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Fun winter day hike. Took the Mary Glen trail to Ashley Falls, then past Badman Cave, Newman Ledge and Artists Rock. Built a fire in a firepit at campground. There were some icy spots. Don't worry about the road being closed. Plenty of places to park by entrance to campground even when it is closed. And trail was about a 5 minute walk from there. You can check out some video here to get an idea: https://youtu.be/r8ipiygb7_Y

Beautiful monastery at the base of the trail you can tour and cool abandoned hotel towards the top of the trail with beautiful views at the fire tower! Steep wide trail.

Best hike in a while. Not too challenging but the views are well worth the trip.

great views and intresting history.

Am awesome hike today .

Consistent incline. Good wide dirt trail. Hotel ruins are cool to see. Fire tower at top offers nice view as does another spot 50 yards away. Rattlesnake signs posted near top of trail. Ranger was knowledgeable and helpful.

Great hike, the ruins are wonderful. No views due to the weather.

Although the car park is of good size get there EARLY because its a popular trail. It was almost full when we got there about 9.30am.

The trail is a well defined single-track road which can only be considered "moderate" because of the sustained incline. I can see how some consider it boring. My only thought on the way up was how beautiful it must be in the spring when the abundant rhododendrons are in bloom.

Currently there is a deceptive light covering of snow on the trail. What it hides is the numerous thick sheets of ice which only become more frequent the higher you get. WEAR YOUR SPIKES, your body will thank you for it. I had many conversations with people who were asking me about my micro-spikes; hopefully taking the time to direct them to REI / EMS will inspire a couple of them.

The hotel ruins looked fantastic in the low cloud cover. Hauntingly so.

The firetower looked great against the pure white surrounding cloud cover. It was very blustery as weather started to move in but we found shelter behind the ranger hut to make lunch and coffee. Only saw two other people at the summit even though we saw many more on the trail.

CAUTION: BE AWARE, coming down the trail in winter was the slipperiest trails I’ve ever done. Fell down a total of 20 times. WEAR ICE SPIKES, or shoes with very good traction. Overall the view was amazing and the ruins were incredible, with an interesting story behind it. Would recommend for summertime!

Hiked on 12/29/18. Trail conditions: clear and down leaves near trailhead and first incline, increasingly muddy towards giants ledge, and hard packed ice and snow beyond that. Microspikes and poles were extremely helpful. Summited in about two hours and returned in the same time and took very few breaks. Very nice views along Giants Ledge, but you get more or less the same from the rock outpost near the summit. Overall, a good challenge for a first time hike of this trail.

Great hike that was super challenging for me. It’s a steady climb to the top, with lots of mud and some icy patches. Snow flurries accompanied me the entire way. Definitely would have benefited me to have some trekking poles on the way down. The view is amazing. I felt like I was kissing the clouds. The hotel ruins are both creepy and intriguing! Definitely an awesome hike.

I live near here so I’ve done this hike many, many times in my childhood and since. It’s great for the kids and the fur kids, usually lots of other folks to greet.

Definitely further than what is listed, at least according to my gps.
Pretty steep with lots of ice in a few areas but not a huge problem. SO WORTH IT!!! The view is awesome especially in the winter!

I hiked Giant Ledge solo last year and liked it so much I brought 3 friends up this past Oct. We hiked up to Panther Summit then back down to one of the Giant Ledge campsites and stayed overnight. Weather was warmer than normal so it was very comfortable. At night it went from great views of the stars to total cloud cover and windy. Great views especially at sunrise. Overall it was challenging but not too bad. Muddy in spots if there is recent rain. Pack as light as possible and make sure you use trekking poles although you will need to climb in certain areas. I went during the week so crowds were not an issue. Overall a great experience and I would definitely go back.

hiking
29 days ago

Great view from the top, from both the lookout and the tower and the ruins were interesting to explore. The hike is consistently uphill on a fire road, and as its a road not the most exciting hike. Quite icy in patches!

Did this trail a few days ago. You can’t get to the entrance identified by Trails in the winter - they block cars from getting to the back of the park. Had a good time hiking around the lake before finding the trail head and sumiting Sunset Rock. Did a second detour over to Boulder Rock - stunning view every direction.

Nice views from the top!

Great view from the top and the ruins are awesome to explore. It is however extremely congested with riff raff from the city. Even on a 0 degree day people were everywhere. That definitely takes the adventure out of a hike.

The first 30 minutes are tough it’s all uphill, there was snow which made it harder but the hotel and the view at the top were worth the hike!!!

Trail is well marked. Switch backs make the trek to summit tolerable. A bit slick in spots later in the trail. Views are incredible.

hiking
2 months ago

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

I consider this hike to be like a salad and steak type of hike. The road to the top (which is 2.5 miles making this actually a 5 mile hike) is rather mundane. However, when you get to the hotel ruins, it’s fascinating to explore. You then do the last pitch up to the summit to see a great Firetower and without a doubt the best views in the Catskills. We got there at 8:00 and got good parking. We were back at 10:15 and the parking lot was full. There is more parking 1/2 mile up the road, but this will add a mile to your hike. The best Firetower hike in the Catskills.

The ruins were really cool to see and the view from the top is beautiful

hiking
2 months ago

Basically walking up a driveway. The hike itself isn't that visually stimulating but the views from the top are what make this a 5 star hike.

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

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.

I was ready to hate this trail. It’s just uphill for 1,500ft of elevation on a fire road for almost an hour. Which is pretty awful. I have to say, once we got up to the abandoned hotel, and then probably one of the best overlooks I’ve seen? It is worth it. If you’re willing to put up with a craptacualr hike to see some cool shit, this is the trail.

We had great time at this trail.
We went to the caskill house look out first, then turn on the blue trail, artist rock, sunset rock to Newman Ledge. Then turned back the same trail back to north Lake parking lot. We saw the rainbow nearby Sunset Rock, twice & two rainbows. Amazing. It was very windy, raining & cold when we got to the sunset rock site; less then 10mins. Need to go back again.

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.

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