View Full Version : catskill 35???

01-19-2004, 11:04 AM
i am looking for help with the catskill 3500' peaks. i am looking to climb all 35 in the winter. i have already done slide, hunter, and windham. now am i wondering how to go about tackling the rest.
which peaks are usually done together? which peaks are usually done alone? which peaks are considered the easiest? which are considered the hardest? are there any groups to link up with that regularly climb catskill peaks?

thanks in advance for any help you can give me in reaching my goal!


Rob S
01-19-2004, 11:30 AM

Check out this website:


This will answer most of your questions.

01-19-2004, 11:44 AM
This forum is a great start but you can also check out the Catskill 3500 group site here http://groups.yahoo.com/group/3500club/?yguid=136010569

From there you can join the 3500 club were they lead hikes every weekend to one or more of the 3500 peaks. Also it is a good idea to get the Catskills trail maps by the NY/NJ trail conference at www.nynjtc.org. By looking at the maps you will be able to determine what peaks can be done together for example Lone and Rocky can be done together as well as Sherill and NorthDome. If you go onto the 3500 web site they give a lst of the peaks and a description of each. Usually they tell you wa peaks are done together. The site for that is
http://www.catskill-3500-club.org[/URL] Hope this helps some. Dont forget this site is also great.

Jay H
01-19-2004, 11:50 AM
You can also check out the NY Trail Conditions site on this forum.. A great start to figure out the usual peaks that are hiked together. Obviously a trail map is another tool that will tell you generally which summits are hiked together.


01-19-2004, 03:05 PM

We hike in the Catskills quite a bit in the winter. Drop me a private message with your email address. Hoping to do a couple this coming Saturday, Indian Head and Twin.
Nice thing about the Catskills is that the cannisters are still on the trailless peaks, and most of the woods are open so bushwacking is a lot of fun.


01-19-2004, 03:44 PM
Based on the pace of your hiking, your limits, or how much you want to accomplish in a day there are many days where you can take on quite a few peaks.
Try Indian Head and Twin in the same day, or for a faster pace add Sugarloaf, I generally go for relaxed hiking taking lots of breaks for wildlife and views.
Try Plateau and Sugarloaf in a day.
The Blackhead Range is another day.
Hunter and SW Hunter if a fun day, bushwacking through all that spruce.
West Kill is lots of fun so save that for a day by itself, lots of viewpoints, wildlife etc.
North Dome and Sherrill is another day.
Thats just some advice for the northern Catskills.
Good luck, and have fun.

01-19-2004, 04:16 PM

Don't know how you do SW Hunter, but we always follow the remnants of the old railroad bed. Poke along that for 20 minutes then head for the summit up a small stream bed. Woods fairly open, nothing thick. Now if you head directly from the trail near the leanto, now you're talking thicker woods. I did that way just once until the guy who installed the cannister on SW Hunter clued me into the route I mentioned. When we were there this summer, the old railroad bed has a fairly well-defined herdpath now. There is a cairn on the trail near its start, and a cairn on the herdpath for where you strike for the summit.

01-19-2004, 05:09 PM
When JayH, Jim and myself did southwest Hunter we started from Sruceton Rd and took the Diamond Notch up to the Diamond notch shelter. Then we hiked up to the first little bump and then took another bearing to the summit. We hit some thick spruce going this route as well. Then from the summit we took a bearing down to the westkill headwaters and then followed the westkill back to the Diamond Notch falls. I think if you followed the Westkill up and then took a bearing from there to the Summit you actually avoid most if not all the spruce. It easy from the Westkill headwaters. The hardest part would be to get you bearing from the creek up.

I still have to try it from the other side.

01-19-2004, 05:09 PM
Peakbgr, thanks for your help but I usually go for the more remote route, thats why I often bushwack up Blackdome in the spring along the stream, and do some fishing, and see lots of wildlife. Maybe I will try that route next weekend. Thanks.

01-19-2004, 08:11 PM
I don't think either route is remote. When I want to deliberately get into thick stuff, I'll mess around in the ADKS

01-19-2004, 08:52 PM
North Dome and Sherrill would be good starter peaks for you to try Catskill bushwhacking in winter. There are no herdpaths. If you want an easier starter peak, try Halcott just to the west. Just get a compass and topo map, and choose your route! It's mostly open deciduous forest. You can either climb Sherrill first from Rt 42 or North Dome first from the Mink Hollow trail/Devil's Path. You may not see people or tracks in this "remote" suburb of NYC.

Good luck finding the canisters (hint -- they're painted gray and mounted on trees)


Mark Schaefer
01-19-2004, 09:44 PM
Many of the 35 peaks pair up quite nicely once you study the maps a bit. As the winter days get longer you can often do 3-4. The northern peaks have been well covered in the prior posts. Here are some of the common pairs in the southern peaks: Balsam Lake / Graham. Big Indian / Fir (maybe with Doubletop or Eagle added). Eagle / Balsam. Peekamoose / Table. Lone / Rocky. Balsam Cap / Friday. Wittenberg / Cornell. For completeness there is Bearpen / Vly in the northwest just outside the blue line. On longer days many combine two half day hikes from the normal single peaks, such as Rusk / Halcott, Slide / Panther, or Panther / Balsam. As I recall Porky Pine did a combo of Kaaterskill High Peak with Twin / Indian Head last autumn. So there are many creative combos if you are ambitious or in a rush.

One of the easiest pairs is Balsam Lake / Graham. Rusk and Halcott are both fairly short and easy singles. The hardest peaks may be Lone, Friday, Balsam Cap, and Friday - these are all longish bushwhacks with very dense conifer forests.

01-20-2004, 07:09 PM
>>Good luck finding the canisters (hint -- they're painted gray and mounted on trees)<<

a couple are old ammo boxes, but the rest are canisters - there are still some orange ones left if you get there before they paint them (they look nicer in the photos when they are orange)

photo attached