Hunter Mountain via Spruceton Horse Trail is a 9.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Hunter, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Length9.1 miElevation gain2,063 ftRoute typeLoop
HikingHorseback ridingNature tripsSkiingSnowshoeingBird watchingDog friendlyForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeMuddyOver grown
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Getting There

Hunter Mountain is the second highest mountain in the Catskills and part of the Catskills 3500 club, if you are working on your list. This is a really great trail. On the way up, path gets rocky but it is by no means a scramble at any point. Trail is very well marked with “foot path” placards on trees and signs at forks in the road. If it were to have rained a day or two before, a few parts of the trail can get muddy and hard to navigate to. Hiking shoes or at least sneakers with a good grip on the bottom (especially for slippery rocks) are highly recommended. You‘ll hike along a river and towards the beginning you can take a small detour to cross a bridge and climb onto some rocks where the waterfall is. There are some beautiful viewpoints (marked out on the map) along the way. Hike up Hunter Mountain with the option to turn this hike into a loop by coming back on Devil's Path. The Spruceton Trail is not technically difficult but the gradient gradually increases to 20%. There is a water source on the trail and a shelter. The mountain gets crowded on the weekends. At the top there is a Fire Tower, picnic table and caretaker’s cabin. This loop also works well in reverse.

NY DEC Region 4: 607-652-7365

Take NY throughway (I87) North. get of off Kingston exit or rt. 28. Take rt. 28 West to Shandaken. Make right onto rt. 42. Take rt. 42 through Deep Notch. Make right onto Spruceton Rd Take Spruceton Rd to end and trail head for Diamond Notch trail is on right. In winter you may have to park a half mile from trail head. It depend on how far they plow.

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Reviews (338)
Photos (1,322)
Activities (297)
Completed (790)
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Shannon Lynn
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Hiking

Snowy fun! Crampons or snowshoes are a must. But the dogs definitely loved it!

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Meagan K
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Mark Walsh
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Hiking
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Dennis Burrichter
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Hiking

I attempted this hike on March 6, 2021 but my hike ended very quickly with a sprained ankle from stepping in a post hole that had frozen over !! The trail had hundreds of post holes from hikers the previous week. PLEASE DON'T POST HOLE ON PUBLIC TRAILS. If you feel compelled to post hole go into the woods were you won't bother anyone. If you are going to hike in the snow wear snowshoes!! I drove 3.5 hours from Philly, rented a condo and my weekend hiking trip lasted all of 1 mile because of some thoughtless hikers!!

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Yuri Esperson
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Yuri Esperson
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Larry Bird
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Hiking
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Tara McLaughlin
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SnowshoeingGreat!Snow
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Yuri Esperson
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Hiking
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Marek Nosál
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Hiking

Definitely go counter-clockwise, rougher up but beautiful going down the other end

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Bartosz Zakrzewski
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Hiking
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Reed Truax
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Hiking

Parked at the Spruceton Rd trail head and hiked counter clockwise. Trail up was a nice gravel path the whole way. This trail had a decent grade the whole way up. Top has a firetower with a great view of the area. A large section of the summit has been cleared for a caretakers cabin and some picnic tables. Path down was quite a bit longer and a more standard hiking trail although no large rock scrambles/step downs. Right now you have to be careful with all the leaves, which make it difficult to see rocks and makes it slippery. Overall 5 hours of walking, 6.5 hours total.

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Dooner Smith
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Hiking

Did the loop counter clockwise. This hike goes straight up and straight down with only a bit of plateau at the summit. Tower was closed but you could still climb to almost the top. Personal preference, but hikes like this aren’t very interesting to me.

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mike m
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HikingGreat!

Not only counterclockwise, but maybe a better way might have been to go back the way I came after the fire tower - which was closed, but you can go up the stairs to almost the top - I didn't like the carriage trail down too much - the forest on the way up was way cooler - keep an eye out for the 'party' with the grey birch and the pines - lots of good energy in that spot - peace out.

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Fnaf Bonnie Bons
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Hiking
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Isa Paine
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HikingGreat!

Great hike and I agree with others that suggest doing this hike counter clockwise, which is the way I approached this hike. To follow this approach, park at the end of Spruceton Rd. The trail begins at the rusted yellow gate. There are only two views of note, Diamond Notch Falls and the fire tower at the top of Bear Mountain. The trail itself is a beautiful wooded trail up to the top of Bear Mountain, then continuing north, the trail is a fire road with nice foliage all the way back to Spruceton Rd. I walk slowly and walked for 5 hours.

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Liz Rigolosi
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Hiking

This trail was nice and long. Definitely do it counter clockwise. The way up is a steady upgrade for certain but it does level off here and there for some relief! The way down is indeed a fire road and can be a bit steep in some spots! If you do this trail, you do need to go ALL the way to the end of Spruceton Road. You’ll pass a few other parking areas for trails but this one is literally at the end. When you come down the fire road you do pop out at different parking area and need to walk down the road a bit to get back to the proper parking area.

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Nasir Abdul-Wadud
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Justin Hanna
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Hiking

Fun hike up. Nothing rewarding when you reach the top and the hike down was merely a fire road.

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K P
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Sarah Martin
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Marahall Peck
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Hiking

Awesome trail. Definitely a challenge. If you aren’t climbing the fire tower you probably won’t see much at the top. Part of the trail can get really rocky so just beware and bring good foot ware.

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Rebecca Busch
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HikingMuddy

Tagged on Southwest hunter. It was a long day. We walk slow. Ended up clocking about 13 miles. But it was a great challenge.

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James Halbert
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HikingMuddy

Trail to Hunter Summit is a wide, well graded, horse trail. Steep in parts but nothing technical. You will pass the John Robb lean to and break off to Colonel's Chair. Its an easy 35er to complete. Following Hunter, you will follow a trail down to the Devil's Path that is a little rock with stream run off. This part can be fairly muddy in parts. There is an intersection after the summit on a short spurt to the right where you can view SW Hunter. Going left will bring you to Rt 214 Becker Hollow. Going straight continues you to the Devils Path. On the Devil's Path, the trail will run directly infront of the Devil's acre lean-to. The lean-to is heavily used and is it a bit disrepair, it could probably be fixed up soon. The area at the lean to is also very swampy and weedy. After passing the lean-to, you will go past the SW Hunter herd path. If you are completing your 3500s, you may as well do that too while you are here. It is only a 15 minute detour from the Devil's Path. The herd path is well defined and easy to follow. Leaving SW Hunter, you will come up on Geiger Point, one of most gorgeous views on this hike. Leaving Geiger Point, the trail is very muddy in spots, almost like a bog. You will have to find logs and rocks to cross. The trail the continues to decline, mostly rocky with stream run off in multiple areas. You will pass through a large swath of stinging nettles as you near the bottom of the mountain near the intersection of Diamond Notch. Diamond Notch is beautiful, but heavily populated. You may have to wait to view the falls at times. Following Diamond Notch, you can continue west to go towards West Kill, or follow the horse trail out, similar to the one you took up Hunter, back to Prediger Road.

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B Lau
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Hiking

ben_marcin's pt 42.17204, -74.23393 gps coordinates

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Dan Hogan
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Mountain biking
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Stephanie Vaughan
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HikingGreat!Muddy

A nice hike! Pretty steep at times but nothing technically difficult. I ended up clocking 8.4 miles. Parking lot was almost full by 8:45am on a Saturday.

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