Explore the most popular hiking trails near Elka Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

cross country skiing
1 day ago

I loved

23A is not the correct parking lot. That lot is dangerous, very small, and easy to get boxed in. Continuing up the hill on 23a, there are 4 more parking lots that are much larger, much safer, some even closer to the falls. There is a parking lot behind the Mountaintop Historical Society--take the rail trail to the falls area (also cool to check out what the area used to look like back in the day). Laurel-House Rd Parking---can hold up to 50 cars, has porta-johns, is wheelchair friendly and it's a .3 mi hike to the viewing platform, .7 to the pools. Schutt Rd, just past Laurel-House road---another huge lot with porta-johns and trail access to the falls. North South Lake campground---trail access to the falls but you might have to pay a cheap day-use fee (still better than walking down 23a, super sketchy).

Great hike! Nice walk through the woods and a beautiful overlook once you reach the top of the mountain. was not marked as titled but follow the blue trail up to the top and Then take the yellow trail for a great view.

Very nice hike.Not extremely difficult.I went on 4th of July with my husband. It was 88F but the trail ist mostly in a shade. There are 2 view points on the way. 2nd one is perfect for a lunch pause. Beautiful forest. The teail is not crowded. We saw 3 people on our way. worth going.

My husband and I hiked this trail with our 5 year old son and our toddler in a backpack carrier. The kids both did great. I’m really surprised this is rated as easy, but I guess it’s due to the length. I’d say it’s moderate and I hike often. You’ve got to definitely watch your step with all the rocks. I am so amazed at the amount of people we passed wearing flip flops or no shoes at all, you definitely need proper footwear to handle all the rocks,, they’re slippery. If you want to be able to take in the falls without a large crowd I’d suggest getting there very early in the morning. The walk to the trail head wasn’t ideal with kids along but it’s definitely manageable as long as you keep aware of cars. Overall, we enjoyed this hike and the falls a lot!

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!

Devils paths was great steeps.
But any other one not special .

Great for anyone looking for a short day hike with a high reward. Such beautiful views will make you never want to leave.

This hike has always been a favorite with something for all levels. Lately they’ve made some changes to the trail to make it more accessible to beginners and families like fixing the boulder stairs and adding a deck to walk out on and view the falls.

It’s usually crowded, so come early or be careful walking on the road to the trail. Make sure you are fully in the shoulder of the road I’ve seen people get towed before!

Did it with three kids- 12,10 and 5. Little hard for the 5 year old with short legs.

Def .5 but straight up, steps helped the little one. Worth it! Rocks at top are slippery so be careful.

Parking SUCKS walking with three kids in a twisty road was scary.

This is not a 5-star hike, especially when compared to either Twin Mountain or Sugarloaf, which are in the immediate vicinity. Having completed all three, either Twin or SL would be a better - i.e., more rewarding - experience, in my opinion. The overlooks on Indian Head aren’t the best (putting it mildly), as most are overgrown and obstructed. The ones that aren’t blocked look east over the developed Hudson Valley. Even Huckleberry Point across the way - while much easier - offers superlative, unobstructed views to this section of the Devil’s Path. The hike itself is challenging and I’m very happy to have completed it, but if you’re limited on time, you might just want to consider another local option.

Excellent fun climb, that’s short yet engaging. The problem is the parking. You have to park away from the trail and walk along a busy road - more a concern if you have kids with you.

Needs more parking.

Perfect hike with dog to enjoy falls on a sunny day.

Wonderful, short!

Amazing waterfalls

This hike was great! The start was really fun because there was bearly a path and I felt like I was on American ninja warriors at the start of the 1st waterfall! The end wasn’t so good because it was just a gravelly Path right below the suns Ray. But Other then that, it was a great hike and I definitely recommend it

Did this trail last weekend, was easy just had to watch your step

Okay there is no denying this is an amazing waterfall. But this hike is no joke. Bring decent shoes(I saw Crocs, sandals and dressy heeled boots), bug spray(clouds of mosquitoes), a walking stick and a big dose of caution. There are slippery wet rocks, swaths of mud on hills, tree roots and a treacherous fall down. My father fell and hit his face on a rock here, was thankfully okay other than some superficial abrasions, but it was near the edge and could have gone badly. I know the DEC made safety improvements to this trail but there is still room for improvement. There are sheer rocky hills you have to scramble up, even on the trail. The looooong stone staircase has no rails and can also be slippery/wet with debris. I'm an experienced hiker so I'm not just wanting an easy stroll. But I understand how people die here. A nice bridge and viewing platform once you've made your way to the top. The parking area is after the trailhead and you also have to walk on 23A right where vehicles are making a sharp turn. Other than a flashing pedestrian sign, no effort has really been made to make it safe to walk to the trailhead.

This time of year hosted a tremendous amount of flies and mosquitos so bug spray is a must. The trail is pretty difficult, but offers some fun challenges throughout. The view is beautiful, but we personally preferred the Twin Mountain view. If I had to pick, I would say if you were only going to do one, do Twin Mountain. They are pretty equivalent in difficulty, but the view at the end of Twin is much better.

Worth every step

This is a nice loop that has some challenging spots and a few nice lookout points

I did the east side of the loop from Platte Clove Preserve - first walked out to Codfish Point and then popped up Indian Head. I did the full loop last year from the west and I think the east side is much nicer to ascend. There are some steep rock sections but the west side is just kind of muddy and wet.
Note: the summit of this peak is hard to find. It's treed in with only a small outlook. There are a few small outcroppings that offer views on the way up; it's not bad for a workout but there are definitely other hikes in the area that are more rewarding.

The trail was not marked anywhere as Codfish Point - I followed the blue markers from Platte Clove Preserve labeled Overlook Mountain and used the AllTrails map to figure out when I reached my destination.
Overall a pretty and fairly easy walk. I popped up Indian Head on my way back to make it more strenuous. There are rattlesnakes in this area so be alert.

5/31/18 wet slippery coming down the DP but beautiful trail on this rainy/misty day. No views at the lookouts but the trail made up for it. Stays true to its difficulty rating as the elevation gain is tough.

hiking
1 month ago

Was really muddy and rocks wet, slipped a couple times but view amazing. Worth it!!

The falls are really something to take in on this one.
aside from the grand scale of the falls and the beautiful landscape the one big problem I had was, seriously slippery stairs, they helped a lot but, wow.
Another big one is the walk in from the roadway, seriously dangerous with how the traffic is.
My biggest issue was the trail marker chasing at the intersections. you could follow a blaze till a junction and it would say .9, after a time you hit another junction and the same destination is now 1.3 miles away, and no there was no other trail to take or missed markers.
very odd but none the less an amazing time.

backpacking
2 months ago

The trail is wide open, well marked, and honestly a moderate grade. Multiple spots with water on trail, making for some good chunks of mud still. Would recommend adding Echo Lake to the loop, great views on the way from Indian Head over to Echo Lake.

Lovely, challenging trail. I recommend that anyone doing this trail bring poles--the downhill is steep & rocky, murder on the knees! Hiked this on 5/13/18, it is still muddy, but no need for spikes.

This was my first real hiking. Since I am a crazy person and like to push my body, I start with this very hard trail. Oh my God, this trail is very challenging. I would not recommend for someone to do it solo or out of shape. People must be careful and pay attention of your footing. I don’t want to scare anyone, but people can get hurt very badly on this trail. Stay safe.

A gnarly hike coming down, icy and muddy. Otherwise, a beautiful view at the top! :)

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