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

Kaaterskill High Peak 3655'

Kaaterskill High Peak

Kaaterskill High Peak from Dibbles Quarry

USGS Quad: Kaaterskill

NY-NJ Trail Conference Map: #41/141

Order of Height: 22nd at 3655'

Access: Via the old Twilight Park Trail

Description: Kaaterskill High Peak was once thought to be the highest mountain in the Catskills, as it was the highest peak that could be seen by the early settlers from the Hudson River and is abutted by deep valleys called "cloves" on two sides. Later surveys showed that many other peaks were higher, although it is still the easternmost of the Catskill High Peaks.

Still, its unique profile and location made it a favorite subject of Thomas Cole and other Hudson River School painters, and for a long time its distinctive profile symbolized the Catskills. It still does for many visitors even today.

Most of them are likely to do so from afar, rather than up close. Those who do climb it find that Kaaterskill is a hiker's delight, a fine peak surrounded on three sides with great vistas. Just south of the summit, there is a wonderful open viewpoint on the top of the ledge at an area known as Hurricane Ledge. This ultimate lunch spot affords a great view of the Devil's Path range to the south.

The area also boasts two old plane wrecks, many waterfalls on the north side and interesting side trip possibilities in Roundtop and an area known as Huckleberry Point, which boasts a fine view of the Hudson Valley.

Access is usually from the High Peak snowmobile trail system, which is also a part of the Long Path. From the snowmobile trail northwest of the peak, it is possible to follow the old blue-marked Twilight Park Trail to the summit. It is also possible to follow the blue markers steeply up the south side from Josh Road. This southern route should be used only by the most experienced climbers as there are some steep ledges to get over. It should also be noted that this blue-blazed trail is unofficial, and both summit approaches may be difficult to follow.

Most hikers begin from the south, where the snowmobile trail leaves Platte Clove Road. The route up Kaaterskill Clove on the north side begins at Palenville and is more scenic but requires a climb of almost 3,000 vertical feet to reach the summit.

Kaaterskill High Peak Wild Forest Map (opens in new window)

Links for Kaaterskill High Peak New Window

TopoZone (topographic map)

NYSDEC Interactive Locator Map

Wikipedia - Kaaterskill High Peak

Photo credit: Wikipedia (Daniel Case)


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