This site chronicles my hiking in New York’s Catskills Mountains and my progress towards joining the Catskills 3500 Club. I was inspired to do this by the NJ/NY Hikes blog, which I found very helpful in planning my hikes. Hopefully you’ll find this blog helpful, too!

Progress:

3500 Club:
37/37
Winter Peaks:
24/33
2023 Peaks:
33/33

Check out the posts below for individual hikes. You can also view hikes by peak or use this nifty interactive map view:

Map of the Catskills

  • Mashed Potatoes Conditions: Eastern Devil's Path with the 3500 Club

    A surprisingly warm day in February for a long, steep winter hike.
  • Winter FirBiE with the 3500 Club

    A slow pace leads to my first nighttime bushwhack.
  • Windham Closes Out a Very Catskills 2023

    A wet, misty winter hike with John and Max completes my goal of hiking all the Catskills high peaks in 2023.
  • Misty Blackhead Range

    A foggy day with no views on the Blackhead Range. Alex surprises everyone by agreeing to do a third peak.
  • Hunter and SW Hunter: April in December

    A surprisingly warm day for my first December hike.
  • Kaaterskill and Twin/Indian Head Doubleshot

    An ambitious solo "doubleshot" hike goes perfectly to plan.
  • Sugarloaf and Lone Wolf (Don't Go Chasin' Waterfalls)

    A steep, wintery ascent in the fall helps both of us with our hiking goals.
  • Fall Wittenberg and Cornell

    We're surprised by rapidly shifting weather but otherwise have a lovely leaf peeping adventure.
  • Mt. Washington via Tucherman's Ravine

    A birthday hike in the White Mountains, a first for both of us. After a steep, difficult ascent, we're rewarded with incredible alpine landscapes and memorable lodging at the Lakes of the Clouds hut.
  • Plateau from Notch Inn: A Gamble with the Weather Pays Off

    Despite iffy weather, I solo hiked Plateau from Notch Inn Rd to SR 214 in a big loop. The hiking and views were spectacular, and I heard and saw my first Bicknell's Thrush in the Catskills.
  • Panther Overnight for Breeding Bird Atlasing

    Alex's first overnight camping trip lets us observe a spectacular sunrise and lots of breeding bird behavior. Some lessons are learned!
  • Dry Brook Ridge with the John Burroughs Natural History Society

    A first visit to an almost-high peak to help find breeding bird behavior for the New York Breeding Bird Atlas
  • #4216 and What's Next

    I'm a proud new member of the 3500 club! Now that I've achieved my goal, what will I do with all my time?
  • Panther Group Hike to Complete My 3500 List

    A perfect day and a big group to celebrate my completion of the 3500 Club's required peaks
  • Firbie Loop, A Flowery Finish for the High Peaks

    A beautiful flower-filled bushwhack to complete the last of my high peaks.
  • Balsam Lake Mountain, a Carpet of Trout Lilies

    A longer drive than a hike to a remote mountain. The spring wildflowers are starting to come out, and we have an exciting encounter with a porcupine.
  • Spruceton Straightshot, a Race Against the Storm

    An epic three-peak day in which we narrowly dodge an approaching spring thunderstorm and a hiker gets his trail name.
  • Spring on Halcott: A tale of two trails

    Spring is springing in the mountains, and one side of this loop is considerably harder than the other.
  • Rusk Bushwhack: Snowshoes and a T-Shirt

    My first solo bushwhack, a climb to find winter hanging on in the high peaks.
  • Planning the rest of the 3500

    Not a hike! It's all logistics.
  • Bearpen & Vly, Spring or Winter?

    A special dinner presents an opportunity to knock these two remote peaks out on what the 3500 club considers the last day of winter.
  • Fir Snowshoe: The Bushes Whack YOU!

    A long, snowy bushwhack through beautiful woods and a surprising first high peak.
  • Winter Six (Catskills 3500 Club)

    After hiking Blackhead last week, I’d completed the Catskills 3500 Club’s four required winter peaks. But I wasn’t quite done. I’d quit my job March 1st and suddenly found myself with lots of free time. I’d known about the 3500 Club’s organized hikes for years but never gotten around to doing one. If ever there was a time, it was now!

  • Blackhead Snowshoe Adventure

    The last of the four required winter peaks and my first Catskills snowshoeing adventure. Alex's "personal Everest".
  • Winter Slide

    Third of the four required winter peaks, part of a "very upstate day" that involved birding, boiling maple syrup and going to a dinner party.
  • Balsam (Winter)

    Second of the four required winter peaks, in which Alex, Max and I become the very first customers at the Eastwind bar.
  • Panther (Winter)

    First of the four required winter peaks, in which Alex and I finally summit Panther and do a surprise bushwhack on the way down.
  • Late Fall in the Blackhead Range

    A planned overnight turns into a day hike across the Blackhead range. Fall colors are just past peak, and we discover a curious new pandemic hobby.
  • Plateau: Peak Fall

    Quick afternoon hike prompted by Alex reading that the Catskills were hitting peak fall colors. The color were, indeed, magnificent! If anything they were slightly on the early side of peak – still lots of green mixed in with yellow and orange. There was a clear transition from mixed Maple / Birch at lower elevations to just Birch at higher elevations. You could see this in the change from a yellow/orange/red mix to just yellow starting around 3000 ft.

  • The Nine

    An overnight bushwhacking experience with two friends nets me six new peaks and a whole lot of newfound hiking confidence.
  • Hunter and Southwest Hunter aka the COVID hike

    This was a slog — I really struggled up the ascent, which had me worried for my big hike next week. I initially thought it was because I was sore from climbing yesterday and Millbrook a few days before. But in retrospect I was starting to feel Covid booster side effects (I’d gotten the omicron booster the previous day).

  • Kaaterskill High Peak (look, it's a plane!)

    Quite surprising to find an airplane in the woods at the top of your hike!
  • Indian Head & Twin: Baby Birds!

    Loop hike with Alex in which we see a Junco nest in a rock face and encounter our first Blackpoll Warbler.
  • Table & Peekamoose aka "The Blackburnian Hike"

    Alex, John G and I hiked Table and Peekamoose. This was our first hike with John. The birding was spectacular – we heard thrushes and winter wrens throughout the hike and saw at least ten Blackburnian Warblers, including a family!

  • Panther (failed) aka "The time when Google Maps took us to the wrong trailhead"

    Not the hike we expected to do, and we didn't bag the peak we wanted, but we did see some great birds (including a lifer!) and views along the way.
  • Fall Windham

    Timeline:

  • A through hike on the long path

    A brief window during which we have two cars presents an opportunity to do a through hike and yields a surprise viewpoint.
  • Foggy Black Dome

    An attempt to see peak fall foliage lands us in the middle of a cloud.
  • Balsam Summer Hike

    A dinner in Delaware county presents an opportunity for a beautiful summer day hike.
  • Summer Slide

    An afternoon hike up the tallest of the Catskills peaks on the longest day of the year. Daylight was not an issue!
  • A dull pandemic hike on the Long Path

    After hiking the Long Trail to Mt Pisgah last weekend, I was curious what the trail was like in the other direction. No views (at least not when there are leaves on the trees) but some lovely fern groves and steep climbs. There was a vehicle trail that I thought might go up to the top of Mt Nebo but it petered out into another fern grove. (Note from Dan in 2023: nowadays I would have just bushwhacked it!)

  • Windham with Alex

    A variation on the previous week's hike with a companion and more abundant signs of spring.
  • Windham (solo)

    After a self-imposed Covid quarantine, a solo hike up a high peak provides a much-needed escape.
  • Indian Head

    A pit stop for a hike and a waterfall on our way back from Delaware County.
  • Indian Head and Plattekill Falls Rest Day

    A climbing rest day on which we really earn our dip in the waterfall.
  • Windham and Blackhead overnight

    My second trip to the Catskills, another overnight. Two high peaks, magic fire, a happy trail runner and a hiking mystery.
  • Sugarloaf and Twin overnight (my first Catskills hike)

    Overnight hiking w/ Max. My first visit to the Catskills!