would highly recommend snowshoes and ice crampons. Trekking poles may be strapped to your pack for the ascent (too steep to use on the way up), but are of value on the way down. Happy trails!

Hiked the full loop yesterday using micro spikes. Trail is really icy on the incline/declines areas. Snow shoes would not work well. Would definitely recommend going counter clockwise. Go to Thomas first. Views are incredible. Total loop time 5.25 hours because of the icy conditions. Good weather probably 4+. Moderate workout in the winter.

Did this over the weekend and it took less than 4 hours. It was a nice hike, pretty icy in some spots but fine with microspikes. My dog struggled with the ice a bit in some parts so I had to help him. Trail was fine without snow shoes, passed a few people on skis. Overall really nice time, will definitely do it again in warmer weather!

WARNING!! DO NOT, AND I REPEAT DO NOT CLIMB THIS MOUNTAIN IN WINTER WITHOUT MOUNTAINEERING CRAMPONS. Both the ascent and descent of the mountain is very steep and was littered with smooth frozen over ice melt. I made the mistake of just using mini lug crampons meant for walking and I ended up slipping falling twice in five minutes on my descent. Had it had not been for a small tree in the middle of the rock scramble on my first fall, who knows where and how far and hard I would have fallen. Im thankful for that tiny little tree. Its very steep and becomes very treacherous when it’s icy. Seriously. Invest in mountaineering crampons

ASCENT: Very steep and icy pretty much the whole way. However, there were many lookouts along the way to stop and take breaks and it has a great pine forest setting that just looks beautiful after a fresh snowfall, which I took full advantage of with my camera.

SUMMIT: the summit offers spectacular views. Much better views in person than the pictures show but isn’t that always the case?

DESCENT: The descent from the summit down to the pond is not well marked. I got nervous that I’d gone off trail so I started actively looking for a marker for at least 5 minutes and I saw not one. That may not sound like a long time but 5 minutes going down a mountain is a long way and I wasn’t looking forward to backtracking up the steep grade to get back to where I went off trail. I put faith in the footprints from other hikers that I was going the right way. Finally I saw one but this pet of the trail needs to be marked better. The descent after the pond was extremely icy. I slipped and fell twice and I was terrified of falling again. It was a very slow and methodical descent for me, planning out every step and praying I wouldn’t fall to my death. I’ll never winter hike again without mountaineering crampons. Ever. Lesson learned (the hard way)

The last leg of the hike is mostly flat but does have just enough incline to make lactic acid build up if you don’t have snowshoes (yet another rookie mistake of I made. Between the icy ascent and descent, my lack of snowshoes and my dumbass leaving my trekking poles in the car (this hike wasn’t my proudest moment), I can confidently say the hike was not worth the reward this time. If I was better equipped for winter or if I did this in summer, I’d probably feel differently. But this mountain left a bitter taste in my mouth

Couldn’t pass up a 40 degree day in January!! Hiked in from trailhead at Beaver Pond Road. Trail was hard packed snow and some ice, but easy walking with ice grippers. First time hiking the Pharaoh Wilderness area. I will definitely be back for an overnight stay at one of the Pharaoh Lake lean-tos.

Great hike hike today. Snow was not an issue as the trail was well broken in. Highly recommend this trail. Made the full loop in less than four hours. Recommend doing the loop clockwise- trail between the two peaks was the most difficult.

Great hike! It's a bit tough of hike but a good cardio workout. I was hoping to have it done in 4 hours and managed the whole 7.1 mile loop in 3 hours flat! I recommend Cat and then Thomas. Used snowshoes the whole time.

Hiked this Sunday to catch the sunrise. Trail was in good shape, used snowshoes the whole way. Great hike during the summer, fall or winter

I've hiked Thomas a few times, but yesterday was my first time doing Cat. We hiked Cat first then went to the Cabin on Thomas. The hike was well marked and a good balance of easy to moderate sections.

Went to Cat first, then over to Thomas. Was glad I did that because there was some spots I would have had issues going down, but did fine going up them! Some areas were very strenuous but those areas were short. Definitely worked up a sweat and needed a few breaks to catch my breath. Met some great people at the cabin! Was told the cabin will be demolished soon though, so glad I got to hang there for awhile today and enjoy the view. Will definitely return in late spring or early fall. My gps said I did 7.2 miles total, in case anyone wanted to know.

Such a nice hike

4 months ago

This is one of my all time favorite places to hike. So much fun and the views were incredible. Check out my full write up with pictures and directions.

Loved the last review and wanted to see for ourselves ... we were not disappointed!!! Absolutely incredible views all along this trail. The scramble is fun!! This shot to the top of our favorites list. A "must do" of you love big rocks! At least this time of year, get there early to avoid the crowd - we were the second car in the parking lot at 8am ... when we left cars were parked quite a ways down the road.

Great adventurous hike. Would keep small kiddos home and definite no dogs. Would also make sure not to do in rainy, wet season. Several spots with amazing views! Would do this one again for sure.

Wow! Couldn't wait to leave a review on this trail! Best views I've gotten yet in the Lake George area (way better than Prospect Mtn. that's for sure. Also liked it better than Thomas Mt., the Pinnacle, Sleeping Beauty and Potash Mtns.). Ok, so there's no way to get around the rock scrambles if you park at the main trailhead. At the TH you can take the yellow trail to the left at the sign in (longer hike to summit, takes you to pond first before summiting) or you can take the red trail to the right at the sign in (takes you straight to summit ascending almost immediately as you leave the TH). Rock scrambles and rock scrambles! So awesome! Leave your trekking poles in the car; they'll do you little good and will just get in the way. You're going to need to use your hands for support in climbing the rocks, for leverage and that's it. You'll never be on your knees or do any cliff like climbing at all. It's rated as hard because it ascends quite a bit on both the yellow and red trails and because you have to use your hands to grab onto tree branches/rocks for support in your climb. This is by NO STRETCH a cliff climb so don't worry about that. Think Hadley Mountain but steeper, so you use your hands for support and to help push yourself up in a few spots. If you're in decent shape and don't mind rock scrambles, then you totally got this. Views are as good as they come and there must be 10 great spots for taking pics at the top. The pond is majestic and serene and some locals said there's a cave just past the pond, but I couldn't find it; dammit!!!! I'll try again next time for it. The descent on the yellow trail has tons of rock scrambles too, but nothing dangerous if you take your time and use your hands for support. I never once had to sit on my rear to slide down or anything. It's really not scary at all in my opinion. That said, the elderly, really small, inexperienced children, those with really bad balance, and doggies should prolly stay at home for this one. At the end of the pond, the red trail (which I took to the summit and down to the pond) splits into the yellow or blue trail (take the yellow to get back to the trailhead parking lot). You still have a ways to go once you join the yellow trail there at the split. No Portajohn at the parking lot and none along the way. Also, make sure you gas up your car in advance as I didn't see any gas stations from Warrensburg to the parking lot (about 30 min drive from WBurg).

Amazing hike! A super challenging, short hike with a spectacular view. Lots of steep climbing over boulders, plus 2 ladders. So much fun - we loved every minute of it. A must do near Lake George.

Hiked this trail last month. For it being my first mountain hike ever, I felt it was a good intro to the sport.

Only did Thomas. Easy 40 minutes to top from parking lot. Cabin is insanely cool and the views are totally picturesque. Went back down and drove the 3.6 miles down the road to The Pinnacle and climbed that, which was even shorter and quite easy. Two nice, small mountain views (with different perspectives) easily accomplished in half a day with lots of picture taking. Note: there's a rustic outhouse at trailhead for Cat/Thomas and at the Thomas cabin. No paper so bring some. Loved Thomas views, will be back to do just Cat.

One of my favorite views of the Lake George region on Cat. You can see across the lake to Sleeping Beauty and Buck. The blue trail is easier than the yellow, where the trail is trickier and more difficult between Cat and Thomas. Perfect views in the Fall.

Great hike with great views! I enjoyed the incline. Really got the heart going!!

5 months ago

Great quick trail fir the youngsters I have done this one twice. On the second trip we spotted a fairly big porcupine near the summit. If you are looking for something to do with the young kids, this is it. Only 2 miles round trip.

favorite moderate mountain hike in NY

I started this hike to Cat Mountain summit believing it was a moderate hike. The beginning was pretty easy, along an old logging road. However, as I neared the end, there was a detour off the logging road and that is where things got much harder. The view from the top was well worth the trip though.

It's a great hike with spectacular views but you really have to look for the blue trail markers in some spots, especially near the brook. What a great view at the summit!!

This is a beautiful hike, the lake is gorgeous.

Can Alltrails break this down into two separate hikes? Distance and entrance from Edgecomb pond?

At roughly eight miles, this was my first "long" hike in the ADKs (July 11, 2017). Went on a misty day but by the time, my SIL and I got to the top of Cat Mountain, the views were visible and enjoyable! Marking this as a two only because there are other hikes I've done in these parts that are nicer and more enjoyable. However, if you are looking for a short easy hike to get yourself moving, Thomas Mountain would be just that! All a matter of taste, really. The hike up Cat Mountain is wooded, long, and steep in a few places but reminded me of The Chester Challenge hikes combined! The hike up Thomas Mountain is pretty short and not too difficult and what made up for the lack of a view were fresh and ripe blueberries just waiting to be picked! ;-)

This was our first hike and it definitely was a harder trail for us to choose for our first time. However, it was fun and the experience was amazing! The views are just breath taking. We also took our 3 (will be 4 in 2 weeks!) went with us and hiked the whole thing herself! We took the route to Long Ladder however she was afraid to take the Ladder so we hiked back down and went around Crane Pond and back up! Can't wait to do this one again!

Very nice walk thru the woods, along the stream and then steep road/ski trail walk
Great views while walking the ski trail
Sadly, no access to the fire tower
Great views and lunch spot at the warming lodge

great views and steep climb loved it

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