Wittenberg and Cornell Mountains Trail

HARD 93 reviews
#7 of 78 trails in

Wittenberg and Cornell Mountains Trail is a 8.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Phoenicia, 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 are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
8.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2962 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

scramble

hiking
12 days ago

This was such a great hike! We overnighted in between Cornell and Slide and it was tough with the elevation gain + big backpacks but so worth it for those views!

18 days ago

Wittenberg has lookout ledge. This was a challenging hike but well worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on 3/24/2018 - Trail conditions - packed snow all the way up. We started at 8am (25-30 degrees) so the snow was packed. Spikes all the way up.

Trail started off steep but eventually leveled off for about 1-1.5 miles. We reached few zigzags and it became steep for about a mile before the summit. About 5-6 times it felt like we were almost on summit, but it was a no go/false summit. West wings were strong and made it cold on this section. But the summit/terrace was blocked/calm.

Hike to Cornell was about 15-20 min. Cornell crack was full of snow and fun to climb up/down. There was no dangerous cliffs or ledges where it gets sketchy.

We didn't use snow shoes at all BUT on the way down the snow became slushy and soft. Some post holing.

Note: there is at least 3-4 feet of snow still on the mountain and valleys.

Summit view? One of the best in the Catskills. It was a clear and sunny day and it was simply amazing up there.

PS. The mountain will kick your butt. Not as "straight up" as the Whites but certainly as painful in the end.

3 hours up to Wittenberg, 20 min to Cornell and back, 2 hours down

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked it on 11/10. It was 14 degrees and one of the first (light) snow falls of the year. Amazing hike, one of my favorite. Bruins Causeway between Wittenberg and Cornell was extremely unique

hiking
7 months ago

Hiked this back in March before the springtime thaw. Getting closer to the summit was extremely challenging as ice and snow came into view. Beautiful view at the summit.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful view from the top! Definitely intense but doable

8 months ago

the directions to the trail head lead you to giant ledge and panther mt summit not cornell and wottenburg,

hiking
8 months ago

A very tough mountain to hike. An elevation onslaught as soon as you cross over the bridge. Descending is hell on he knees. Actually started cramping up on the descent. Only did Wittenberg this go around. Cooled out at the summit for about 45 minutes getting my mind ready for the return. Next time I soldier on to Cornell and Slide.

8 months ago

Tough scrambling and strenuous, don't take young kids and don't take a dog unless you can help lift him up the scrambles. Take about 3 liters of water per person, no water sources. That being said, it's gorgeous and the scrambling is fun if you are in shape enough.

8 months ago

World class view at the top of Wittenberg. Solid day hike...if you can backpack it and hit multiple summits. Steep rock scrambles but a lot of fun. My favorite Catskill hike.

hiking
9 months ago

Was able to make it to Slide as well for a day hike reaching all 3 peaks in about 10 hours with breaks, 14+ miles. Lots of rock scrambling, very fun and strenuous hike. Saw a bear after we got back in the car just after trailhead!

9 months ago

Awesome, challenging both mentally and physically. I have exercise enduced asthma &I'm training my lungs so I forced myself to not use it..I paced myself and did it with my boyfriend. But there were a few points my lungs were on fired. I'm an experiment hiker but the Catskills are no joke ! I recommend enough time starting atleast around 7..8A and 5 hours and bring enough water and food is a must for fuel. Pbj, granola bars and banana !

hiking
9 months ago

It was a great hike to say the least. It was a very nice ascent right off the bat with the first two miles climbing around 700 feet. If you plan on traveling the entire trail leave yourself enough time because it's a total of 8.3 from beginning to end.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike with amazing views at the peak. Be prepared to climb up several sections of rocks when you get near the top, but totally worth it.

hiking
9 months ago

Fun and challenging. Made it to Wittenberg and back down in just over 4 hours and I'm pretty out of shape at the moment. Very steep to begin, levels out to steady climb, fun toward the end with a bit of climbing up rocks (challenging but does not require any previous skill)

backpacking
9 months ago

Did this as a 2-day loop with Slide Mountain. Parked at Woodland Valley Campground but headed counterclockwise- passed Giant Ledge trailhead, parking area, and walked up 47 to the Slide Mt parking area (the road walk was a bummer but not too long and passed a nice lake). Headed up Slide- a couple good views on the way but nothing at the summit. Continued down toward Cornell and camped at the primitive site marked on the NYNJT maps. (Note: lots of other campsites between Cornell and Slide!) Next day started early and hit Cornell and Wittenberg- was lovely to have a long morning break on Wittenberg's peak, which we had all to ourselves. Heading down Cornell and Slide were a little tricky with packs on- several times the scrambles were steep enough that we needed to pass bags down by hand instead of wear them. However, doing the loop counterclockwise meant far fewer scrambles climbing up, which we were okay with! Would recommend doing as a loop to get the early and quiet Wittenberg experience.

hiking
10 months ago

Views at summit are worth the effort. The trip to Cornell was challenging but fun. Makes for a long trek back to trailhead.

hiking
10 months ago

Wonderful somewhat challenging hike... for all the work you will be rewarded with one of the best views from a summit in all of the Catskills!! Follow the red blazes...there is no "summit view" from Cornell but you can find some areas with a view right off the trail. Also added a trip to Terrace Mountain at the end of my journey. One of my favorite hikes in the Catskills!!

hiking
11 months ago

Hey! Great hike, from parkinglot head south threw campground about 50-100 ft to river, cross at the bridge and follow the RED marker, difficult but not the hardest out there, great for moderate to advanced hikers, with great views at the top and a nice journey to Cornell. with a scetchy but do-able crevise climb about 8ft, up no problem but take your time coming down. at certain points to Wittenburg could look like a trail but is not, make sure to follow the RED marker! have a great time and enjoy!

hiking
11 months ago

Difficult hike with an amazing view on the top of Wittenberg Mountain. Lots of mosquitoes, would recommend taking a repellent. Not for kids, not for anyone with a knees problems. Be prepaired to climb with use of hands and gain 2500ft in 3.5mi. Took us 2hr to get to the top and 1:40 to get back. The view on the top is definitely worth all the struggles. Well marked trail.

hiking
11 months ago

Finally a hike in the Catskills that reminded me of great hiking up North in the ADKS. Nice elevation gain right out of the gate, some scrambling, water, muds, roots, rocks and trees!!! Glad to get 2 peaks in. I guess this hike could be called hard. Good way to spend half a day in the mountains.

hiking
11 months ago

I did the entire Borough's Range hike several years ago, but just did the Wittenberg summit and back down with my son. From Woodland Valley parking to the summit and back it took us 3 1/2 hours and that's including taking some time for the views and food at the top. I love this hike, just north of 3200 feet the entire ecosystem changes, temps cool, and you're surrounded by pines and birches, the climb also gets quite steep and technical.

On the way down my legs were jelly no doubt, my son had work so we had to really grind it out, and nearing 40 I was feeling it the next day.

One of the hardest parts of the hike was finding the foot bridge, my son and I walked around like fools for quite a bit before finding it. I also get a kick out of seeing everyone's face on the way down asking how far the summit is, you know all they want to hear is "it's right around the corner", someone asked us about 400 feet past the registration station on the trail how far the summit is. I couldn't lie to them since they already seemed gas, I told them it's really really far.

hiking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

There were a few points where I had to explore around a couple different directions to spot the next red blaze. But that's part of the fun. :-) Some of the rock scramble tickled my fear of heights, but it wasn't too bad.

hiking
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Wittenberg has the best summit view in the Catskills. As more people are drawn to it with apps like this one, it seems to collect more garbage as years go by.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Great hike! Little muddy but perfect temps.

hiking
Thursday, May 11, 2017

Amazing!!! Very challenging but worth every step!!! Would do it again in a heart beat.

hiking
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Incredibly fun hike with challenging up-hill sections! We did it in April with icy conditions for most of the second half of the trail and a lot of the route between Wittenberg & Cornell. Took us about 5 hours out and back due to ice and broken spikes!

hiking
Monday, April 10, 2017

Wonderful hike! Challenging uphill trek early in the hike. It evens out for a large chunk in the middle, then becomes challenging again when approaching the top. There are a few spots near the top where you will have to use your hands to climb. I went in April, thinking it would be spring weather and was surprised to find I was ice climbing in Capri yoga pants and Nike sneakers. Rookie mistake. If it isn't summer, WEAR BOOTS AND LONG PANTS. Regardless, it was a really fun hike and the icy trek made it even more enjoyable. Views are incredible and worth the long uphill hike.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Loved this hike

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Awesome hike, a little difficult throughout, but the top is very rewarding. I would certainly go again.

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