Looking for a great trail in Hunter-West Kill Wilderness Area, New York? AllTrails has 6 great hiking trails, forest trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Gearing up for a challenge? There are 4 hard trails in Hunter-West Kill Wilderness Area ranging from 7.3 to 26.3 miles and from 1,788 to 4,045 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!






dogs on leash

This loop is a doozy for a day hike, but one of my favorites to date! We clocked in at 14 miles in a little over 8 hours with lunch/snack breaks, so anticipate it being a longer hike than AllTrails describes. First couple of miles are a steep ascent (which you will also descend on your way back to the parking lot). Beautiful forest on your way up to the Hunter Mtn Fire Tower, which delivers truly amazing views of the surrounding mountains. Definitely stop at the John Robb Lean-to off the Spruceton Trail (after the firetower) - perfect sunny lunch spot with a view. There’s a water source on trail not far off from there as well. Spruceton Trail is a rocky horse road leading to a parking lot, follow your AllTrails down the road from there to some awesome falls. One more ascent from there puts you back up on Devil’s Path, there was a good amount of mud and water to navigate through. We were so tired for the final push, but it was so worth it!

Did this yesterday. Picture perfect day, clear skies, no humidity. Took me about 11 hours. All I can recommend is make sure there is a car at the midpoint fully stocked with water, snacks, electrolytes. Hiking Poles are highly recommended if you want to keep your knees. Lots of places to get water along the trail so bring some decontamination tabs with ya. Wear a running vest, and light hiking boots.

Easy stroll from Spruceton rd to the Falls... gorgeous and well worth the hike.

Great trail. Hiking. Camping. Great views. Fire tower was awesome. Definitely a hard trail. Recommended for experienced hikers.

This is a nice way up. Park at the Notch Lake near Devils Tombstone camp then head up. Nice and steep at first but then, before you know it, you're at that top. Continue over to the fire tower and have a glorious look at the surrounding area. Descended via Becker Hollow which is steep at the top and really much of the way down but it's a steep mountain. A wonderful trek made all the better by the wonderful sunny weather! Enjoy.

A short out and back hike starting from Devil’s tombstone campground to Hunter mountain fire tower. Started at 10:30AM and back at 4PM. A bit of strenuous uphill stretch in the beginning, but the rest were easy. A good easy hike to start the hiking season!

1 month ago

We only hiked to St Anne’s Peak which the trail does pass over the summit but not the high point. The trailhead was very busy today with people hiking cause of the holiday weekend. Overall it was a nice hike that some spots that were muddy but not too bad. We got good views of North Dome on our way up the trail.

just under ten hours, great day! crisp morning led to blue bird day. pretty hard, most ultra runners will be successful....run East to West.

Did it last weekend, very beautiful but steep. I read that there wasn't much water but didn't find this to be an issue. Camped at the Devil's acre lean to about 16 miles in which was very nice and right next to a stream. Only issue was it snowed the entire second day, making the steep descents very slippery and difficult and obscured some views

For the love of god, do not do this bushwhack in the rain.

An absolutely awful way to spend an afternoon. Not a fun bushwhack at all. Took 6 hours to hike 7 miles. Only do this hike if you’re trying to complete all of the Catskill 3500 peaks.

off trail
3 months ago

I did the loop as shown on the map. Started from Devil's Path parking area/Mink hollow, I followed the marked trail to its east swing towards St Anne's and started the whack up North Dome's ledges. Went on a clear day, though i had a bearing for the summit it was unnecessary as the way up is obvious in clear weather. Whole bunch of bands of ledges, good fun scrambles, some vertical sections in them but a way up can always be found by swinging north along them. Nice views back toward West Kill/Hunter/the south/etc while taking breaks on the way up. The bands were iced over pretty good so needed my axe to get up the steepest ledge. When going from ND to Sherrill try to hit the saddle right, it is tight and steep. Used spikes to top of ND, there was an obvious trail by snowshoes that was packed solid with no holing. After ascending ND sherrill is not too bad. The whack northeast is pretty steep at times dropping down, used snowshoes for this stretch to try and keep on top of the looser snow until I got down low to the leaves. Keep an eye out for posted signs to make sure to stay on state land. Hit the bridge to get back onto Spruceton Rd and finish with the road walk back to Mink Hollow lot. Definitely bring map and compass for this one, while there might be a visible herdpath in areas for all 4 seasons, if you lose it and cant see your summits or handrails or are socked in you might get going the wrong way and have a really long day. About 9 miles for the loop I did, took me just over 6 hrs lot to lot.

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

One of the best circuit hikes in the Catskills.

This is a pleasant hike.. Not so strenuous compared to WestKill. No view until to climb the Fire Tower. 360 view from FireTower! Trail well marked throughout.

8 months ago

Extremely strenuous hike! We hiked to Diamond Notch Waterfalls where we chilled and had snacks. We even climbed down the waterfall. Then we hiked up to Buck Ridge Lookout.. That is a very hard part with high elevation gain. We enjoyed a nice quiet lunch at Buck Ridge Lookout. Then we hiked down to the parking lot.. the trail down is a bit swampy like... very wet and muddy! But well worth it!

Hiked this over Memorial Day weekend. Good hike, some steep inclines and scrambles. I'm 5ft tall and I was able to pull myself and my pack up all of the scrambles. Very slippery when wet but beautiful. Lean to's all have outhouses available and water nearby. Water was fairly plentiful as long as you have a small filter like a Trailshot or Lifestraw. Trekking poles recommended for going downhill. You'll see the offshoot to hit the top of Hunter Mountain which was incredible. You can climb to the top of the fire tower and see a good portion of the mountains.

From Spruceton Rd, I did the whole crossing North Dome, Sherill Mt, Balsam Mt to Stateway 42 back by the road. Steep slops with a little rocky ledge to climb to reach North Dome summit. Transition North Dome to Sherill Mt is relatively easy following a poorly marked path. Reaching Balsam Mountain was quite tricky with no view specially to find the correct crest from Sherill top (no path at all, thanks GPS). From Balsam to the top with no name on the west, a little easier. To reach Stateway 42, I followed the border of the private land at first then cut directly in the slop. It's very steep but no need to climb down to reach the road but a good observation is necessary to find the better way among the ledges. More than 9hrs to complete the loop including stops

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

We did a bushwhack via the Fisherman Trail. Going this way you need permission from the landowner. This way you hike along old logging roads. There was a lot of flat sections on the ascent that helped with the climb. There’s a really nice viewpoint along a ledge looking down into the campground.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Nice 2 day backpacking trip. It starts pretty steep and then eases out to the top of Hunter Mountain. Views at the top of the tower are breathtaking. The back loop is much easier with one water point on the way down and then a river at the bottom.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

I only hiked Mount Sherrill from Shaft Road. The weather was nice and there was no snow in the lower elevation. The summit had snow but nothing major. Overall it was a decent hike.

great hike for sure.. definitely a steep climb up north Dome..

Saturday, September 23, 2017

This hike is probably the most underrated one in the Catskills. People don't like it, I'm told, because it's a little difficult to navigate, there's much private land to avoid and stinging nettles abound. I felt it was a great challenge though. Should only be rated "hard" in the sense that it can test ones navigational skills.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I completed this route in 2016 as I worked towards my Catskill 35s. The steep ascent up North Dome was enjoyable and strenuous; some views to be had in the right season. This is a great hike to test your newbie navigation skills. The hike up Sherrill is also strenuous but shorter.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

I did this hike end to end with a car shuttle. Started at the Spruceton Rd DEC Parking Area and hiked the red-blazed Devil's Path for about .7 of a mile and jagged right crossing a small stream and headed for a ridge coming north off North Dome. Once you leave the Devil's Path the rest of the trail, to the finish, is a bushwhack. Once I made the ridge it was a straight shot to the summit. The canister at the summit is a little harder to see when the leaves are off the trees and snow is on the ground, but range around a bit and you should be able locate it. Coming off North Dome heading west to Sherrill, I made for the center of the col between North Dome and Sherrill. There are several ways up Sherrill if you do a map recon but none of them look any better than the others so I just shot a dead-straight azimuth up the mountain and followed it to the summit canister. It should be noted that the east side of both mountains is covered in boulders and ledges. One after another. You should be in good hiker shape to attempt these two peaks. Once I crossed over Sherrill I headed basically west, down hill for nearly 2.5 miles to the DEC Parking area at Shaft Rd, off Hwy 42. My total distance was 6.3 miles and it took me 5 hours 30 minutes exactly. I normally like post my gpx track but on the trail-less peaks I don't do that. You'll enjoy the hike more if you find the canister on your own!

17 days ago

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