Kaaterskill High Peak Trail

HARD 40 reviews
#16 of 80 trails in

Kaaterskill High Peak Trail is a 7.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Elka Park, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,938 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

over grown

hiking
13 days ago

Phenomenal hike. Was very wet due to heavy rains the previous few days. Came up the north side, down the south side, and then bushwacked from the crash site east to the long path. Worth nothing that the south side was exceptionally steep in places with two rock chimneys that took very careful planning. Would not recommend taking a dog on this trail, especially the south access.

hiking
22 days ago

not well marked but if you pay attention and read up on it, it's semi- easily navigated. beautiful trail- the view off of Hurricane Ledge is phenomenal and the plane crash was a very cool site.

1 month ago

While I don’t write too many verbal hike reviews on here, this one definitely deserved it. I did Kaaterskill on a super hot day with a heat index of about 100 degrees, but, it’s probably my favorite of all the Catskill hikes I’ve done so far. I’ve heard this one described as a bushwhack but I really wouldn’t call it that. My exact route involved a short portion on a herd path between the long path and snowmobile loop (Stay looking to your left as the trail levels out for the herd path then make a right onto the snowmobile loop. Or head south on the loop for a couple minutes to see plane crash site #1 first.). A bit later a left off the snowmobile loop will take you up an unmarked but well defined trail to the top. The summit is nice, though wooded, but there are great views from Hurricane Ledge to the south of it (path initially points west from the summit). The second plane crash site is also just a short walk east of the summit (path initially points south). As it was such a hot day, there were just the right amount of people out and everyone I ran into was great. On the way back down I did Huckleberry Point on a whim and was glad I did. But, the bump on the way there kicked my butt a little. Between the heat and what I had already hiked that was understandable.

A couple notes for this hike: I noticed that the other trail to KHP on AllTrails is listed as EASY while this one is HARD. While I haven’t done the longer trail that goes past the ravines/falls, I’m going to venture a guess that it’s not easier. It’s about 10 miles versus 7 for this (without Huckleberry) and much more elevation gain. So I honestly think the AllTrails difficulty rating system could use a little work. It is, after all, relative to the experience level of the hiker that posts it. In comparison Catskill Mountaineer calls this hard one a 4 Star difficulty hike and the ‘easy’ longer one a 5 Star. I’m going with that until I can judge for myself. Another thing I noticed was a couple listings in the register where people said they were going to HP. So is that Huckleberry Point (probably) or Kaaterskill, which is also known as just High Peak? Please be specific with info left in the register. On a 100 degree day especially, it just might save your life!

9 months ago

Incredibly confused by this trail. We followed the map exactly - followed the huckleberry and then long foot trail, snowmobile trail then the unmarked to try to find the higher elevation with the views. We eventually got lost and ended up turning around as we started the hike later and sun goes down earlier in November.

A lot of rocks and a lot of mud. Would definitely try another trail again next time but maybe not this exact one as it didn’t really yield much views, just walking in the park for 7.5 miles.

hiking
11 months ago

Def a great trail we went today and I got stung by 3 bees too in the same spot as mentioned from previous commenter . It's def worth the .25 to hurricane ledge for the amazing views since no views at summit.

hiking
11 months ago

Great experience, great fun. Beautiful views both atop the tree line and below. Would hike it again tomorrow.

hiking
11 months ago

Great trail! Super muddy and the rocks to the Summit are currently treacherously slippery. Use caution! No views at Summit. Go 0.25 to Hurricane Ledge for stellar views. Also, take the non-DEC trail( Mohawk trail) to shave off some distance.

11 months ago

I went yesterday and got stung while on the flat part of the trail. I passed many others who got stung by bees as well. The top of the trail is totally unmarked, so you have to hope to pass people who know where to go. I did this hike alone and found my car had been towed when I returned. I'm from CT and the out-of-staters got towed while the NY folks only got a ticket. I was appalled that the police and towing company felt comfortable towing people's cars with no note or phone # left behind - potentially stranding people in the wilderness. I was very lucky that others had also had their car towed ( I parked on the road and saw no signs indicating you couldn't park there and there were at least 15 other cars parked on the road). Someone had already done the research and knew where our cars had been taken and a generous person drove us there to get them. I was lucky. Parts of the hike are muddy, parts are gorgeous. I wouldn't return. I want to stay far away from those unreasonable police/ towing company. There are plenty of other great hiking sites around NE.

11 months ago

The area was overgrown. So it was extremely difficult finding some of the trailways. Probably a better hike in the fall and winter time. Otherwise, it was a really fun and challenging experience.

Friday, August 18, 2017

This trail was beautiful. It linked up into huckleberry trail which was breathtaking and only an hour or so off the trail. Heading up it did get fairly muddy in most spots so make sure you have tough waterproof shoes. This is a must if your in the area, don't forget about hurricane ledge when you get to the top. Beautiful scenic view.

hiking
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

We went up the eastern face of Kaaterskill. Visited 2 plane wrecks on the way up this unofficial path which was more like a bushwack. Great views at Hurricane Ledge. Came down the south face on another unofficial trail.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Awesome day, perfect trail conditions, powder snow, no need for snowshoes or crampons, I brought crampons because frigid temps but there was barely icy spots. It was fun and even the dog had a good time playing in the snow.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Great times....

hiking
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Took the northern entrance. 15.2 miles out and back. Did poets ledge. Very difficult, steep and unforgiving. Great views of the clove tho.

hiking
Saturday, April 23, 2016

This was great. Couldn't find the planes, though, and it was quite muddy in places but overall a very pretty hike with lots of different terrain.

hiking
Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hiked Kaaterskill HP on 11 Oct 14. This is a required hike for the Catskills 3500 Foot Club. Hiking Kaaterskill in October is the perfect time of the year. The views from Hurricane Ledge in October are spectacular and worth the effort. Briefly, this is how hiking Kaaterskill feels: the first mile, basically to the Huckleberry Trail cutoff, is a moderate incline on dry ground. After the cutoff the trail is relatively flat but it's wet and you are going to spend a lot of time and effort skirting the marsh. To this point you have been hiking on the Long Path. When you reach the point where you leave the Long Path and head UP toward the Kaaterskill summit the trail is dry but it is very steep. After about a half of mile of climbing, hand over hand in a couple places, the trail is almost flat to the peak. There is no view at the summit, but if you continue on for about 200 yards to Hurricane Ledge the views are incredible. Looking directly South you can see Overlook Mtn, Indian Head, Twin, Sugarloaf, and Plateau, in that order from left to right. This is another hike I recommend. I have added my track and it was about 8.5 miles and included a very short detour to see the plane crash site.

hiking
Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Did this one mid July 2013. Not the most ideal conditions too. It rained the whole time, very muddy/marsh-like terrain. My favorite part of the whole thing was the push to the top. Ended up using a snowmobile trail to get there. Lots of scrambling, tons of fun. I'd like to do this hike again, not on an overcast and heavy rain kind of day though.

hiking
Sunday, April 21, 2013

I did this trail with two other friends. I think that it was a little more than 10 miles but it was worth it. There is a decent rock scramble forward a mile or so in the beginning. Follow the blue trail markers and eventually you will come to three different waterfalls. It was quite a strenuous hike but well worth it. We completed the trail on April 21, 2013

hiking
13 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Sunday, August 13, 2017

hiking
Wednesday, August 09, 2017

hiking
Saturday, July 29, 2017

hiking
Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Load More