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Backsking in the Catskill Mountains: A Quick and Dirty Guide

Backsking in the Catskill Mountains: A Quick and Dirty Guide

Catskill Mountains of New York State are situated in the south-east, about two and a half hour drive from New York to the north, 4 hours from Boston to the west and 4 hours south of Montreal. With 12 million guests per yr, the space is a well-liked destination for climbing, mountaineering, climbing, fly fishing and skiing, but preserves the appeal and character of the countryside.

The world features the 700,000-hectare Catskill Park in New York, a mix of public and personal land reserved for outside actions and conservation. With over 425 km of mountaineering trails and 98 mountain ranges over 3000 ′, the park has wooded mountains, slender, winding valleys and busy creeks and rivers making it one in every of the most complicated natural areas in the japanese a part of the United States.

  Catskill Park Map Catskills are 2 and 1/2 hours north of New York. Credit Jackaranga


The automotive could be very useful round and around Catskills, as many mountaineering trails are situated on a rotating street. In case you are not going to drive, the Amtrak and Trailways bus stops in Kingston, Saugerties and Catskill. Native buses, taxi providers and hikers can organize your mountaineering trails from these cities. This is far more widespread than you may anticipate, as lots of Catskills backpackers come from New York and typically wouldn’t have automobiles because they have the value of a automotive.


Inns, motels, B & Bs and campsites supply plenty of accommodation and many good eating places to select from. The transfer from Kingston to West is Mt. Tremper, Phenicia, Shandaken, Massive Indian and Margaretville; from Saugerties: Tannersville and Hunter; and Catskill from Cairo, South Durham and Windham.


Most trailheads have designated parking areas, however some might have access to the winter. "Seasonal, limited-access roads" may be impenetrable and you’ll have to wander to get to the trailhead. With versatile. Typically, it’s sufficient to decide on another path to start out (or cease) a hike.

As with all recognized recreational areas, it is sensible to avoid leaving valuables in a parked automotive. If the trailhead is close to a personal property, be delicate to the proprietor's privateness and avoid the driveway. For those who plan to go away the automotive for several days, attempt to avoid roadside parking. Local sheriff or residents might help you discover a secure and professional automotive park.

The Trail System

The Catskill Path System and shelters are managed by the Environmental Protection Division or the DEC for a short time. Climbing trails are marked with colored plastic plates and properly signed. The route system is interconnected as a result of it allows multiple path loops or journeys that start and end at totally different places when you’ve got multiple automobiles to carry out the path transport.

There are a number of long-distance climbing trails by way of the Catskill-trail system, together with the Finger Lakes Trail and the New York Lengthy Path.

Maps and Purposes

The Appalachian Mountain Club, Nationwide Geographic and NY / NJ Path Conference publish path maps on roads and topographic features. The Trail Conference has interactive maps on its website, the place you’ll be able to select trekking by grade and comply with the links for descriptions. DeLorme Gazeteers' choices are wonderful references to the again and useful for shortcuts to remote areas. You possibly can't watch for mobile phone entry to many elements of Catskill, so don't belief Google Maps to seek out your approach.

Greatest Maps

  • New York / New Jersey Path Conference The Catskills Trails Map is a 6 map waterproof map set that features all 400 miles of designated trails at Catskill Park in addition to all 35 peaks over three,500 meters high.
  • National Geographic Trail Illustrated Map: Catskill Park is a water-proof map with handy path chart displaying location, mileage, path usage and problem levels for dozens of paths. Crossroads between intersections are shown and the map base consists of contours and elevations for summits, routes, and many lakes. Public fishing supplies, sidewalks, swimming areas, snowmobiling areas, boat landings, coated bridges, waterfalls, ski areas and different locations of interest are clearly marked
  • Appalachian Mountain Membership Preservation of Catskill Map Collection is a 2-map collection that portrays the east of Catskill Park. Comprehensive route lists cover all public trails in the Catskill Mountains. Included are GPS-rendered topography, meter readings, elevation profiles, prime indicators, camping indicators, lean roads, street routes, and a guide to Catskill 3500 ft.
  • Delorme's New York Atlas and Gazetteer listing all roads in the state of New York, together with complete maps of all Catskill's backroads that result in campsites and trailheads.

Greatest Apps

  • Avenza Maps has the highest quality and latest Catskill maps for all GPS purposes obtainable. NY / NJ Path Convention, for sale and download from the app ($ 17.99). These maps have over 425 miles of paths, together with all routes within the Catskill Park. They’re actually good and I like to recommend them.
  • AllTrails provides you detailed information about lots of the charted hikes, but its focus is totally on every day hikes quite than on the route.
  • DRYT Tent and RV Campsite App has a great listing of seasonal state and business campsites, together with visitor evaluations

Backcountry Shelters and Primitive Tenting Rules

Appalachian type and tent sites can be found at the campsite for the first time in the first service base. Their location is marked on the NY / NJ Trail Conference on Catskill charts out there in press or in the GPS software of the Avenza map.

The Appalachian Path Types Are Obtainable Throughout Catskills

The following is a summary of DEC's Catskill Climbing Rules:

  • Primitive tent areas and lean teas can be found on the first-come, first served basis and can’t be booked .
  • Often you possibly can camp anyplace in the forest protection space and in Catskills, but your tent have to be at the very least 150 meters from the water, street or path. Don’t camp at "Camping Prohibited."
  • . Examine campsite guidelines. The campsite is simply allowed in certain forest safety and conservation areas and overnight stays are prohibited in other areas. The DEC website incorporates info on campsite laws in sure areas.
  • Tents aren’t allowed and have to be at the least 150 meters away from a low fat or defined tent location with the "Camp Here" label. [19659017] More than three nights or a campsite for 10 or extra individuals requires Forest Ranger's permission. Call 518-897-1300 to get your local ranger identify and contact info.
  • Black bears are present throughout Catskill. Campers ought to retailer all meals, rubbish, and hygiene products in a bear-resistant container, Ursack or meals hanger.
  • The campsite is prohibited above 3500 meters above Catskills, except in an emergency or between 21 December and 21 March.
  • Solely emergency fires are allowed at over 3500 ft at Catskills
  • For extra info:

Peakbagging Lists

Catskill's Most Common Prime Record is 3500 ft. There are 35 of those peaks, together with many who require bushwhacking. The Catskills 3500 Club recognizes hikers who’ve crammed the listing, but insists that a few of the tops rise during the calendar winter. Up to now, three,000 individuals have ended. For extra info, see Catskill 3500 Membership Guidelines

Slide 4180 & # 39; Sugarafa (Mink) 3800 & # 39; Fir 3620 Hunter 4040 & # 39; Wittenberg 3780 North Dome 3610 Black Dome 3980 & # 39; Southwest Hunter 3740 & Eagle 3600 & # 39; Thomas Cole 3940 Lone 3721 & # 39; Balsam 3600 Blackhead 3940 & # 39; 3720 Bearpen 3600 & # 39; West Kill 3880 Lake Balsam 3720 & # 39; Indian Head 3573 & # 39; Graham 3868 & # 39; Massive Indian 3700 & # 39; Sherrill 3540 & # 39; Sherrill 3540 ] Cornell 3860 Friday 3694 & # 39; Vly 3529 Doubletop 3860 & # 39; Rusk 3680 Windham Excessive Peak 3524 & # 39; Desk 3847 High Peak Kaaterskill 3655 & # 39; Halcott 3520 & # 39; Peekamoose 3843 & # 39; Twin 3640 & # 39; Rocky 3508 & # 39; Plateau 3840 & # 39; Balsam Cap 3623 & # 39;

Backpacking P ermits

In the Catskill Mountains there isn’t a have to go climbing or backpacking


The Catskill space is heavily forested and mountainous, and 98 mountains above 3000 ′. one or two. Treeline starts at an altitude of about 3,500 meters, which adds to the climate. Lots of the tops require a rock connection over a bare edge above 3000 ′. Currents in deep valleys and watercourses after rainfall can develop into dangerous when water levels rise. There are also many waterfalls in the Catskill area, some of which might be very harmful when you get too close to the edge

  Featured hiking trails The Satan's Path is one among the most troublesome mountaineering trails in Catskills


Climate could be unpredictable and heavily local at this mountainous terrain on account of the influence of the terrain. One of the best source of climate forecasts is the NOAA website, which offers correct predictions of particular park places. Nevertheless, it is very important put together for dangerous weather circumstances and carry applicable umbrellas and 10 primary parts every time you go for a hike or excursion.

In all seasons, temperatures in summits are often about 10 levels cooler than trailheads. You might also encounter ice and deep snow at greater altitudes when snow has left valleys in the spring. Winter can convey snowstorms, adding enough snow to cowl trails and tracks shortly.

Search and Rescue

DEC Forest Rangers Direct Search and Rescue Mission at Catskills. Each ranger has a geographical space where they stay and are liable for the preservation, protection, improvement, and security of the state's forest assets by means of these assets

DEC Emergency Search, Rescue and Hearth Hotline is 518-408-5850. Enter this number in your telephone so it is all the time with you. All the time tell everybody the place you’re planning a hike to park your automotive, and whenever you await a return. Ensure they have the local DEC Emergency Hotline listed above and give them clear instructions on when to contact DEC in case you are late.

Word: Cellphone reception may be very poor in the Catskill area. The best choice is usually self-confidence, correct gear and preparation.


Catskill has a whole lot of black bears, and you ought to be ready to hang your meals with a bear bag, use a bear-resistant Ursack or bear can (though not but required by regulation) at the campsite camping websites. Most lean camps and campsites do NOT have metallic packing containers for food storage at the moment.

  Water Filter Warning It is very important filter or clean all water sources


Water is often ample in the Catskill Mountains, although you could have to drop the aspect tracks again. Lots of the paths have spring-loaded tubes which might be overlooked of the floor and are usually protected to drink and fill water bottles or containers. These tubes are marked on the New York / New Jersey Path chart that we advocate to use. All pure water sources, akin to streams, rivers, ponds and lakes, have to be filtered or cleaned before use. The most typical water-borne illness is Giard, which causes severe bowel issues

Further Assets

Catskills is a superb place for a backpack with well-marked and maintained paths with loads of environmental activity and protection. This quick and dirty guide incorporates all the info you must start planning your subsequent journey, corresponding to tenting, path system info, really helpful maps, rules, journey, climate, and more.

Listed here are some further assets that I

About the Writer

France Menk has traveled and ripped off in the United States and overseas. Some excursions embrace: the single wheel along the vertebrae of the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean; interrupted hike from Kathmandu to Everest camp (Pleurisy reduce off Trek outdoors Jir); successful solo life from Kathmandu to Annapurna Camp; all 35 Catskills over 3500, ”summer time and all except 8 in winter; 81 of New England 100 Highest; AT episodes in Shenandoah, Vermont, New Hampshire and 100 kilometers in Wilderness ME. The numbers are for many who care. They are irrelevant. The importance of immersion outdoors is to strengthen ourselves: we are, like
part of every little thing else. A former Outward Sure instructor, France also climbs (buildings, boulders and Trad), canoes, kayaks, skis, sleeps and prepares manually floor coffee – which he drinks. Between these features, he modifies his pictures and illustrations to purchase money for gear and transport.

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