Culinary Adventures

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Great Food with Beautiful Views

2-5 Mile Hikes

Giant Ledge, Shandaken New York

Giant ledge is a nice hike that has great views of the Catskills from its ledge outcroppings. At an elevation of 3,200 feet, it falls under the 3,500-foot qualification to make it a Catskill 3500er but does allow for camping opportunities, which provide for some amazing stargazing. This 3.2-mile round-trip hike ascends approximately 1,100 feet from the trailhead to the highest of the five ledges.

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Hadley Mountain, Hadley New York

Hadley Mountain is a 2.6-mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of nearly 1500 feet to the 2653-foot summit. Hadley Mountain has an open summit with good views to the east, south (including the Great Sacandaga Lake), and west. It has a restored fire tower, which allows great views in all directions. The area around Hadley Mountain has had a history of forest fires, including several in the early part of the twentieth century. The mountain is still slowly recovering. On this hike, many patches of bare rock begin early in the climb. This is due to the thin soils left by all the fires.

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Huckleberry Point, Elka Park New York

Located in the Kaaterskill Wild Forest, Huckleberry Point is a moderate 4.6 mile hike through the forest to a viewpoint on the Catskill Escarpment. Huckleberry Point rises 2,545 feet above the Hudson Valley and Platt Clove. The elevation gain on this hike is 644 feet.

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Mount Beacon, Fishkill New York

Starting on a gravel trail, you will come to the ruins of the Mount Beacon Incline Railway, which used to be the steepest railway in the world. It carried guests to and from the casino and hotel, which stood, near the overlook. You will then climb several stairs and proceed to the top of the former railway, where ruins stand today, having climbed 1,094 feet of elevation in 1.2 miles. From this overlook, you will hike another mile up a rocky trail to the fire tower, at an elevation of 1,653 feet. From the fire tower, you can see the Catskills, the Beacon Reservoir, the Gunks, and on a clear day, you might see New York City. This hike is 4.4 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 1,561 feet.

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Overlook Mountain, Woodstock New York

Overlook Mountain is the southernmost peak of the Catskill Escarpment with a summit elevation of 3,140 feet above sea level. The trail itself consists of a 2.5 mile hike with an elevation gain of nearly 1,400 feet which will really get your blood pumping. The mountain is the site of one of the remaining five Catskill fire towers and the Overlook Mountain House, a hotel which was built at a higher elevation than any other in the range. It is also one of the timber rattlesnake habitats in the Catskills. Overlook Mountain was formed of limestone bedrock by a period of glaciation. The summit is covered with red oak, spruce, and balsam fir trees.

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Red Hill, Denning New York

Red Hill has one of the five fire towers that stand in the Catskills. We begin the hike by crossing a stream, after that, the trail ascends gradually and wraps around the mountain.After about a mile, we will reach a spring. From there the trail gets steeper through some switchbacks to the ranger station and the fire tower. The fire tower is 60 feet in height and built in the 1920’s. It stayed in service until 1990 and was the last active fire tower in the Catskills. From the fire tower, you can see the Catskill high peaks to the north and west, Rondout Reservoir to the southeast. The hike is just shy of three miles round-trip and has an elevation gain of around 900 feet.

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Sawyer Mountain, Indian Lake New York

Sawyer Mountain is a 2.2-mile round trip hike with around 680 feet of elevation gain. The trail starts through a hardwood forest, ascending gradually. Around one mile, the trail crosses open rock and we reach the first viewpoint, looking southeast. After another tenth of a mile, we reach the wooded summit, which is approximately 2,600 feet above sea level. We will continue past the summit for another 100 yards to a more impressive viewpoint. From here, we can see several mountains including Panther, Snowy, and Wakely Mountains.

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Storm King Mountain, Cornwall New York

Shortly after the hike begins, the trail gets steep and gains a good amount of elevation as it ascends to Butter Hill at 1,380 feet above sea level. There are some nice views from the summit. The trail continues towards Storm King Mountain and passes by a few nice viewpoints with expansive views to both the North & South. The Catskills are within sight along with other local hot hiking spots such as Breakneck Ridge & Mount Beacon. The loop-trail hike is around 2.5 miles with just less than 900 feet of elevation gain.

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