Halcott Mountain is a 5.6 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Shandaken, New York that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 5.6 km Elevation Gain: 541 m Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

over grown

off trail

Halcott Mountain is a trailless peak in the Catskills. At 3537 feet in elevation, it just makes the cut as a required hike for entry into the Catskill 3500 club. This hike is a relatively easy bushwack through a hard wood forest. There is no trail so you will have to rely on your own navigation skills (map, compass, GPS). It is easier to hike this mountain in the Fall or Spring when the leaves are down. You will most likely not see any one else on your journey. From the trailhead, follow the herd path to top of falls. Cross the creek and head generally in a NW direction. If you travel along the creek you may see several stone foundations. After a steep climb of 1400 feet in a little over 3/4 mile, you reach the ridge. Follow the ridge now SW for about a mile. The walking is much quicker now with short climbs followed by level stretches. At the summit, you can sign the register. Unfortunately, there are no great views at the top.

hiking
bugs
off trail
25 days ago

hiking
snow
30 days ago

Challenging bushwack mostly because of the recent snow that was slick as grease because of the warming temp. Too stubborn to put on my spikes, though hiking buddy did and dealt with clumping. Poles were helpful, especially going down. AT shows a viewing point a little ways to the southwest of the summit- don't bother, there's no better view than the top (and that'll be gone in two weeks with leaves)

hiking
1 month ago

There’s a herd path at the beginning, but I lost track of it pretty quickly. I made my way to the river and followed that most of the way up. Once it ended, I cut across towards the summit. It’s a bushwhack, but not too crazy. However, it’s early Spring and nothing has really grown in yet.

recorded Halcott Mountain

hiking
icy
muddy
off trail
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Did this counterclockwise and I quickly realized that my plan of following tracks in the snow was not going to work. There was no snow for the first mile! Eventually I found some tracks in the hard pack and followed them to the summit. Going down I took the road well traveled - basically skied my way down. Lost my micro spikes in the loose snow too - ugh. Overall a fun but scary at times day. Very steep!

hiking
snow
3 months ago

I can’t say we followed the trail but there is a pretty clear herd path currently on 2-21-20. Just follow that and you should be fine but be careful not to veer off and follow one random set of tracks. We did and got lost for a bit. Spikes were also required today for snow and ice.

hiking
3 months ago

Short and steep. Just needed spikes, and definitely poles. This hike worked out my arms. The best part was that it was lightly snowing, and also the small waterfall at the start. The herd path is well defined, but not a loop. It went straight up. Out & back was a little under 3 hours. No view at the top. I imagine winter is the best time to do this hike.

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

hiking
off trail
5 months ago

Use this route for winter. It’s broken and a direct route up. Beautiful quick day. Stopped a bunch of times to talk to nice people.

hiking
7 months ago

I’m glad we had GPS for this hike- it’s a true bushwhack though we did find some trails coming down, they tended to disappear eventually. Also glad this isn’t one that we have to do as a winter hike. Once was enough, short but steep. It was a nice day and some beautiful waterfalls.

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
over grown
11 months ago

Note to self - do not do a bushwack during the summer. There is no path in the summer. Good hike but wet from the last few days. Lots of bugs.

Sun Apr 21 2019

truly a trailess peak, perfect for a spring hike before the leaves come out. easy to follow ravine that leads in the general direction.

hiking
off trail
scramble
snow
Sun Mar 24 2019

This is a bushwhacking hike. We ended up taking a trail which has not been taken by anybody and in knee deep soft snow, it became a hard 1.5 mile hike instead of the easy to handle hike described by others. Because of the distance, it can be done in half day. You get nice views through the trees, but there seems to be no obstructed views.

Mon Oct 22 2018

I hiked this on a solo attempt in November of 2003. I will never forget it. No trail, I just followed the contour lines up and my friends description. I summited in no time, already planning a second hike on my way up. On the descent, clouds quickly rolled in and the whole mountain was wrapped in fog. All the features across the valley I was using for reference disappeared. I was young, and panicked. Started almost running down, and slipped. Pulled my groin. I should have stopped to regroup and hike back up to start over, but couldn’t. Long story short, I ended up at base of mountain on the north side. WAY off trail. Took me the rest of the day to find the road and hitchhike to a bus and back to my car. Lesson learned: don’t make decisions while panicking, and obviously use a GPS! Haha. I didn’t have one back then. Great hike otherwise tho.

hiking
Fri Feb 02 2018

There’s no trail. It’s kind of a bushwack with herd paths emerging and disappearing along the way. Better in winter without the nettles. Steep for the Catskills and a short climb from 42 to the cannister. It’s not anyone’s favorite of the 35 because of the lack of views and stinging nettles in summer but I think it’s an underrated hike. There are a few nice waterfalls and a series of well preserved stone walls that I was told date to the early 1800s.

hiking
Wed Dec 20 2017

Not a bad hike, but truly a trailless hike. It’s pretty much up starting at the parking lot. Overall there was some views

Sat Aug 05 2017

We were unable to find the trail, so we just started climbing up the mountain and bailed after about quarter of a mile.

Mon Oct 26 2015

It was lovely in the winter no navigation needed just follow the tracks

hiking
Sun Nov 02 2014

This is a required hike for the 3500 Foot Club (Catskills). It is a trail-less peaks and it entirely uphill from the parking lot to the summit. The ascent is about 1700+ feet in 1.5 miles! Lots of stinging nettles and canes near the summit. I spit-up one of my lungs about half way up this steep mountain. If you find it please let me know. There are limited views from the peak and no entirely clear views. Probably not the sort of hike you'd want to do just for the fun of it. However there is an abundance of small water falls (two different streams) near the base of the mountain that make for good pictures, if you know what you're doing (I don't).

hiking
19 days ago

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