View Full Version : Slide and hunter

03-19-2004, 04:57 PM
I was wondering what guidebook covers the Catskills? I would like one that covers driving directions, or at least where to park. And as someone who has never been in the area, or seen a map of the area, can both of these mountains be done in the same day?

03-19-2004, 05:45 PM
The N-NY Trail Conference Maps indicate parking areas and provide, for me, the best road maps in conjunction with a "real" road map. The ADK map is handier as an overview- especially for driving, but lack parking info.

I'm not too familiar wiht the guide books- I would browse the ADK and the Trail conferance (the single volume one) guides for the info you're looking for.

03-19-2004, 07:17 PM
For books I found an Appalachian Mountain Club "Catskill Mountain Guide" book with a decent map at REI. I also got the Adirondack Mountain Club "Catskill Region" (region 8) book. This one didn't have a map. Although it has some drawings in the book. I also got this at REI. I bet there are lots of other books, but these are the only two I have seen so far. I want to do a few hikes out there this year. Hope that helps.

Mark Schaefer
03-19-2004, 07:42 PM
The New York New Jersey Trail Conference 5-map set may be all you need. On the back of each of the maps are trail descriptions giving trail mileage including interim locations on the way to the summits. The maps have 100' contour lines, show parking areas, lean-tos, viewpoints, and water sources. You can buy this either from the Adirondack Mt Club website (https://ssl-059.vianetworks.net/adk/search_result_catcoll.asp?CATEGORY=ALL&Manufacturer=ALL&COLLECTION=BOOKS+AND+MAPS+BY+OTHER+PUBLISHERS:&DESCRIPTION=&PRODUCT_ID=&B1=***++Search++***) or the Trail Conference website. (http://www.nynjtc.org/store/nonmember/itm00019.htm) Both sites offer a discount on this map set for their members.

There are several one book Catskill trail guides, the best are:
Appalachian Mountain Club, Catskill Mountain Guide, by Peter W. Kick, 2002. This contains a map, but not very detailed. More comprehensive trail descriptions than the ADK Mt Club guidebook. Not much info on the trailless peaks. This can be purchased on the Trail Conference or AMC websites.
Adirondack Mountain Club, Guide to Catskill Trails, 1994 (w/ 2002 revisions). No map is included. This is Volume 8 of the Adirondack trail guide set. Trail descriptions are more brief than the AMC guidebook. It does contain brief route recommendations on the trailless peaks. This can be purchased from either the ADK or Trail Conference websites.

Mark Schaefer
03-19-2004, 08:14 PM
Both Slide and Hunter mountains can be done in a long day if you use the shortest trails. The trailheads are about 15-20 driving miles apart.
Slide from County Route 47 via Phoenica-East Branch and Wittenberg-Slide trails: Round trip of 5.5 miles, 1800' total elevation gain.
Hunter via Becker Hollow trail and a bit of the Spruceton trail: Round trip of 4.5 miles, 2200' total elevation gain.

There are couple of slightly longer options for Hunter but with less elevation gain:
via the Spruceton Trail: Round trip of 6.7 miles, 2000' total elevation gain.
Loop using Spruceton, Hunter, Devil's Path, and Diamond Notch trails: Round trip of 7.85 miles, 2000' total elevation gain.

03-21-2004, 07:39 AM
Thank you for the information.

03-21-2004, 11:48 AM
A very nice guidebook for the Catskills is published by the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference called "Hiking the Catskills" by Lee McAllister and Myron Ochman. There is also a good 5 map set put out by the same group. Enjoy.

03-22-2004, 10:09 AM
Two other books to add to the fine list already listed are The Catskill Trails: A Ranger's Guide to the High Peaks Book One (Northern Catskills) and Book two (Central Catskills) by Edward G Henry.
Pro: The books provide historical and geographical tidbits about the hikes. Con: He only provides maps and descriptions of selected trails, so if you want more variety it limits you.
If you get the NYNJTC maps, you'll be golden. I like the guide books however in addition to the maps since I enjoy learning about the history of the trails and various overlooks that I should keep an eye out for and whatnot.

03-23-2004, 01:32 AM
Originally posted by hillman1
can both of these mountains be done in the same day?

In my mind that depends on if you want to enjoy them or if you want to just "bag" them. If you just want to bag them you could do them in one day but you won't get much of a chance to savor the views or take the more interesting hikes or trails.

For instance, if you're a healthy hiker one of the best hikes in the Northeast, IMHO, is to go up Slide then over to Cornell and Wittenberg. Views galore, lots of great terrain and foliage, a classic in any season. Usually then you would leave another car in Woodland Valley but I did an extremely long day once making a loop hike out of it.

One of the charms of the Catskills is that they aren't as crowded as the White Mountains or the ADK High Peaks region. If you like nice, quiet woods walks they are very easy to find in the Catskills, especially during the week. I've also seen more wildlife in the Catskills, with the exception of moose.

Mike P.
03-23-2004, 11:43 AM
Agree that Witt & Cornell with Slide is a Classic. Also the longer approaches for Hunter provide a real enjoyable walk also.

As far as the books & maps go, if you are just looking at doing the 2 4K's all you will need is the maps as they provide enough detail to get you there along with a Rand McNally. If you want a book go with the AMC guide.

However, if you think you may want to do all the 3500 peaks, get the ADK Section 8 book instead. The AMC book provides almost no bushwhacking info & mentions in the beginning of the book that they don't condone bushwhacking peakbagging. (Why the NH 4K have trails & many of the ADK & Catskills do not. Some of ADK's are becoming a bit easier to follow than before, maybe even unofficially maintained.)