Hunter Mountain via Spruceton Horse Trail

HARD 196 reviews

Hunter Mountain via Spruceton Horse Trail is a 9.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near West Kill, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. 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.

Distance: 9.1 miles Elevation Gain: 2,063 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

skiing

snowshoeing

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

over grown

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.

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
25 days ago

The trail is very icy in some parts right now and there's a lot of snow on the trail, so I definitely recommend bringing some spikes. It's definitely a strenuous hike, but the view from the tower is absolutely worth it

Took the horse trail as part of the other was closed. Fun hike. Some steep uphills. First hike for my 1.5 year old rescue dog. Challenging from a cardio perspective, but very easy terrain.

hiking
2 months ago

we hiked up and down Spruceton horse trail, so it was 7 miles including the detour to John Robb lean-to. it was lightly raining and misty, so not the fabulous views everyone raves about, but the misty, clouds made it surreal. gets real steep in spots. glad we didn't go up the shorter, steeper slope with all the rain and leaves. gotta do it again on a sunny day.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail was absolutely gorgeous! First 1.7 miles up was a beautiful, shaded, well-groomed ambling path. Very easy ascent. At the halfway mark to the fire tower, the hike got very steep, but doable for small children and always a hike, never a boulder climb or rock scramble. It was steep from that point to the fire tower, but doable for anyone with moderate fitness levels, and the foliage was gorgeous. We turned off briefly to take in views from an outcrop (yellow trail marker) and it was stunning!!! The fire tower at the top was crowded but had a great vibe and volunteer was informative and welcoming! I am scared of heights and caught good views at the third and fourth tiers. We returned down the same way we came up (so no loop - rather 6.3 mile in and out) and the grade felt very steep going down - really helped having hiking poles and good hiking shoes. Even so - we had lots of slipping on loose rocks. At the halfway point, grade leveled off again for an easy descent to the parking area. There is a spring half way up/down and everyone drank from it to no ill effect. All loved this hike - from the kids (4-9) and to the adults (20s, 30s, 40s, and 60s!). Highly recommend! Best of the three firetowers we’ve done so far (Tremper and Overlook).

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

pretty steep incline but I did it, in poor shape. it can be done with either a nice stick or trekking poles. Two springs about 2 miles up, recommend filling up and take a break and eat some food at the lean to. amazing view at the lean to. The way down is a bit muddy in spots. EXTREMELY Rocky on the way down. Many tripping hazards going down, be careful. Heard a rattlesnake at the Devil's lean to. Worth the trip. Lots of mosquitos and other bugs on the way up because of the creek.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Amazing loop!!! Definitely go counterclockwise. The creek/falls at the beginning are picturesque and the views at the top are incredible. Trail is easy to follow and well-marked with signs and blazes. Took about 5 hours at a moderate pace and including a break for lunch

Nice trail

hiking
2 months ago

This was definitely my favorite fire tower hike! We went up diamond notch/devils path and down Spruceton. If I had to do it again, I think I’d go back down devils path & diamond notch. Spruceton was all loose rock. Devils path & diamond notch felt like a nice ADK hike with the evergreen smell and lots of smooth terrain. There were some rocky areas that had me winded, but it was beautiful and for me much easier than all the loose rocks on the Spruceton trail.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a hard hike for a novice hiker like me. But worth the work!! Definitely do it counter clockwise. Get the worst over early. Trail is very well marked. Horse trail down has some loose gravel but is easier than other trail. Overall if this almost 59 year old can do it most people can. The view is worth the hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Fun hike with a great ending

Great hike, pretty cold

hiking
3 months ago

First, to my fellow women doing solo hiking: this trail is well marked and felt very safe at all times. For all: this is a nice, challenging day hike with gorgeous views from the fire tower at the top. I did the loop counterclockwise (up Devil’s Path and down the horse trail), and I strongly recommend doing it that way if you have any joint (knee/ankle) issues. The initial ascent is tough going counterclockwise—steep, need to be careful of footing, etc.—but you get a lot of hard work out of the way early and have a much easier descent. Also, I’m surprised so many people complain about the horse trail and call it boring. I thought it was pretty. Not as challenging, to be sure, but you can use the time to meditate on what you’re going to eat/drink to reward yourself.

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
4 months ago

Beautiful trail, wonderful views. Very steep after you cross not the big bridge, but the small one after that. Very rocky, recommend taking it very slow on the way down. There was a worker up there at the cabin today so it was a good talk and all around good time. Weather was nice so it was pretty packed today.

hiking
4 months ago

Fantastic hike with just amazing views from the fire tower. Did the loop counter clockwise. Blue(diamond notch), Red(devils path) , Yellow (hunter mountain fire tower) to the top. Blue spruceton trail back down. There a waterfall on the way near the beginning of the trail and also stream flowing along the path at the beginning and towards the tail end of the trail. This trail is not hard, I’d say, just somewhat long.

hiking
4 months ago

I would recommend this to anybody looking for a challenge. I went counter clockwise and went up via devil's path. Going clockwise will still be as challenge due to the elevation gain so much faster but the path leading to the fire tower that way is a horse trail so it's open and flat. The view from the fire tower is amazing and along the devils path theres a waterfall to look at.

Well kept trail. A nice tower view at the top & one or two other half decent views. Nice creeks along path.

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
4 months ago

Hunter Mountain Loop A+ especially counter clockwise. I attempted to add Rusk on the back end of my hike and it beat me up. I didn’t reach the Rusk Summit. Gotta come back and do it another day more prepared for how intense that bushwhacked is. The navigation is tough and it’s real overgrown.

hiking
4 months ago

This is a great hike on a well maintained trail. I combined Hunter and Rusk mountain on this hike giving me two Catskill high peaks. Check out my write up, it includes directions and other things to look for. eastcoasthiker.com/trails/hunterandruskmountain

hiking
5 months ago

I would say this trailer was only rated hard for the elevation, although the devils path was a nice technical hike. I took devils path first and ran down spruceton road which was awesome. door to fire tower cabin was locked, views are still great though. I would recommend this to be a day hike, I didn't see any cool campsites and your not allowed to camp at the lean to or the fire tower. enjoy!

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail. Although it seems a lot of people opt away from the prescribed format(Spruceton to FT to devils path to diamond notch), I liked having the beautiful and refreshing waterfall at the end as opposed to the beginning. Yes, there’s a bit of technical descent but if you’re experienced and have poles it shouldn’t be anything too difficult.

hiking
5 months ago

Amazing hike, but highly recommend doing it backwards! (Counterclockwise). By starting with Devils Path, you get the more technical climb up, and not on your way down. Personally, the technical more rocky portion is always better on the way up. The views are stunning once you reach the fire tower, and then you’re able to take it relatively easy on the way back down Spruceton trail

hiking
bugs
5 months ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
5 months ago

Strongly recommend doing this hike counter-clockwise and starting up Diamond Notch falls to take Devil's Path to the summit. I'd read that this ascent is considered more technical, with some steep, muddy, wet or rocky sections, but not too challenging at all. The terrain varies a lot, and there are some great views and lush sections of forrest. Climbing up along the eastern slope of Hunter Mountain is excellent. When the route turns north to follow the Hunter Mountain trail it gets a little tedious, but once you're winding through the pine forest at 3500+ feet, it's pleasant again. By the time you get to the summit, you'll appreciate the quick little jog down the Spruceton road.

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