Kaaterskill High Peak
ElevationAscent: 4,079' 1,243 m
Descent: -4,078' -1,243 m
High: 3,639' 1,109 m
Low: 643' 196 m
GradeAvg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 75% (37°)
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“This route highlights a 7.2 mile trip from the hiker's parking lot to Kaaterskill High Peak.”— Mirek Wierzbicki
After .9 miles you'll see Freewood restaurant. Shortly turn right onto another short road. After a few feet, the trail turns onto a woods road and into the forest. From here, the road ascends. At 1.60 miles point trail turns right onto a singletrack trail. At 1.80 miles is Ella's Ledge. While still an accomplishment, the view from the ledge is overgrown. At point 3.1 miles there is a .47 mile long trail leading to Poet's Ledge with beautiful views. Now the trail is almost flat for another 2 miles.
You'll see three waterfalls along your run: Hillyer Falls (at 3.80 miles), Wildcat Falls (at 4.3 miles), and finally Buttermilk Falls (at 4.9 miles). Wildcat and Buttermilk Falls have nice views to the north. After the last falls, the trail turns south-southwest and begins to ascend again. Some of these ascents are steep and over rocky areas. The trail cuts back and forth to make the climb easier.
At 6.3 miles, leave the Long Path: Section 22 and turn to the right. You'll make your way a short distance up to the snowmobile trail that loops around Kaaterskill High Peak and Round Top Mountain. Turn right on the loop trail. In just a short distance you'll see a herd path marked with a stone cairn on your left. This path is unmaintained, but travel on the trail is ok. Get ready for a short but steep climb up to the High Peak. Unfortunately, there is no view from the summit.
If you're hoping for better views, continue heading south .2 miles to Hurricane Ledge, which is wide open and shows beautiful views. From this vantage point, you'll see the Hudson river, as well as Indian Head and Twin mountains.
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Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background
Land Manager: Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Association