Explore the most popular forest trails in Windham-Blackhead Range Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

5 months ago

I loved this trail. It was steep in some areas which meant a good work out and we caught some great views of the big mountains. My track included all 3 peaks on the range and it was winter. Check out my full review along with pictures and some things to look out for.


As difficult as it sounds. Be sure to have good tread and hiking poles to take on the ice patches

Very well marked and very woodsy, there’s a part where you walk through a pine tree forest. Rocky for some parts. Views are amazing.

Very nice challenging hike; it's not 4.8 miles though ... my GPS said 5.6 ... be ready to sweat and workout

Beautiful fall leaves in mid October. Also went left on the blue trail to go up burnt knob. Nice view points!

Very scenic hike. Trail clearly marked. Go after a rainfall.

Great trail with amazing views

This hike is very much about the journey and not the destination. Beautiful forests, streams and a couple good views. Took the advice of others and went clockwise. Glad we did.

Good challenge but not much of a view. I'd probably have gone clockwise on this loop instead of counterclockwise, the northeast part is a pretty steep incline that wasn't too much fun to descend when wet.

We did the full loop and really enjoyed it. Took about 3.5 hours with a 20 min lunch stop. Acra point was not marked but we think it was a pretty overgrown view.

10 months ago

Completed the full Escarpment trail 3 weeks ago, 2 days 1 night. Awesome trail, great views, a real grind. I traveled south to north (left a car at 23/Elm Ridge parking). Going the other way would be just as strenuous.

10 months ago

Went upfrom Big Hollow Road to Black Dome then down and over to Black Head with my son and 2 grandson age 10 and 11. Beautiful views would do it again in a heart beat.

Good views from either direction on the way up, no views from the summit. Took my girlfriend and I about 5 hours and that was stopping to eat twice. Probably easier to veer left at the fork and ascend the steep side first, but we had no issues descending it and I would prefer going down it rather than up it. Lots of wild flowers this time of year. We thought it was a fairly easy hike compared to some others we've done.

Includes Windham, one of the 35 high peaks of the Catskills. 4 great lookout points off the sides of the trail. Need to stray a bit from trail to get all the view points. Chiseled into the rock at the viewpoints are the names of adventurers who came before you and the year in which they visited. The earliest date I saw was 1851. (See photos)

Starts out wet with lots of small water crossings. Then it's straight up the east approach. While tough and sometimes requiring 4 points of contact I would rather ascend this section instead of descending it. Coming back down the west side between blackhead and blackdome has loose footing the entire way down the col making slow going. Not many views at the summit. But a great early morning hike.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

My recording is the hike down from windham high peak. (If you're looking to cross a 3500 off)
Moderate, easy hike. I did it to cross off WHP, But will definitely be back to finish the way to burnt knob.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The difficult part is the north slope trail of Black Head (icy). Other than that it's pretty easy.

Nice hike but to do a "loop" it's more like 6.5 miles which is fine
Micro spikes were a must have on 3/5
Did a lot of Creek crossing which was a bit scary

Winter snowshoed. Plenty of snow, up to my knees. Also lots of ice to be careful of. Overall great hike with some awesome views on the way down.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Really loved this hike. Nothing to see at the top but really nice views from a comfortable spot looking north/northeast on the way down. We only saw a few people on the trail. Got a little steep before the summit but it doesn't last too long and isn't too hard. You will use your hands.

Monday, September 12, 2016

I liked the trail, but was not too thrilled: There are two good vista points, but not on the top of the mountain.

Above about 3000 feet, the vegetation is changing, and the air smelled wonderfully (early September).

Will I do it again? - Rather not. - Was it worth the time and effort? - Yes.

Monday, September 05, 2016

great trail, beautiful but not for beginner hiking is primarily up hill, this was more of a mountain climb than a hike spectacular view and really beautiful hidden pine forest at the top.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Escarpment Trail is a Catskill delight. Great views, historic places, awesomely exhausting climbs, and great options for side trips. We hiked S > N as an overnight. After climbing Black Dome ducked off the blue blazed escarpment trail to the lean-to and hung the hammock. The next morning we took a short jaunt to tag Black Dome and Thomas Cole mountains then return to the trail. Finished by going over Windham High Peak. Make sure not to miss the short jaunt (~.2m) down to the top of Kaaterskill Falls by the southern terminus at North-South Lake and the quick (~.2m) Yellow side trail to Artists Ledge. You'll get better views of N-S lake further along (and higher up) on the Escarpment but Artists Ledge is a place of significance to early painters in the area. Very cool to see the paintings and know you've stood in that spot, looking at that view. I highly recommend the side trip to tag Black Head and Thomas Cole, especially if your working on your 3500 club list. Go mid-July through the fall after black flies die off, fall is the best if you can pull it off so it's not so hot.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

I had a really nice time with this trail. There was lots to see and minimal people on the day I was there. I almost made it all the way to Burnt Knob but stopped a little short since rain was in the forecast. Still got to take in some nice views at WHP. Altogether I made about a 9 mile hike out of it. This will be the one to beat for the rest of the season. Just mind the large rocks on the way back down. They can be a little slippery.

Great trail! Different areas make for different type of hiking and sight seeing. I loved the pine tree forest. I do recommend hiking boots though. There are a lot of rocks to step on, over, and climb up. It has been a hot dry summer so the trail was dry. I can see where it gets muddy in other seasons so be prepared for that.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

This trail head is not located where your map says. I have been lead to the middle of nowhere.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Fun hike! Nice rocky sections, with good views! Not such a good view at the summit because of the over grown trees, but nonetheless very beautiful!

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Completed this over Memorial Day w/e 3 nights and 3 days (we came from Central PA) following one of the detailed guides found online. We prepared and understood the challenges on this hike: water and lots of rocks. We parked our vehicle (free) at the Laurel House Rd trail head and took a taxi to Rte 23 trail head for $47. There were quite a number of day-hikers on the trail fr Rte 23 to Windham High Peak; fr Batavia to Black Dome/Thomas Cole; and after Newman's Ledge to both trail heads (Schutt/Laurel House Rd). In between, we hardly saw anyone. We camped at Colgate Lake, Batavia Kill, and North Mtn. We divided the trek into 9.5/8.5/9.0 miles. The toughest was on the 2nd day, climbing Blackhead Mountain (3940'). Like they say the total elevation gain is 9,000 ft - this is exhausting. Expect an average rate of 1.5 mph. The distances seemed much longer, these are not your regular miles. The black flies were horrendous esp at Batavia Kill. Meals had to be planned well due to water being scarce - we limited our cooking to when we were at the water source. The spring water at the junction of Dutcher Notch and Colgate Lake is 0.4 mile down a hollow but it's so slow flowing it will probably run dry during the summer. We brought 3 liters of water each and it was just enough to keep ourselves hydrated. The trail is well maintained, only saw 2 garter snakes. Washed out sections are slippery due to loose rocks and gravel. The descents precipitous. The ascents heart-pumping. The views are magnificent. The experience exhilarating. I will definitely go back.

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