Explore the most popular backpacking trails in New York with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Did it November 19th. The trail is a little rough in some spots, foot holds not too great. Luckily someone had broken the trail before me so no need to worry about that! I’d say it’s more of a difficult hike with the current snow pack.

This hike gets crowded on weekends, as many city folk can take Metro-North right to the trailhead. The map shows this as an out-and-back trail, but there is a loop back to 9D that doesn’t have you traverse back down the rock climb (take the white trail to the red markers- you will see a sign that tells you to head left back to 9D/parking lot). I did this hike in November, and there was snow-ice at the top, but it was not too bad.
There are four peaks, each a better view than the last. Climbing up to the first peak is the most difficult, but the views are unparalleled.
Wear good treds with ankle support!

Went 09/22/18-09/23/18. Had such an amazing time and loved hiking in the lean-to. Definitely a little challenging for the novice biker but worth the challenge

This is a great, challenging hike. I have done a bunch of the high peaks including Marcy and this one is on par. It can be easy to lose the trail sometimes so you should stay alert and pay attention, might be wise to bring a map or GPS. Also, if you're going to the fifth peak lean to, you can miss the yellow markers pointing to it because the trail forks and the signs are not positioned great. I did and ended up far past it, I did not have a map or GPS but did pull up All Trails and found that I had missed it. I would do this hike again if I was in the area.

hiking
7 days ago

My wife, I and our 10 year-old son hiked LWJ after much consideration and preparation due to the weather/ time of year. (Our son has 5 peaks already, and is game for the challenge…he also knows we will pull the plug on a hike if conditions dictate – we abandoned Wright in May). We settled on the peak and the Garden to JBL/Phelps trail due to online research and family recommendations (my brother and dad had done the peak in summer, and both said they thought going up the Wolf’s chin would be a bad idea in icy conditions). I also liked the fact that even though we were adding distance, we were avoiding a good chunk of elevation by starting at the Garden. The lot was 1/3 full at 6:15am and we headed out in a temp that was just under 20 degrees, with pretty still air. The trail to the DEC outpost was coated by at most an inch of snow, and was a good crunchy underneath which helped with traction and cushion…no mud at all. We made good time to the suspension bridge, which is a beautiful location; you could tell at the bridge that no one had been that way for at least the last 24-48 hours.
Once across the bridge, there are no trail signs initially, you just head left for about 100 yards, and then take the next hard right up a sloping grade. Not having signs is a little disconcerting, but that’s what directions and maps are for. After that, you take your next left and head more uphill. The whole section after the bridge was pretty muddy. The grade picks up from there, and you start the slog to the col, with the mud base mostly converting to ice, and with snow depth slowly increasing. At about 3200 feet, we put on our spikes (a first for us all), not because of ice, but because the 3-8 inches of fresh snow from the day before started to compress and your boot would backslide. That made a big difference. We made our way to the trail split at the col and headed to the left, at this point all previous evidence of tracks from others was gone, due to earlier winds and drifted snow(up to 2 feet). The wind for us was still pretty non-existent. At the second junction, we saw the first sign of recent tracks, and as we made our way up the tough but doable south face of LWJ, we passed the three others who had come over from the Wedge Brook side. There were a couple of technical spots in this portion, but with the spikes they were doable.
At the peak the wind was mostly still (we were very lucky), but the air was still quite crisp and we couldn’t luxuriate and cool down too much so back down we went. There was no sign of any traffic coming up from the north via the W.A. White trail, and so it seems that we made the right choice by attacking from the south. My wife is in great shape, and I am in pretty good shape, but with the extra gear, and the snow/ice, it took us 4:45 to summit. As we descended, we attempted to eat lunch at the lean-to, but after heading 150 yards down the lean-to trail, with no structure in sight we abandoned that plan, and decided to eat lunch at the DEC outpost. We got to our car at exactly 3pm, thus with a couple of stops, lunch etc…it took us just under 9 hours. There were no envelopes for parking, but I still threw $10 into the shed for karma. Overall, the conditions were wintery, but the lack of wind and bright sun made for a very enjoyable and doable summit. Spikes were a must though, and you needed to have confidence in your gear and physical preparation.

Myself and my crazy akita mix hiked straight up and back to Slide Mtn summit from Rt 47 parking, did not take slight option for the small loop due to time constraints.
5.5 miles total, just under 3 hrs total with 20 mins of that taking in the different top views.
First creek crossing was sketchy, water on either side of obvious crossing was at least 1 to 1.5 ft deep so I carried Rory across the ice-covered rocks and logs, crossing my fingers and toes the whole way.
Bottom third of the trail was covered in a dusting of snow and with ice on some rocks and small puddles frozen.
Middle third was heavy dusting and lots of ice.
Top third could not see any rocks or ground with probably inches of snow and heavy ice covering the whole trail.
Brought microspikes and crampons, I barebooted up the whole way, carefully dancing on all the ice towards the top. After sharing respect for Mr Burroughs at his plaque I spiked up on top for our trip back down and it made life much easier and even jogged most of the way with confidence in my freshly-filed kahtoolas.
Trail was very easy to follow, shorter hike with not much variation in terrain except hardwoods below and softwoods up top, but no real reason to drop a star off rating, especially with the various great views up high (west view before and around plaque ledge after).
I was first to sign in around 7 and we had solitude all the way up, on the way down passed a bunch of groups going up.
Definitely looking forward to doing this one again in middle winter and also dry/warm summer, especially with option for Corn/Witt and the other trail options and possible whacks.
This is probably great for an intro high-peak hike with its ease in following and shorter length, I would just pay mind to recent rains due to the first creek crossing within view of parking area.

Challenging but do-able for a 50-something amateur and a 9-year old. There are some great views along the way, notably from Fingerboard Mountain, that are even better once leaves are off the trees. You walk by an interesting old mine, and also two gorgeous wetlands with very tall grasses. A couple of spots where the trail marks could be better (see our notes on our recording to see where those were), and some brief stretches of muddy, wet path. But otherwise: highly recommended

The trail itself is awesome, especially the first 1.5 miles. But the crowds are out of control.

Gorgeous. 9 hours for 14 miles including breaks, photos, crampon strapping, knee injury.
I saw a lot of idiots attempting hikes to MT. Marcy wearing only converses, Easy Sporits, jeans, paper print out maps, basically not being able to survive the night alone.

Ok did this last weekend 11/4 and couldn’t have asked for a nicer day. There’s ice and icy slides. Do not attempt with out Proper authentic traction devices. I had my crampons on and that really allowed me to fully enjoy the endless views. Great hike if you have the right gear. Saw so many selfish people starting at ADK Loj wearing converses, walking shoes, jeans, no hat, bags, map..... unprepared is what I’m getting at.
Why aren’t there signs posted up at the start of the major trailheads saying Do Not Attempt unless you have XYZ essentials and recommended gear if any and a lot of money in the event you need to be rescued and failed to carry the essential items.

We did the traverse starting from Slide PA and ending in Woodland Valley. The trail was like mashed potatoe snow mixed with mud and water. The trail was busy today with other people doing the traverse. Every time when we reached the summits they became socked in and no views. There was snow and crazy high winds today on the the hike.

Did this as part of a loop with Armstrong and coming down Beaver Meadow trail. Took me 9.75 hours, including short stops. Toughest part was coming up UWJ, LWJ is not difficult. Crampons needed above 3600'. Only 1/2'' of snow.

Very muddy trail. Was expecting ice but there wasn’t any this time around. Well marked trail up and down. There is a lot of rock scramble which was interesting coming down haha. Incredible views all the way up. The Brothers offer a good challenge on the way up to Big Slide. Overall an awesome and challenging hike. Took about 7 hrs with lots of short stops.

Fantastic 9 hour trek in November. Bring crampons - icy on top.

Hiked on 11/4, it was a nice day,sun was shining a little cold but no wind. Did the loop scenic trail first. Excellent views from the look outs. The scenic trail was hard to follow for the first half mile or so, mostly due to all the leaves down. Once above the 3000 foot mark (give or take a few feet) there was snow and ice. Rocks were covered in ice . Had to stop and put on the spikes to continue on. Snow did get deeper in some spots toward the summit, but was doable with spikes. We had the summit to ourselves the entire time. That is unheard of in the high peaks!! We did hear voices getting close but no one showed up. I am guessing they did not have the spikes to make the final push up the ice snow covered rocks and had to turn around. Over all a great day. The trail down was easier than the scenic trail up. The only down side if there was any was the long walk on lake road. The feet were hurting !!
Now that the weather is heading into more winter conditions it would be great if more people would post the trail conditions when a review is posted . Also it would be cool if the all trails app. Would show the elevation on the map when in use. That would be cool

If you’re heavy or out of shape this will be a difficult hike for you. The first 1.25 mile is a 75 degree rock scramble where you are literally on your fours the entire time. It’s exhilarating if you’re a regular hiker. I hiked all the way up to the fire tower on the white trail & it is totally worth it.

Do not come back on the yellow trail - that adds another 6 mile to your hike most of it downhill.

Great hike for kiddos. 3.5-9 yrs. follow red mark and see the view of West Point.

Great workout. Did the trail to the tower and back on the yellow trail. 10 miles, but so worth it. Was a gorgeous day. From the top of breakneck to the fire tower I did not come across any other people, but I did start at 7:40. The yellow trail coming back was quite wet from all the rain we had, but very pretty with the fall colors and the running streams. This was my first time doing the yellow trail on this side of the mountain and I had to back track a few times to find the yellow markers and use my GPS. So if this is your first time, be on the lookout for yellow markers. Well worth it, but it's quite a workout.

hiking
16 days ago

This is my favorite hike for when I’m home visiting my family (currently live in NYC). It’s a beautiful mix of trees, flowers and water. It’s even fun in the snow. Always fun!

Worth doing again and again and again.

Breathtaking hike. Except that it’s no joke. It’s as hard as it gets with great rewarding views! You might think you are done but it is a long stretch of rock scrambling. I did the white trail and then red trail which then led to a waterfall immediately after which there was the yellow trail.

Completed 10/30/18 - the trail is long and gradual. If you like to get the climbing out of the way, this trail is not for you. There was a couple inches of snow from the loj and once we reached the top there was more than a foot of snow. Clouded-out conditions once we reached the top, but the alpine zone was unbelievable, even without the mountain views it felt unreal. I wouldn't do this hike without spikes or snowshoes in the winter. Probably don't need snowshoes right now since there was huge rainstorms past couple of days, but waterproof hiking boots and spikes will be much needed. Lots of hidden puddles, mud, and run-off all under the snow tuesday made this trail a lot more daunting. The overall experience and trek of this hike made this my favorite journey I've ever embarked in Nature to date, the high peaks are surreal.

Mount Marcy was a great hike. My wife and I just hiked the mountain on Nov. 1. The temperature was high 30s and a mix of precipitation. The snow started halfway and got a bit deeper as we went up. The trail changed from thick mud to seemingly endless boulders. There was a lot of snow covered ice and we needed to put on the microspikes to get traction on the rocks. Water streamed down the entire trail and could be seen in spots not covered in snow. There are a couple river crossings that required rock hopping. The water still came over our boots. My feet were wet for most of the trek thanks to leaky goretex boot linings. Wool socks made this more tolerable.
I'd say the trail wouldn't be technically difficult on a good summer day. However, the ice and snow made it a tougher and more time consuming trek. The mileage also made Marcy a physical challenge.
The summit area was completely covered in thick clouds that poured icy rain. We could barely see the trail behind us through the heavy fog. One must be careful not to lose their way in these conditions. Needless to say, we never encountered another soul on the trail throughout the hike. It was still worth the journey.

One of the best circuit hikes in the Catskills.

Hiked in from gate on 10/30/18. 3 miles to 4 Corners and to the right to the ponds. We were the only ones in except the forest ranger who stopped to give us an overview and update of plans and progress. The hike was easy as it follows the road.
There was snow on the landscape and it was a bit cloudy, but it started to clear so we had a superb view of Marcy, Gothics, Saddleback, Haystack,.. from the second pond. DEC is doing some work for a parking lot just before the split to the second pond and former lodge; the only muddy spot! Moose tracks there were very noticeable. Once all trails are in, this will be a Mecca!

This was a nice day on the mountain despite the chilly temps and mud in parts of the trail. You must start VERY early in the morning this time of the year in order to make it back with day light. Sadly we were a few rock scrambles away from the summit before needing to turn around. We did end up needing a headlamp before making it out. There were a few overlooks just before the summit for some lovely views. The rock scrambles were great!

Went up today, 10/30. Beautiful trail, progressively more difficult as you go. Definitely bring spikes and plan for snow, very steep and slippery in some areas. Had to stomp through nearly 3 feet of snow once passed the tree line to get to the peak. Super windy, very cold, no view, but still worth the trip. I'd definitely do this trail again if promised a view. Experienced hikers, round trip almost exactly 6 hours.

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