If you find this free trail guide useful, please provide payment by picking up at least one piece of litter on your hike. Cha-ching! Thanks for being awesome! (And here’s a quick primer on Leave No Trace, too, to help us keep the trails nice and fresh for each other.)

Pooch proclivity: Leashed dogs are welcome here, but you MUST have proof of rabies vaccination.  The tag on my dog’s neck would have been sufficient, but it was two years old (the shot she got is good for three years, but some are only good for one, so the tag did us no good).  Bring the paperwork from your vet or they won’t let you in!  I had to have my vet fax the paperwork to the ranger’s station while I was standing there (I’ve heard from friends who were turned away altogether).  Not the most relaxing way to start a hike.  But, you know, at least your chances of running into Cujo here are pretty low.

Background you can feel free to skip:  My first attempt to reach the awesome overlook at North Point was unsuccessful, due to the stubborn Catskill snow that refused to melt, even though spring was well underway in the rest of the Hudson Valley.  I documented the resulting (still awesome) hike in the Newman’s Ledge trail guide, but I vowed that someday, I’d make it back to North Point, even if it meant I had to hire a Sherpa to get there.

Turns out, the view was worth a second attempt.  No Sherpa necessary.

The trail from Newman’s Ledge to North Point does have several very steep sections, though, and I had to give my dog a boost on three separate occasions.  It’s not quite enough to qualify as “rock scrambling,” but there are a few tricky spots that will require you to use your hands to pull yourself up.  If you bring a dog to North Point, you should expect that Fido will need your assistance.

The trail guide below will be an updated near-duplicate of the Newman’s Ledge hike (sorry for the rerun!) until Step #18, where we’ll take a longer loop and head up to North Point, returning via the Mary’s Glen trail, past a couple of nice little waterfalls.  We’ll also stop by Badman Cave on the way up to North Point, so-called because, according to local legend, the name “Batman’s Cave” was already trademarked.

Looking for a dramatic vista, ledge or other point of interest?  Just keep walking.  On this hike, it won’t be long before you hit one.

If you’re up for tackling a seven-mile beast to see them all, pack your backpack, head up to North-South Lake and let’s go to it!  (Sherpa optional.)

Trail Guide

Bonus unsolicited advice: Don't depend on having cell service in the woods - it can be spotty out there! Download this trail guide to your phone before you head out. (It's easy to do on iPhone and Android.) May your connection to nature be strong, even when your connection to the internet is weak.

1.  From the parking area (See “Directions to the trailhead” below), walk to the back-right corner of the parking lot, away from the lake and the picnic pavilion, where there’s a gate with a stop sign.  Walk past the gate to hop on the Yellow Trail as it heads toward the site of the old Catskill Mountain House, our first destination.



2.  In a minute, arrive at a junction with the Blue Trail.  You’ll be seeing this junction again (twice, actually) before the end of the day.  For now, keep heading straight, joining the Blue Trail and walking toward the site of the old Catskill Mountain House, which is just a hop-and-a-skip further.


3.  Blammo!  Your first view, and you didn’t even have to earn it.  Walk across the open field to a huge ledge with wide views of Hudson Valley below.  Take your time (and plenty of pictures) here.  Read the sign on the right side of the field to find out some historical information about the Catskill Mountain House, if you can tear your eyeballs off the view for long enough.



4.  When you’re done checking it out, head back across the field to the junction you just came from.  Take a right at the junction to follow the Blue Trail towards, well, towards something.  The day we were here, the sign was missing.  But it’s a short trail that heads downhill to another parking lot, where you’ll pick up the scent of some more signposts with actual signs on them.


5.  After wandering downhill for a short stretch, the Blue Trail opens out onto another road that leads to a parking lot, with a sign pointing towards the Blue Trail with mileage estimates for Artist’s Rock (.4 miles), Newman’s Ledge (1.0 miles) and North Point (2.3 miles).  Hey, we’re going to all those places!  We’ll also be visiting Sunset Rock via a short spur trail.  Busy day ahead!


6.  The Blue (Escarpment) Trail re-enters the woods on the far side of the parking lot.  It can be a little tough to spot it from far away, but just walk straight across the clearing and you’ll see the Blue Trail continuing, just to the right of a decent-sized birch tree.


**UPDATE August 2015** The signage here (pictured in Step 5 above) is apparently missing altogether now, and the trail can be very tough to pick up on the far side of the road.  At least two hikers have reported getting lost for a time here, with one suffering near-fatal damage to her marriage.  Here’s a helpful image from Gabrielle’s comment below that shows what a successful traverse across the road should look like – hope this helps others avoid running into the same issue!  (And thanks for sounding the alarm, Gabrielle and Erin.)

7.  Follow the Blue Trail as it winds past some picnic areas, with a decidedly non-picturesque chain link fence to your right.  Just past the fence, you’ll find a nice little porch with a view.


8.  A couple minutes past the porch, take a moment to register.


9.  From the registration box, it took us nine minutes to reach Artist’s Rock.  This hike will never leave you wanting for views for very long.



If the awesome views at Artist’s Rock inspire you to whip out an easel, nobody would blame you.

10.  After you’ve soaked in the view, keep going on the Blue Trail.  Our next destination is Sunset Rock.  In about ten minutes, you’ll find yourself walking beneath some interesting cliffs on your right.  Sunset Rock is up on top of those cliffs, and the trail will swing up there in just a few moments.



11.  Just beyond the cliffs, the trail dips into a grove of pines.  When we were here in early April, the snow was about a foot deep here, with a thick crust on top, and we’d fall through about every fifth step.  Hopefully, the weather will be better on your visit.

In any event, keep an eye out for the Yellow Trail to Sunset Rock (with a sign indicating that Sunset Rock is .3 miles away), departing to your right.  When you see it, turn right to hop on the Yellow Trail.


12.  On your left, as you pick your way through the pines, a view opens up in just a moment.  If you hadn’t already been spoiled by the other views so far, you’d be pretty impressed by this one.


13.  Keep walking down the Yellow Trail to find Sunset Rock on your right, just a few minutes from where the Yellow Trail began.  Sunset Rock is not marked, but you’ll know it when you see it – a huge ol’ rock just plunked down there, waiting for you to come sit on it. (**UPDATE July 2018** Never mind!  It’s marked now!)


After all the awesome views across the Hudson Valley, it’s a nice change of pace to enjoy completely new views overlooking North-South Lake and more of the Catskills beyond.



14.  When you’re finished enjoying the scene at Sunset Rock, retrace your steps along the Yellow Trail to rejoin the Blue Trail.

15.  Back at the Blue/Yellow Junction, turn right to hop on the Blue Trail.  The sign tells you that Newman’s Ledge is a mere .2 miles away, and North Point is a steep 1.6 miles from here.  We’re getting there!


16.  The trail gets steeper as you near Newman’s Ledge.  Newman!


17.  In just a few more minutes, another awesome view spreads before you at Newman’s Ledge.  Careful here – it’s not called Newman’s Plains.  This place is a cliff with a huge, sheer drop.



If you’re an idiot (and so is the friend you’re hiking with) use a small tripod and a remote control to take a picture that could either be used in an old Toyota commercial, or alongside your names in the next iteration of the Darwin Awards.


18.  After you’re done not falling off Newman’s Ledge (and also enjoying the views), continue along the Blue Trail.  The next point of interest is Badman Cave, which we’ll reach in .6 miles and 173 vertical feet.  You’ll know you’re just about there when you arrive at a junction with the Yellow Trail splitting off to your left, heading towards Mary’s Glen.  From that junction, you can see the roof of Badman Cave jutting out above you.  Keep following the Blue Trail up into the cave.

19.  Once you’re inside, you’ll see that it’s really more of an open-air shelter than a cave.  According to, the cave got its name “from outlaws who would commit crimes in the valley, and then hide out here.”  On maps and signage, the cave is variously referred to as Badman’s Cave, Badman Cave, Bad Man’s Cave and Bad Man Cave.  But let’s not get hung up on grammar – clearly, we’re not talking about a good man here.  In any event, it seems like the bad person or people were also not that good at picking hideouts – I’d have kept looking until I found a cave with walls.

Once you’re done exploring the cave, continue uphill on the Blue Trail.

20.  The Blue Trail heads steeply uphill for a few more minutes, then levels out and wanders through some nice, open areas with limited views.

Plunge back into the woods and continue along this easy stretch of trail, steeling yourself for the climb to come.

.6 miles after Badman Cave, arrive at the junction with the red-blazed Mary’s Glen Trail.  We’ll come back to this spot and take the Red Trail down later, after we visit North Point.  For now, continue straight/right on the Blue Trail, and let’s gain some elevation.

21.  The sign at the junction told you that it’s only .3 miles to North Point, during which we’ll ascend 270 feet.  You ate 270 vertical feet for breakfast this morning, right?  This is the section where any hiking pooches will likely need a boost or three.  It took us about ten minutes to get to North Point from the junction.

22.  When you get to North Point, you’ll know you’re in the right spot, partly because of the gorgeous views that make it feel like you’re on top of the Catskills, if not on top of the world, and partly because there’s a big fat sign that says “North Point.”

23.  What a cool place.  The wide-open, flat slab at North Point is just about big enough to host your next flag football game.  Take your time and enjoy the scenery.

Or, if you happen to notice the sun going down rather quickly, as we did, take it in for about five seconds, then start retracing your steps back down the Blue Trail.  It’s all downhill from here!  Dude, seriously, hurry up.  It’s really getting dark.

**UPDATE August 2013** A fellow hiker (Steve Duskin) made this recommendation on the Hike the Hudson Valley Facebook page: “Actually, if you keep going past North Point for a good half mile or so, you get to an unlabeled vista with a much better view of North and South Lake and the Hudson Valley beyond. It happens to be near the point where the trail up from Winter Clove intersects the blue trail, as it continues west from North Point. Nothing is marked up there, though.”  I’ve never visited this spot, so I can’t make a recommendation one way or the other, but Steve seems like a stand-up commenter (he included a picture of the view), so if you’d like to make this hike even longer and hit one more nice viewpoint, fire it up!  Then come back to North Point to continue following this guide back to your car, wild person.

**UPDATE August 2017** Thanks to Amy Canning for providing some more nice details on the wonders of hiking beyond North Point in her comment below (she clocked the next view at .26 miles beyond North Point).  Thanks, Amy!  I’ll have to check out your recommendations next time.

24.  Carefully pick your way back down to the junction with the red-blazed Mary’s Glen Trail.  Turn right to start following the Red Trail, which we’ll take all the way down to the paved loop road that runs around the lakes.

25.  About ten minutes down the hill, you’ll see a (probably seasonal) little water feature running down a rock face on your left.  Shortly afterwards, a sign informs you that you have .6 miles to go until you hit the paved road at the North Lake Campsite.

26.  Another minute down the trail, another small waterfall.  You’ll then come to the intersection with the Yellow Trail, where you’ll keep happily strolling downhill on the Red Trail toward Mary’s Glen and N. Lake Campsite, which is now .59 miles away.  We’ve descended 290 feet on Mary’s Glen Trail over .7 miles so far, in case you’re keeping score.  (The Red and Yellow Trails converge briefly, so don’t be surprised to see trees marked with both blazes in this area.  Just be sure to stick with the Red Trail when they split.)

27.  Continue descending through the forest on the Red Trail – in about ten minutes from the previous (Red/Yellow) junction, you’ll cross over a stream on a nice wooden footbridge (which, according to Cythia’s helpful comment below, is in pretty rough shape as of November 2022.  Careful!).

(Note: the pictures from here on out get rather, well, dark.  We were here about thirty minutes after all the intelligent hikers had already gone home.)

About a minute after that bridge, you’ll see a nice little waterfall on your left.

Continue down the trail to find the (very short) yellow-blazed spur trail that takes you to the bottom of Ashley Falls.  Take a left here to visit the falls, which I imagine are very pretty in the daylight.  I’ll have to confirm that some other day.

28.  Return to the Red Trail and turn left to continue towards the N. Lake Campsite, which is now a relatively flat .26 miles away.

29.  In just a few more minutes, pass the trail register box, then a minute after that, boom!  Civilization.  Well, pavement, anyway.  That counts, right?  Turn left here to carefully follow the road, watching out for traffic.

30.  You’ll walk along the road for almost a mile.  Kind of a drag, I know, but it’s not like you’re walking on the Jersey Turnpike.  Stroll past campsites and woods as you follow the road until it dead-ends into a parking lot.  (Sorry I don’t have any pictures from here on out, but, you know, it was dark.  You are now following a trail guide written by a guy who couldn’t see anything that wasn’t illuminated by his single-AA-battery-powered flashlight.  That probably doesn’t do a lot for your confidence in these instructions, but hey, they were free, right?

No, really, we’re almost back to your car.  Have no fear.

31.  When you reach the parking lot at North Lake, with the beach and lake on your right, continue to the far end of the parking lot and walk past the beach, to the gravel parking area at the corner of the lake.  This is the same gravel parking area you crossed over all the way back in Step #6 above.  Recognize it?  You have two options here:

Option 1:  Turn left onto the gravel parking lot and walk a short distance away from the lake until you see the blue-blazed, well-marked Escarpment Trail on your right.  Take this trail back about one minute to the junction with the Yellow Trail, where you’ll turn right for the short stroll back to your car.


Option 2:  Stumble around in the darkness, heading to your right and hopping on the Yellow Trail that hugs the shore of North Lake.  Miss the cutoff trail (on your left) to your parking lot.  Visit the beach at South Lake in near-total darkness.  Wish your car was like KIT from Knight Rider, and it could just come find you.  Get your bearings, take a picture (why not?), then locate the road directly behind you.  Turn left on that road to return to your car.  Act like you knew what you were doing the whole time.

We chose Option 2, and though I’ve never personally tried Option 1, that’s the one I’d strongly recommend.

Whatever you decide, I hope you had a great day out here.  If so, don’t forget to tip your Sherpa!


Directions to the trailhead: From Palenville, take Route 23A west as it climbs into the Catskills beside Kaaterskill Creek. In about 3.5 miles, you’ll come around a hairpin turn with Bastion Falls and the Kaaterskill Falls trailhead to your right. Continue up the hill another 1.5 miles to a right turn onto County Route 18 (North Lake Road). Follow this road all the way into the park. After you pass Scutt Road on your right and go past the guardhouse, turn right at the first fork inside the park to head south around the lakes. Follow this road past a large parking area on your left and keep following until it dead-ends in another large lot, just past a big picnic pavilion on your left. Park here, and see the trailhead in the back-right corner of the lot.


You can also get directions by checking out the North-South Lake: North Point entry on the Google map.

Sorta nearby address for your GPS: The Brookside Bed & Breakfast‎ is on County Route 18 (North Lake Road), about a mile from the park entrance. Its address is:

93 North Lake Road
Haines Falls, NY 12436

Just keep heading straight after you pass the B&B, and you’re good to go.

GPS coordinates of parking area: 42.19612, -74.03906 (Clicking will open in Google Maps or the Apple Maps app, depending on your browser/device.)

Resources & Interactives

Super-cool Google Earth flyover of hike route:

Google Terrain Map of hike route:

Related resources: If you’re looking for actual facts and/or useful information, visit these resources:

  • The official NYS DEC North-South Lake page
  • An excellent PDF trail map from the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
  • The very informative Catskill Escarpment Wikipedia page
  • The DEC’s PDF map of the North-South Lake campgrounds
  • A longer but similar circuit from the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference (bonus of trying their way – and the next two links as well – no parking fee)
  • A nice alternate route to North Point (and beyond) from
  • Another alternate route from that hits many of the same highlights
  • For curiosity’s sake, check out the insane people who run the entire 18.6-mile Escarpment Trail

More North-South Lake: North Point pictures from the hike’s Flickr album (with a special thanks to my buddies Jered Widmer and Rob Kalmbach for providing, and starring in, some of these shots):

Was this trail guide useful to you? Please leave a comment!

Want to support trails in the Hudson Valley? Here’s one great way: Visit the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference homepage and click on Volunteer, Donate, or Shop! (Then you can volunteer, donate, or shop, depending on your mood.)

Comments (38)

Was this trail guide useful to you? Please leave a comment!
  1. Sarah

    My husband, pup, and I did a version of this hike yesterday (went west of the lake to start) and it is such a winner! I’ve done Newman’s Ledge before, and yes, the cliffside trail is amazing, but the west side of this loop is magical, too. We will absolutely be hiking this loop again, probably many times! LOVE!

    The trail is basically a stream right now, and the higher elevations are still under a foot of snow in some places. It was fun because we were in the mood for some excitement and not in a hurry, but I did wish I hadn’t left my micro spikes in the car.

    1. Mike

      Thanks so much for the great trip report, Sarah! (And I’ve been surprised by the snow/ice there in the spring myself.) Appreciate you taking the time to share!

  2. Efrem

    I’m a bit confused. Where does the blue trail start? I go hiking during the winter. There is only one parking area available. It’s off to the right when you drive thru the entry point before you get to N. Lake Road which is closed off.

    There is another Kaaterskill Falls trail that looks like it descends but I’ve never hiked it. I thought it was one of the two you listed, but this starts in the open parking area near the lake. On google maps, it looks like it is the Escarpment Trailhead Parking, but the only sign I’ve seen reads Kaaterskill. I get to the start of North Point from N. Lake Road, but I’ve looped to Mary’s Glen trail which also starts at N. Lake road.

    Also, I noticed you don’t have the stoppel trail listed which starts at North Point. I’m wondering if this hike is also on an incline like Mary’s Glen and North Point or if it is more or less a flat trail.

    1. Mike

      Sorry for my late reply here, Efrem! I’ve run into the exact situation you’ve described here (and I talk about it in more detail in my Newman’s Ledge trail guide) when the parking lot described above is closed for the winter. You *can* park near the dam and walk on the road back to the start of the Blue Trail, and the trailhead discussed in this trail guide. There’s a great PDF trail map from the NY-NY Trail Conference (I just added this link to the “Resources” section above): On that map, you can see the P near the dam, and the road leading back toward the Catskill Mountain House site and the start of the Blue Trail, as described above.

      I’ve also never continued on beyond North Point, but Elizabeth’s comment ( below says it’s relatively flat. But I’m sure “flat” is a relative term up there.

      Hope this all helps!

  3. Cynthia Gee

    We did a shortened version of this hike along the Blue trail last week, skipping North Point entirely and instead going to Mary’s Glen via the Yellow connector trail from said Blue trail.
    At Mary’s Glen, we went two-thirds over the wooden bridge only to discover that not only has the log been greatly eroded to become quite narrowed near the end, but the right-side hand rail is then too far out of reach for anyone under, say, 5 feet 2 inches, leaving some folks with only their balancing skills to make it over the rest of the bridge – probably a good 10 feet.
    Unless of course you want to stomp through the creek, which may or may not be advisable at different times.
    In all our years of doing this whole loop, I’ve never seen that bridge in such poor condition, and would advice those with small children and dogs to beware, as they may have some difficulty fully crossing it.

    1. Mike

      Thank you for the helpful comment, Cynthia! I updated the trail guide at step 27 with a link down here. Very much appreciated!

  4. Elizabeth

    Great layout of this hike! We’ve done NP several times now and finally mustered up the strength to keep going toward Stopple Point. It’s about 3 miles past Northpoint and relatively flat up there. There’s an old plane crash off the trail you’ll see…a single seater hobby plane from the 1980s. So worth it!

  5. Angie

    We LOVED this hike. We decided to camp at North- South Lake and the kiddos can do about 8 miles before going straight goofy on us (my kids are 5 and 7). This was the perfect hike. There are enough view points a bit apart that it really kept their interest and desire to keep on going to the next view point. The kids LOVE a good rock scramble as well, so getting to the top of North Point was pure joy to them. Thank you for always documenting some great hikes in the Hudson Valley. This website has been super helpful to us as we are a military family who loves to hike and explore the areas we are so lucky to call home for a short while.

    1. Mike

      Angie, thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a wonderful comment. Please tell your kids how impressed I am that they completed this hike — it’s a tough one! They’re hard-core! It makes me happy to hear that this site has been useful to you. All the best to you and your family as you continue exploring the Hudson Valley!

  6. Brooke H

    This guide was perfect! Thank you so much for the exact details (and humor)! We had a great hike and are really glad we had a good pair of hiking boots on! Barely saw other hikers which made it a perfect day for social distancing. We may need a little bit to to recover but would love to do a similar one soon! Thanks again!

    1. Mike

      Brooke, that’s awesome! Thanks so much for the nice comment, and really glad you had a great adventure out there! Happy recuperating! 🙂

  7. Jodi

    North South Lake has a partial closure due to Covid 19. You are still able to do this hike, but now must park a mile and a half from the trail head. Instead of 7 miles, it is now 10. It is still an excellent hike, but be prepared for the extra mileage! Also, they did not charge me anything.

    1. Mike

      Thanks so much for this information, Jodi! I just visited North-South Lake last week, and can confirm that it is now fully open, and they’re charging again. I hope saving ten bucks took the edge off the extra three miles you hiked that day 🙂

  8. Katy

    Hi Mike! First of all, I wanted to say thank you so much for all of your work putting this site together. It has been an amazing resource for my friend and I — we are former competitive figure skaters and are loving these long hikes! We’ve done 6 of your hikes so far in the past 3 weeks and your directions are impeccable (especially Storm King Mountain!)
    I had a question about trail conditions – we did Indian Head Mt + Twin Mt last weekend and it turned out pretty icy in one part. For tomorrow, we’re thinking of either North South Lake: North Point or Wittenberg + Cornell Mts but are worried about the ice since we don’t have crampons.
    Do you have any suggestions for the best places to look re: trail conditions? I’ve scanned AllTrails but maybe I’m missing another important resource. Thanks so much again!!

    1. Mike

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Katy! The Catskill Center has a page that puts out regular trail condition reports during the winter, but it looks like these days it’s more dedicated (appropriately so) to COVID-19 closures and information. That link is here: Another great resource is the Catskill Trail Conditions Facebook page: You might get lucky and find information there from someone who has recently visited one of the hikes you’re interested in. Thanks for skating your way into these comments! I give your comment a 6.0. Wait, that’s not how scoring works anymore, is it? In any event, your comment gets very high technical marks, and also nailed the program components. Happy adventuring out there!

  9. Alison

    It’s possible we weren’t in the right parking lot (we entered through the campground) but we managed to start this hike *after* the mountain house (somewhere around step 7 or 8, not far from the registration box). It was still a beautiful hike, and not too strenuous (at least when compared to Mt Wittenberg, which we did the day before). Thanks for the guidance!

  10. Matthew Conroy

    Awesome awesome hike on Memorial Day. Uphill more or less all the way to North Point but the steep areas are not that bad and don’t last long. Lots of great ridge hiking but also lots of nice shady forest hiking. By all means don’t leave our the little spur trail to Sunset Point. We talked on a visit to the site of Catskill Mountain House to the beginning of this hike and I’m glad we did. Best view for least effort in Hudson Valley? I think so.

  11. Brittany

    I did this hike today (5/16) and was disappointed to find that the gate at the first parking lot by the lake was locked! We parked there and it was about a .8 mile walk to the actual trailhead. I’m guessing that once the campground opens (maybe Memorial Day?), this won’t be a problem. Really cool hike, though! Last couple miles were absolutely flooded, so definitely added extra time.

  12. Alex

    Ok, as advertised, this is a great hike. On its face, great views, varied scenery, challenging but in the right amounts. Highly recommended.

    When we arrived yesterday the park was largely shut down. The guard-station was closed and the only available parking was next to the dam, at the far west of the lake. This will add some time to your hike.

    That’s said, it is nice to dive into the yellow trail around the lake, as it is nice and woodsy on the south side.

    It had rained a lot the day before so for about half the trail we were walking through streams. On the upside, we only saw 10 people the whole day and felt like we had the place to ourselves.

    If you find yourself in the same situation having to park next to the dam, it as easy to cut through from the end of Mary’s Glen trail across the road, down to the Lake and then take a right along the Yellow lake trail. This will take you back to the parking area at the dam.

  13. Amy Canning

    So I did this hike yesterday (July 3, 2016) and it was gorgeous. I offer a few comments which I think might be helpful. First, the sign referenced in section 5 is still missing but its really not too hard to find where to continue. You literally just keep going straight and you pick up the blue trail again (ignore signs to the right). Second, Steve Duskin’s comment about another ledge above North Point is spot on. Its gorgeous and, according to my GPS watch, its only .26 miles above North Point so definitely worth it. Third, if you’re looking for a longer hike, you might want to consider continuing past North Point to Stoppel Point, which is 1.7 miles passed North Point. Its not “gorgeous” but it has a cool view point. Mainly, I liked it because you keep hiking up a little bit and you start to feel that change in the air as you get higher and it feels more “woodsy” – plus its much quieter because no one continues up passed North Point. I didn’t encounter a single other person during that part of my hike and it was definitely the most peaceful and enjoyable portion. According to my GPS watch, the hike became 9.9 miles with this addition.

    1. Mike

      Thanks for these details, Amy! I just updated the trail guide with a link down to your comment (from Step 23). Much appreciated!

  14. Erin

    7-11-15 There’s still a trail sign missing at the bottom of the first hill/parking lot below the former mountain house. We finally realized where the trail picked up on the other side of the parking lot after I spotted the big birch tree (tougher to see through summer foliage but it’s there). We’re newbies but really did think we were in the wrong parking lot due to missing signs and no trail markers close to the parking lot. (I’m referring to #6 above, just to be clear.) Anyway, coming down the road, you see the gate. There’s an offshoot there were a trail shortcuts left just before the gate, likely by North Lake patrons going to the boat launch. Hikers should go straight past the gate, follow the trail to the parking lot. Where they meet, look straight across for that birch tree. There’s also a stone, from a distance it reminds me of a sidewalk paver, the first of a small stairway right visible from the lot just past the edge and before the trees. That’s where the trail picks up. Sorry this is long and tedious, but my friend & I literally walked up and down from that twice thinking we were in the wrong place because there’s no signs or trail markers near the parking lot.

    1. Gabrielle Green

      Same thing happened to us. It took us an hour to find the trailhead and almost resulted in a divorce. We went up and down the little hill to the Catskill Mountain House like 6 times until we saw people exiting the trailhead. We might not have found it if not for them. Our best advice is when you come off the blue trail from the CMH and back into the parking lot, go straight across, have that an unmarked path to something that isn’t for visitors to your right and North lake to your left. Attaching an image/map.

      1. Mike

        Thank you both for the helpful comments here, and I’m sorry to hear about your troubles in locating the trail again (hope your marriage has recovered, Gabrielle!). I just put an update in Step 6 above, with a re-post of Gabrielle’s helpful image. Please let me know if you think there’s anything else I can put there to help others avoid the same fate. Much appreciated!

      2. Evans

        I have a very old picture of the north entrance of the hudson river with the hudson boat on the right side and a railroad train on tracks on the left side. There`s the Bannermans Island Arsenal in the center of the picture with the hudson river all around through this picture. This picture is about 9 or 10 inch`s wide and 5 to 6 inch`s high. Do you know if there`s a person i can contact to give this picture to so it`s in the area to be seen by all or do you think this picture really not worth my time contacting anyone. Let me know what you think. Thanks

  15. Bonnie

    My husband and I went on this hike today. It was awesome! Thank you so much for your blog! We enjoy hiking very much and are always looking for new places to go. We were lucky it was a gorgeous day, not too hot or too cool just right! The views were amazing and the climbing was not super hard! It is really nice when a hike has a steep section followed by a level one. It was a great day and a great hike!

  16. Danny

    It should be pointed out that during spring-early summer, hikers should wear long sleeves/pants and bring plenty of bug spray. I just went on this hike on Memorial Day weekend, and I’m completely covered in black fly and mosquito bites! It was like being in the Amazon — we literally had to swat our way through the entire red-trail descent. An alternative would be just to backtrack from North Point on the blue trail to avoid them 🙂

    1. Mike

      Thanks for the feedback, Danny! My visits here have been in the early spring and late fall, so the bugs haven’t been an issue. Future hikers will appreciate your heads-up to help keep them from becoming mosquito food. Hope you had a good day otherwise, and perhaps took some good pictures to help you forget the welts.

      1. Erin

        7-11-15 We didn’t have an issue with bugs until North Point itself. Surprised how bad they were at the top. Continuing the loop they became progressively worse, especially along the Mary’s Glen Trail (red blazes). There’s not only streams and waterfalls, but LOTS of mud puddles and large pools of standing water where the swarms are awful. Bring lots of bug spray. It doesn’t help with the midges and gnats, but does keep away the mosquitoes and biting black flies.

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