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Hiking in Catskill Park
At 3880 feet, West Kill Mountain ranks sixth in order of height of the Catskill 3500ers. The views from West Kill are excellent. To the northeast is a full unobstructed view of the Blackhead range. To the southwest, the central high peaks can be seen including Slide and it's close neighbors Cornell and Wittenberg. To the south is a distant view of the Shawangunks and the Hudson River.
The viewpoint, named Buck Ridge Lookout, is a rock outcropping 0.1 mile east of the summit along the Devils Path. The summit itself is viewless, with a thick cover of Balsam Fir. It is marked by a cairn and a sign.
Westkill is the western most peak traversed by the Devils Path, a 25 mile Catskill classic hike. The trails to Westkill are somewhat easy, the easiest of all of the Devils Path summits in fact.
Trailheads and access to West Kill
Devils Path western terminus parking area/trailhead:
4.8 Miles with a 2030 foot elevation gain.
From this trailhead take the red blazed Devils path to the summit of West Kill.
Diamond Notch Trail northern trailhead:
3.1 Miles with a 1730 foot elevation gain.
This parking area can be reached by following the same directions as the Devils Path western terminus except you must pass the Devils Path trailhead and continue to the end of Spruceton Road.
From here take the Blue blazed Diamond Notch Trail for 0.9 miles then turn right onto the red blazed Devils Path for 2.2 miles to the summit. This trail to is of no real technical challenge but it does pass Diamond Notch Falls also known as Buttermilk falls. This is a good picnic area.
Diamond Notch Trail southern trailhead:
4.5 Miles with a 2380 foot elevation gain.
From here follow the blue blazed Diamond Notch Trail for 2.3 miles then
take a left onto the red blazed Devils Path for 2.2 miles to the summit. This is the most challenging of the approaches to Westkill. The trail climbs into the Diamond Notch itself, a wedge type cut in the landscape which is impressive when viewed from the top of the notch.
Directions: from exit 19 of the New York State Thruway (I-87), follow signs for NY 28 west.
once on NY 28, travel 22.6 miles and turn right onto NY 214 (Main St.)
go 5 miles on Main St. and turn left onto Diamond Notch Road
take this road to the end.
NOTE: some areas at the end of Diamond Notch Road are rocky and may be difficult for two wheel drive vehicles especially in winter.
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