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Kaaterskill High Peak



14.3 mile 23.1 kilometer out and back
76% Runnable


Ascent: 4,079' 1,243 m
Descent: -4,078' -1,243 m
High: 3,639' 1,109 m
Low: 643' 196 m


Avg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 75% (37°)


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Trail shared by Mirek Wierzbicki

This route highlights a 7.2 mile trip from the hiker's parking lot to Kaaterskill High Peak.

Mirek Wierzbicki

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife


Along the way to the summit of this peak, runners can admire Wildcat and Buttermilk Falls (both of which have great views), as well as the scenery from Kaaterskill High Peak, and Hurricane Ledge which has its own wide open beautiful viewpoint.

Need to Know

Crampons recommended in Winter.


From the hikers parking lot, turn right onto Route 23a and work your way along the road for .4 miles. You'll cross the bridge over Kaaterskill Creek and turn left on Malden Ave. Stay on the road and follow the blue marks that denote the Long Path: Section 22.

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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  4.0 from 2 votes
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in New York


60 Views Last Month
1,944 Since Jul 11, 2017



Frozen Hillyer Waterfall. The trail is at the top, so you have to get off the trail to see it.
Jul 23, 2017 near Palenville, NY
In the winter sections of Poets Ledge / Long Path trail feel like an ice climb...this is 1 of them!
Mar 10, 2018 near Palenville, NY
View from the top of Buttermilk Waterfall
Jul 23, 2017 near Palenville, NY
Icy trail with nice views
Mar 10, 2018 near Palenville, NY
In winter you need spikes to use this trail.
Jul 23, 2017 near Palenville, NY
North view from one of ledges.
Aug 9, 2017 near Palenville, NY


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