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Section: Northern Peaks | Central Peaks | Southern Peaks | Off Trail & Winter | Hiking Resources

Escarpment Trail

NY-NJ Trail Conference Map: 41 & 40 (detail map on North Lake Area)

Trailhead/Terminus: Schutt Road (map it)/State Route 23

Trail Information: The blue marked Escarpment Trail is 23 miles long and makes for a great 3 day backpacking trip or the trail can be hiked in a long day trip or taken in parts. The trail traverses some of the Catskill Mountains most scenic territory. It is 3940' at its highest point on the summit of Blackhead Mountain. It crosses 7 summits over 3000' on some of the most rugged terrain in these mountains. The North Lake area to North Point is full of history as it was the birthplace of hiking in the Catskills.

In the 1800's the North Lake area was home to several hotels that provided luxurious accommodations to many people wanting to retreat to the Catskills.

Camping: The Escarpment Trail provides the backpacker with excellent camping opportunities. Camping signNote that at-large camping is NOT allowed in the North Lake area (see guide books). One may camp at-large after North Mountain. In the North Lake area one may camp at the North Lake State Camp Ground. Camping at-large is permitted 150' away from a trail, water source or road after North Mountain (see DEC camping guidelines) below 3,500'.

There are two Lean-tos along the trail, but these are in the northern section. The Batavia Kill Lean-to is located at the 14.6 mile point on the trail (lean-to is .25 miles on the Batavia Kill Trail). The Elm Ridge Lean-to is located at the 22.0 mile point about .1 mile to left of the trail.

Special Regulations: No Camping on the trail before North Mountain except at the North Lake State Camp Ground.

Considerations: At higher elevations water is scarce. Be ready to drop down and find reliable water at lower elevations. No camping anywhere above 3500' Except in an emergency or between December 21 and March 21.

The higher elevations between Arizona and Windham High Peak are in first growth, please be sensitive in this rare vegetation area by following Leave no Trace principles

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