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Overall, a great hike. Extremely rocky and a straight incline but doable if you pace yourself. I am a novice to the high peaks and moved very very slow. We made it up in about 2.5 hours up and 1.5 hours down. I thought going down was almost as hard because of all the rocks but again, I am slow and clumsy af!

The trail is really nice. It is easy (we are 34 and experienced and did it in 3.5hrs with two young kids and two dogs) and short.
The only negative is that it is very very crowded. We did Algonquin in july and it was less crowded (but it is also waaaay harder)
That being said the view is amazing and since it's the easiest of the High peaks i get why it's so popular :)

We came early in the morning which was good because this is a really popular hike. There were a lot of people and dogs coming in as we were leaving. This hike is exactly as described: Cascade has a few rocky shambles to get to the top with a breathtaking view as your reward. It’s also very cold up there with the wind, so be prepared. Porter is very muddy, especially for us because we came the day after it rained. Porter is a much less scenic summit. We actually walked passed it without realizing. There is a privy at the split leading to both summits for your convenience. (Here is where I forgot to resume my recording up to Cascade, doh!) All said and done we completed both sides of the hike in 4 hours and 45 minutes with two less experienced hikers and a lot of breaks.

Really cool beginner trail. This is where my GF and I got started and it introduces you to a lot of terrain that you will experience on bigger trails. Our dog had a blast and there are great camp sites around

Great hike, my two teenage kids and I completed the entire trip in just over 4.5 hours. We went at a fairly steady pace with occasional breaks, the longest being at the peaks. The section of the trail between Cascade and Porter was the muddiest, but passable because there hadn’t been a lot of rain prior. Amazing views, especially from Cascade, well worth the hike!

hiking
6 days ago

This is a busy trail specially on nice weather. This is a moderate hike. weather condition changes at the summit. It was below 40's windchill at the top today

Saturday was a great day for a climb. Being older with knee and joint issues we were still able to do in 6 hours. The view from Cascade was well worth the pain.

Giant Ledge is probably one of the most accessible hikes in the Catskills in that it’s fairly short and easy and you are rewarded with some of the best views in the region. I’ve hiked it at night for some awesome stargazing as well as backpacked in and stayed overnight at the designated sites up on Giant Ledge. Caught a great sunset and sunrise on that trip!

I'm relatively new to hiking and have been aiming for moderate trails over easy, to challenge myself, gain experience and build endurance. Well this trail definitely helped with that. Steep hike with extremely rocky terrain. I found going up to be challenging but fun, but going down was extremely tough for me. The rocks are tough on the knees and feet. I'm thankful I invested in a good pair of hiking boots and trekking poles or it would have been a lot worse for me. The trail is beautiful, but I have to admit, I had my head down most of the way, because you have to watch your footing. There were some pretty intensely muddy spots on the trail, but that is to be expected with the amount of rain we've been getting. Bugs were not an issue at all except for the black flies at the top of Panther. Trail markers were easy to find. The ledges were some of the best views I've ever seen. We made friends with a little hungry chipmunk on the ledges and had lunch with a snake on the top of Panther. It was not too crowded, as we started at 7:30am. There were about 3 cars there before us, one being the trail steward, who stayed at the ledges. This was definitely a challenge for a new hiker but exactly what I was looking for. Sore today for sure, but still thinking about the lovely views at the top.

Perfect day hike, almost completely up hill to the summit of Cascade Mountain. The hike up to the Summit of Porter Mountain was a little muddy, but was well worth it. The view from Cascade Mountain is more scenic, but too windy for a lunch break. My suggestion would be to summit Porter Mountain first, and enjoy a lunch break there before continuing on to summit Cascade Mountain.

Five star review is for the Brothers and Big Slide. Great great views all the way up. Just amazing. But Yard is not worth doing. One very small view and the Yard Mountain Trail coming down is a mess. Mud, rocks, roots, blowdown. I somehow got off the trail and has to bushwhack my way downhill. The walk back along Johns Brook and past the Lodge was very nice however. 6 High Peaks down! Also there is no way the mileage on the route as shown is correct. Probably more like 14-15 miles.

Great view at the top but it is pretty crowded, especially this time of year.

Have a new appreciation for the stress the high peaks are under after climbing this Labor Day weekend as part of my daughters 46r effort. High Peak stewards did a nice job of talking to people but they still trod on sensitive areas. Ryan on top very friendly and informative. Did a great job. Glad trail will be changed to alternate route to let this trail heal. 650 people in a day is just too many to make the climb enjoyable for anyone.

I loved this climb! The last .3 of Big Slide was the hardest part for me. I highly recommend doing the entire loop trail. The views are amazing. My favorite view was from the first two summits, Brother 1 & 2. I enjoyed the change of terrains and the John Brooke trail. Started at 10 a.m. left at 5:30. I highly recommend this trail to anyone with climbing experience or that likes a challenge.

Started early to avoid the heat .... nice and shady walk. Great view from the Giant Ledge ... came across a baby snake on the way down ... brilliant day!

Very fun loop!! Made it to the top of slide today which was completely cloud covered, so didn’t stay long. The little brothers proved amazing. Took about 4 hrs 20 minuets!!! Johns brook lodge water has chlorine in it....yukkkkk!!

Great introduction to the high peaks. Not that difficult with just a couple of short steep climbs. Great view from the top which is a large bald open area. Lots of room to sit, eat a bite, and take it all in. Lots of people.. even a 5 year old girl who made it. 4-5 hours max time for anyone in decent shape. Round trip.

Nice but lots of rocks and very crowded. Many dogs, not always on leach. Parking full. No view as it was overcast. Would do other peaks now that it is done.

This was such a fun hike. Very rewarding views at Giant's Ledge and a really helpful NYNJ Trail Conference steward up there. If you continue up to Panther Mountain, you get even more of a workout but you also get that perfect alpine smell.

Great hike, but busy paths. Several vistas make the incline worth the effort.

I found these to be pretty easy for being 46ers. The best views are from Cascade. There's some climbing over rocks, but it's not too bad. I wouldn't say that Porter isn't worth it as there is a bit of a view (though not as stunning as Cascade) and it's very close. Unfortunately they are closing this trail, and the garden parking lot one is already closed. There will be a new trail from the Mount Van Hoevenberg visitor center that is currently being built. I'm glad I got a chance to do this trail and climbed up Van Hoevenberg before they build that center as I'm sure it will become very crowded. It's difficult for a regular trail but not bad for ADK. This took us about 7 hours, we stopped to eat and the rain slowed us down a bit.

Difficult and rocky montagne ⛰, breathtaking view from the top , a lot of hikers !
Porter is so muddy and not really worth the trouble.

Great place to hike. No language could express the feeling when you come across the rugged trail and reach the summit. Absolutely stunning scene. Going back could be a challenge since too many pebbles. Trails are not flat at all so not recommended for elders and bad knees. But great hike anyway.

Parking at the trailhead is limited due to the popularity of this place. Rocky trail with a steady climb. Excellent view at Cascade Summit. Porter was extremely muddy and offered an ok view. Early AM start is suggested if you want to avoid the herds of people.

Very difficult and rocky trail. Also very busy, I must’ve seen 100 people plus dogs on the trail.. Terrific view on top but very windy the day I was there.
Porter was easier to hike though not a single marker to follow, I just followed the well worn trail. Summit was a good place for me to eat my lunch.

Fairly steady climb but not too long. Boulder-filled trail with rock scrambles near and on the summit. Great views off Cascade and not bad on Porter as well. Porter side trip took a half hour each way from the Cascades trail. Whole hike took 4 1/2 hours though I did not spend much time on the summit due to rain. Lots of hikers on this one.

Very open and wide summit as your reward for a moderate plus hike. I’m sure the fire tower is sturdy enough, but I wouldn’t climb on it again.....

Fairly steep trail with very nice views. Many small rock ledges along the top of the mountain form the “giant ledge”. Saw 5 or 6 people when I went in May/June.

Good hike. Pretty crowded today. Great workout, a little wet in spots. Spent some time with 2 ultra friendly squirrels at the 3rd ledge.

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