View Full Version : Catskill 3500

10-04-2004, 09:15 AM
I am rapidly approaching the completion of my ADK-46. I am looking for a new challenge that I can start with my young children. I live in the lower Hudson valley and I think the 4 hour drive to the Dacks would be off putting for the kids. I was thinking of the Catskill 3500. Does anyone know much about this group? Is there a good web page? Is there a VFTT just for the Catskills?

10-04-2004, 09:31 AM
I am a hike leader for the 3500 club. There is a yahoo group (3500club) that you can join where people can ask information and look for people to go on hikes. Also, there is a newsletter called the "Canister" which comes out quarterly. The cost is $10.00/year to subscribe. We try to have hikes scheduled for all of the 35ers each of the first 3 quarters (hunting season makes it difficult in the 4th Q).

Let me know if you would like more information. Feel free to email or PM me.

Jay H
10-04-2004, 09:34 AM
I use Howie Dash's tally sheet and list
here (http://members.aol.com/howiedash/peaks.html)


10-04-2004, 10:12 AM
I would think more hiking and less driving would be appealing to kids. The Catskill list is a great one.
Alistair, did you happen to be in the high peaks this past weekend? Ausable road? Thought maybe I read your name in the register but I could be mistaken.

10-04-2004, 10:27 AM
I am rapidly approaching the completion of my ADK-46. I am looking for a new challenge the catskills don't have ditches leading to the trailess summits (or flagging) like the adirondacks - get and learn to use map & compass or go on the giuded tours (led hikes) that are advertised in the "catskill canister" put out by the 3500 club - the address for the canister is here ( http://members.aol.com/howiedash/catskill_3500_club.htm )

Jay H
10-04-2004, 10:32 AM
I have seen herdpaths leading to some of the popular bushwacks and have come across some flagging like towards Doubletop from the biscuit brook. But not true ditches and for the most part, you're almost easier just to follow your compass than to follow every other herd path (look at SW hunter).

Fred and I just went on a real nice bushwack to Van Wyck (peak west of Table), highly recommended for an easy-moderate bushwack as far as navigation and travel is concerned. I would only list it as moderate because the final ledge to the summit is a little tricky and not one for someone unsure of one's scrambling ability unless you go the long way and go around the ledge, which is possible.


Puma concolor
10-04-2004, 11:01 AM
Another vote of confidence for the Catskill 3500 Club. Without looking, I think the split between trailed/trailless peaks is 19/16. Lots of fun! The bushwhacking isn't too rough for the most part ... there are a couple where you run into pine (Rocky comes immediately to mind), but you're dealing with open woods for the most part. It's also a good learning area for off-trail hiking as well ... unlike the Dacks, it is tough to get truly "lost."

10-04-2004, 11:34 AM
Yes Rik I was on the Lake Road on Saturday. I climbed Dial making it #41. This was an almost perfect trail, with almost no mud.

Is there a web page that describes or outlines the bushwacking routes, somthing similar to VFtt?

Dawn, I think I'll be subscribing to The Canister in the very near future.

10-04-2004, 11:57 AM
I've done a little more research and I think I want to get my kids working on this straight away. I have Columbus day off work. Can anyone make a suggestion for a good starter peak?

10-04-2004, 12:08 PM
I would suggest Giant ledge to Panther mountain.
Giant ledge was my kids first at ages 3 and 5yrs. Only Panther is over 3500ft. If you only want to do lists but Giant ledge is a nice hike not to be missed
not too difficult and great views. I think it is 7-8 miles in and back.
Slide Mountain up the jeep trail is not bad but less interesting.
Good luck

10-04-2004, 01:23 PM
I've done a little more research and I think I want to get my kids working on this straight away. I have Columbus day off work. Can anyone make a suggestion for a good starter peak? i don't know how old your kids are, i'm leading a hike of the eastern devils path for the catskill 3500 club on sunday, let me know if you want to come (we traverse 4 of the 3500' peaks) .
if your kids aren't old enough for that you might want to try a few of the hikes here:

( http://www.catskillpark100.org/events/lark.htm#hikes )

they have 3 listed: slide the 9th, kaaterskill the 10th & balsam lake mountain the 11th (all on the 3500' list).

10-04-2004, 02:05 PM
Ken's suggestions for the Lark in the Park hikes are good. You might want to do Balsam Lake....it is quite easy and has a fire tower so the kids would probably like that.

10-04-2004, 07:42 PM
I have always liked Slide as a first catskill peak. It is not difficult plus you get the Highest Peak in the Catskills and there is a great view just before the Summit.. I always thought Slide was a good intiduction to the catskills.

10-04-2004, 09:41 PM
Things I like about the Catskill 3500-

There are still cannisters on the trailless peaks.
Almost anything that looks like an interesting route on a map will work out as a good bushwack route. With a few exceptions, there is little blowdown and thick stuff like the ADKs Even the peaks with scratchy stuff don't come close to ADK bushwacks.
In the winter, unless there was a party just before you, the trailless peaks are really trailless peaks and you get to break out your own route.
Much of the woods are deciduous, making for lots of open woods.
You can bushwack the trailled peaks and mostly the route will "go".

I started out years ago scoffing at my friends for spending time in the Catskills, feeling they weren't really mountains. They are really a lot of fun and never as crowded as the Adirondacks (which I love also).
Invariable peakbagger that I am, I'm working the the Cats in 4 seasons, and started a monthly list not too far back in case someone wants to join us for company.


Jay H
10-05-2004, 06:19 AM
I suggest Balsam Lake if you're really into getting your kids peakbagging! It's on the "list" and it's a nice firetower with good views.

But really, if you're interested just on some nice hikes, I wouldn't rule out any of the firetowers... Overlook, Red Hill, Mt Tremper. None are on any of the 3500 list but some are on the 3000' list.. wink wink (You can say you're working on the "earth 0" list which would every peak above MSL :D :D :D)

Add Ashoken HP to that list to for another hike with great views, no firetower though.

Another thing with the catskills vrs the ADKs, the approach is soo much shorter, catskill hikes start to gain elevation almost right from the trailhead, whereas doing alot of the ADK peaks involves a longer approach to the start of the climb for some peaks.

Catskills, feeling they weren't really mountains.

welll.....they're actually an eroded plateau but hey, we're not geologists ;)


10-05-2004, 06:29 AM
I'd agree with the folks that said Balsam Lake is a good one to start with for kids. Easy hike to the top and great views from the firetower. Id also have to say Overlook is a pretty good choice as well. Heres a Video of Overlook (a SCARRRYY mini movie actually): Overlook Horror Movie (http://www.birdheadstudios.com/html/video/overlook.wmv)


BirdHead Studios (http://www.birdheadstudios.com)

Jay H
10-05-2004, 10:16 AM
That's hilarious Head... A bunch of us did Overlook this past Gathering at night and it was cool. I wish I had more time to explore the second building, behind the main hotel.


Is a little history on it that I've posted before.

What was really cool too is that you could see the flashing red light that's on top of the communications tower peeking through the trees while hiking up the road, kind of spooky too.


10-05-2004, 09:24 PM
I hiked up Overlook tonight with PJS to just about the Mountain House at which point we saw a small bear and heard what we thought might be the mother. We shined the light to see the baby and decided best to leave well enough alone before mama got upset!

10-06-2004, 07:18 AM
I read that there is an airplane crash on Overlook Mountain below the trail just where you start to get views. Any body seen it?

10-07-2004, 01:37 AM
and the more I explore these mountains the more I realize this!

Ok, you think I'm kidding, don't you? Alright then, what about Overlook Mt., Ashokan High point, Little Ashokan, Van Wyck, Huckleberry Point, Red Hill, Giant's Ledge, etc.? None of these mountains are on the 3500 list........

Most of them are on the Catskill 100 highest list, however, 98 of which are listed in the back of the ADK Catskill guide book. :D

10-08-2004, 07:09 AM
Slide is a really nice hike for kids.There is a view and a nice big rock on top. You can do it as a loop taking the Curtis-Ormsby trail for your descent. It has some really nice rock outcroppings and a nice view of Table mountain looking like a Table.:) There are always a lot of people hiking the carriage road, but no one on the Curtis-Ormsby trail.

Tom Rankin
10-08-2004, 11:05 AM
Originally posted by Rivet
I read that there is an airplane crash on Overlook Mountain below the trail just where you start to get views. Any body seen it?

There is a separate thread going on now about Catskill plane crashes...

Tom Rankin
10-08-2004, 11:10 AM
If anyone wants to do any winter hiking in the Catskills, there are (or will be soon) many scheduled Catskill 3500 Club lead hikes all winter long.

Also, Dawn, ERD, and I are all hike leaders for the club. We can be contacted and put together a group for winter hikes. I need more than half of them myself, and I could probably be talked into repeating some of them!

Jay H
10-08-2004, 06:10 PM
I done a lot of my 3500 peaks in winter as I tend to enjoy hiking more and love snowshoeing, actually, my first Catskill peak, Wittenberg was done in January with snowshoes from Woodland Valley. But usually, I like to go in real small groups and get real early starts...