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The Catskill 67

West
Wildcat

 

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In the Catskills there are thirty-five peaks that are over 3,500 feet in elevation and are noted in the Catskill 3500 Club. The Catskill 67 are the next highest peaks in the Catskills, of which, 63 are over 3,000 feet in elevation. These peaks are featured in a hiking guide, The Catskill 67, a recommended book from the ADK Mountain Club. West Wildcat Mountain at 3160 feet is the 69th highest point in the Catskills, or #34 for the Catskill 67.

The hike to reach West Wildcat requires a bushwhack in the rugged Slide Mountain Wilderness. There are multiple possible routes to reach West Wildcat, the first is from the Slide Mountain Trailhead located off County Route 47. The GPS coordinates is N42 00.543 W74 25.673 for the parking area. Take the yellow marked Phoenicia-East Branch Trail to just past the junction of the Curtis Ormsbee Trail. Now turn right at any point after the junction and start your bushwhack climb toward East Wildcat Mountain, which is another Catskill 67 peak. Another route, which also starts from the Slide Mountain Trailhead, is to start your bushwhack after crossing the West Branch Neversink River and following the river downstream, then start climbing toward the mountain.

A third route starts from the Denning Trailhead, located at the end of Denning Road. The GPS coordinates is N41 57.949 W74 27.142 for this large parking area. The Phoenicia-East Branch Trail is also known as the Finger Lakes Trail from here to the junction of the Peekamoose-Table Trail, also known as the Long Path. The Finger Lakes Trail ends at the junction and this point is known as the eastern terminus of the Finger Lakes Trail. The FLT travels west from here over 550 miles to Allegany State Park and is a popular long distance backpacking trail in New York.

This third route is along the yellow Phoenicia-East Branch Trail and to turn left at some point after the Denning Trailhead, bushwhacking toward the ridge of Wildcat Mountain. Make sure that you pick a point that has you on state land and not private property. The Frost Valley YMCA owns large parts of property on the southern slopes of West Wildcat Mountain and YMCA members could hike directly up the mountain from Denning Road. You can find information of memberships, including just hiking memberships from the Frost Valley YMCA website. They own over 5000 acres of land in this area.

To get more detailed info on the hike to West Wildcat and other Catskill 67 hikes, we recommend purchasing the hiking guide The Catskill 67. The book gives more info on both routes to this mountain. Look below for a topographic map of West Wildcat as well as a DEC map of the area in Slide Mountain Wilderness to help assist in planning your hiking adventure.

Denning Trailhead parking area

 

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