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Hiking in Catskill Park

Kaaterskill
Wild Forest

 

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The 8550 acre Kaaterskill Wild Forest includes all the state land on Kaaterskill High Peak, as well as the Kaaterskill Clove and South Mountain areas including Kaaterskill Falls.

Kaaterskill Falls is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Catskills as well as in all of New York State. The 260-foot, two-tiered waterfall is the highest in New York and is tucked away within one of the many cloves that form the eastern escarpment of the Catskill Mountains. The hike to Kaaterskill Falls, either from the top or the bottom is well worth the effort. You are rewarded with a wild look at one of the most spectacular sights in the Catskills.

Kaaterskill High Peak at 3,655 feet is one of the more famous mountains of the Catskill range in NY, and easily one of it's most recognizable.  The summit of Kaaterskill High Peak is a small, viewless grassy clearing surrounded by boreal forest. Several other attractions on and around High Peak, besides its summit, have drawn hikers to the mountain and been the subject of detours.  There are views from these "detours".

Long Path - The aqua blazed Long Path enters Kaaterskill Wild Forest from the south off Platte Clove Road. You are following blue DEC markers and red snowmobile markers. At 1.0 miles reach the junction of the yellow marked Huckleberry Point Trail on the right that travels 1.4 to a scenic view point. At 3.3 miles the snowmobile trail turns left and heads uphill. At 4.8 miles reach the scenic Buttermilk Falls. At 5.3 miles reach Wildcat Falls. At 6.6 miles reach the junction of the Poet's Ledge Trail on the left that leads 0.5 miles to a nice view.

At 8.3 miles leave state land and start following the aqua blazes. At 8.7 miles turn left on Malden Avenue. At 9.2 miles reach NY 23A, turn right and cross Kaaterskill Creek. At 9.6 miles the Long Path begins to follow the red marked Harding Road Trail. At 10.6 miles reach the nice views of Kaaterskill Clove Lookout. At 12.3 miles the Harding Road Trail ends at a yellow marked horse trail. The Long Path turns left for 0.1 miles and then joins the Escarpment Trail near North-South State Campground.

Hurricane Ledge

Since the summit offers no views, most hikers choose to take their reward at this wide, open area above a sheer cliff on the south side of the mountain about 0.1 mile from the summit. Indian Head and Twin Mountains in the Devils Path can be seen to the immediate south (the latter's summit appearing lower than High Peak even though it is not), with Plateau book ending them to the west. On the east, the Catskills drop away dramatically into the clove and a long section of the Hudson is visible.  The Devils Path is the name of a mountain range and hiking trail in the Greene County portion of New Yorks Catskill Mountains.

Huckleberry Point

The trail that splits from the snowmobile route a mile from the Platte Clove trailhead curves back another mile or so to Huckleberry Point, a steep and ledgy area which, due to past fires, offers many places to sit back and look down into the clove. Since the route is mostly level, and the roundtrip considerably shorter than that required for the whole mountain, it is popular with those who hike only occasionally. Care must be taken at the Point, however, since some of the ledges also sit above sharp drops. 

Kaaterskill Falls

 

Above map courtesy of Andy Arthur from the AndyArthur.org website
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