Best Hiking Trails In The Catskills For Every Fitness Level

May 21, 2023 By Sean William

Exploring The Catskills is an adventure like no other! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, these majestic mountains have something for everyone.

From easy-going trails to more challenging peaks, many incredible experiences are just waiting. So lace up your hiking boots and prepare for your outdoor odyssey; we’ve got the best hiking trails in the region picked out specifically for every fitness level - and trust us when we say these hikes won't disappoint!

Intro - Why the Catskills Mountains are a Great Place to Go Hiking.

The Catskills is an incredible place to go hiking, regardless of your experience level. Some trails and peaks are perfect for everyone, whether you're a beginner or a more experienced hiker. From scenic vistas to challenging summits, the majestic Catskill Mountains offer something special for all levels of hikers.

The best part about hiking in the Catskills is that there's no shortage of amazing experiences awaiting you. From the peace and tranquility of nature to the excitement and adventure of conquering a peak, you'll never run out of things to do here.

With so many options available, you're sure to find trails that fit your fitness level perfectly. So grab your boots and prepare for an unforgettable outdoor journey - the Catskills is the perfect place to explore!

Beginner Trails - Trails that are perfect for people just getting into hiking.

For those just getting into hiking, The Catskills offer some ideal trails to explore. Beginner hikers will appreciate the Flatiron and Kaaterskill Falls trails that provide stunning views of the surrounding greenery without too much of a challenge for first-timers.

The Windham High Peak trail is a great option for more experienced beginners looking to take on a moderate climb with beautiful vistas at its summit. Additionally, Table Hill Trail is perfect for mountain-side strolls with awe-inspiring views.

Regardless of your chosen routes, all these beginner trails will surely refresh your spirit and energize you! From lush forests and grassy meadows to tranquil streams and spectacular lookouts - there's something special for everyone at The Catskills. So don't wait any longer - tie up your laces and let the adventure begin!

Intermediate Trails - Trails with more of an elevation gain and some steeper terrain

If you're looking for something more challenging than the beginner trails, the Catskills offer plenty of intermediate hikes that will take your experience to the next level. From short loops with steep climbs to long day trips with extended elevation gains, these treks are perfect for hikers looking for more adventure.

For those who want to get their heart rate up while exploring the region’s natural beauty, check out Peekamoose Mountain or Balsam Lake Mountain.

Both of these trails have beautiful views and moderate terrain - although there can be some steeper sections that require extra care.

If you're up for a bigger challenge, head to Table Mountain on the Ulster and Delaware Counties border. This 8.9-mile loop will take you through a scenic forest and up a steep 1,400-foot elevation gain that leads to the summit. The hike is moderately difficult and has some tricky trails with loose rocks, so pack plenty of water and snacks for the journey.

For an even more intense experience, try out Slide Mountain - one of the highest peaks in the region at 4,200 feet! This 6.2-mile trek offers stunning views from the summit and can be challenging due to its steepest sections.

Although it may require more effort than other intermediate hikes, you will surely be rewarded with unparalleled vistas once you reach the top!

Advanced Trails - For those looking for a challenge, Trails offer the most breathtaking views and toughest terrain.

For experienced hikers looking for a challenge, the Catskills have some of the world's most thrilling and rewarding hiking trails! The range is full of exciting treks that offer breathtaking views, challenging terrain, and unique landscapes.

One of the best-advanced hikes in the area is Devil's Path. This iconic 24-mile trail begins at the Woodland Valley Campground and takes you through an incredible array of mountain ranges, forests, and wildflower-covered meadows.

As one of the most difficult hikes in New York State, it’s not for beginners but offers a memorable experience for those with more experience.

Wittenberg Mountain is another great option for seasoned hikers looking to test their limits. The 8-mile loop is considered one of the most strenuous hikes in the region but offers stunning views from its 3,780 feet summit. From there, you can enjoy an unparalleled panorama of the surrounding Catskills and beyond.

The Hunter Mountain Loop Trail is a great choice for those who want to trek to new heights - literally! This 10-mile hike takes you up 2,400 feet to the highest peak in the area, with unforgettable views of the valley below. Keep your eyes peeled as you traverse this trail; it’s known for its diverse wildlife, including black bears and other animals that are rarely seen elsewhere.

Safety Tips –Advice on how to be prepared when hiking in the Catskills

Plan Ahead

Make sure to plan your route, so you know what to expect and can prepare accordingly. Research the difficulty of the trails and check out websites for reviews from other hikers who have been there before.

Prepare Your Gear

The right gear is essential for hiking safely and comfortably in the Catskills. Invest in an appropriate pair of hiking shoes that fit properly, bring plenty of water, extra clothes for weather changes, a first aid kit, a flashlight or headlamp, a map/compass/GPS device, and snacks or energy bars for energy boosts during your trek.

Pack Appropriately

Be aware of the weight of your backpack and pack only what you need. Leave unnecessary items at home to avoid being weighed down during your hike.

Stay Hydrated & Nourished

Bring enough drinking water for yourself, and always keep a few snacks handy to munch on throughout your hike.

Follow Markers and Signs

Always follow trail markers, signs, and blazes so you don’t get lost or accidentally venture off the beaten path onto more difficult or dangerous trails than anticipated.

Be Mindful of the Weather

Pay attention to the weather forecast and know that conditions can change rapidly in the mountains, especially during inclement weather. Carry a whistle or signaling device and wear bright colors so that you can easily be seen in case of an emergency.

Respect Wildlife & Nature

Always respect wildlife and nature while hiking in the Catskills; leave no trace behind and stick to designated trails as much as possible. Enjoy your surroundings but never disturb or feed any wild animals!


What is the hardest Catskill hike?

The hardest hike in the Catskills is the Slide Mountain Trail. This 8-mile loop passes through several peaks, including Balsam Cap and Cornell Mountain. It has a total elevation gain of 2,430 feet and offers stunning views from its summit.

Which Catskill Mountain has the best views?

Hunter Mountain offers some of the best views in the Catskills. Standing at 4,040 feet, it is one of the highest peaks in the region and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

Are there any easy hikes in The Catskills?

Yes! There are plenty of easy-going trails for those looking for a relaxed hike. The Burroughs Range Trail is popular with its moderate terrain and gradual elevation gain of 1,500 feet. The trail also passes two picturesque alpine lakes before reaching the summit.


A getaway to the Catskills can be a great experience for anyone looking for an awesome day of hiking, regardless of fitness level. Whether you’re an experienced hiker tackling advanced trails with steep terrain or a beginner wanting to stay closer to home and test their boundaries — the Catskills have something for everyone. Remember essential safety items like extra food and water, sturdy shoes, and a map when planning your hike.

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