The Catskills are full of awesome hikes to check out. When we first moved to the New York City area, the Catskills were some of the first places we hiked in the area. There are hikes for everyone of all different skill levels, ranging from super easy to difficult.
Winter is a great time to hike in the Catskills because there are less people than usual and the snow and ice make it so pretty.
While you can technically do any and all Catskills hike in the winter, some definitely become more difficult or dangerous with the ice. I have created this post to show you hikes that are safe and beautiful in the winter.
In this post I have included some of my favorite hikes in the Catskill Mountains that are good anytime of year, but definitely in the winter.
Many people visit Hunter Mountain in the winter to go skiing, but I recommend hiking to the top of Hunter Mountain in the winter! There are various routes to take to the top of Hunter Mountain when hiking.
Becker Hollow Trail is the route I recommend in the winter to the top of Hunter Mountain. While it is the steeper route to Hunter Mountain, the access road is much more accessible in the winter than the road to the other Hunter Mountain trailheads. Becker Hollow Trail is 4.7 miles round trip.
At the top of Hunter Mountain is one of the tallest fire towers in New York State with great views of the surrounding area. In the winter, the fire tower may not be open. Follow current rules and signage of the fire tower when visiting.
Note: the hikes to the top of Hunter Mountain do NOT start from the Hunter Mountain Ski Resort.
If you’re interested in visiting Hunter Mountain, check out my full blog post on Hunter Mountain and all of the ways to visit!
Platte Cove Preserve
Platte Cove Preserve has several great hiking options for the wintertime.
Plattekill Falls is only 0.2 miles from the parking area which makes for a nice place to see, even if you don’t want to be out in the cold too long.
From Platte Cove, you can also hike to Echo Lake on a 7.5 mile round trip trail. Plattekill Mountain Summit is another hiking option at 5.0 miles round trip.
The parking area at Platte Cove Preserve is small, but many people opt to park a little farther down the road at the same parking for the Huckleberry Point Trail.
This isn’t one specific hike, but rather an area with many different hikes to choose from. North-South Lake has many different hikes of all different lengths depending on what you’re looking for.
Most hikes from North South Lake are gradual and all have different views and perks.
There are two main options I would recommend. First, I would recommend the Artist’s Rock, Sunset Rock, and Newman’s Ledge Trail. It is a 6.2 mile trail that has various view points and a nice view of the lake.
Secondly, Artist’s Rock and Sunset Rock via the Escarpment Trail is a good choice. It is shorter with a length of 1.8 miles, which would be nice for a very cold winter day. Both of these trails can be found on AllTrails.
Huckleberry Point Trail
Huckleberry Point is a rock ledge that faces into a small gorge and out into some expansive plains. The full trail is 4.5 miles round trip. I like the hike to Huckleberry Point in the winter because the trail is wide and gradual, making it a great winter choice.
The trail has a large parking lot, but it can be crowded and quite icy, so arriving early would be a good idea.
Kaaterskill Falls is an incredible waterfall in the Catskills at any time of year, but especially in the winter when the whole waterfall and gorge freezes. There are a few hikes around Kaaterskill Falls, some of which can be accessed in the winter.
The main overlook of Kaaterskill Falls is very close to the parking lot and less than a mile in total round trip.
There is a trail down to the bottom of the falls that is mostly accessed in the summer. It is extremely dangerous in the winter, but some Catskill guiding companies offer guided hikes to the bottom where they provide you with crampons and other ice gear.
I only recommend going to the bottom of the falls if you go on a guided tour that has experience with the ice and provides you with the correct gear. One company that does this is “Upstate Hiking.” I personally have not went on a hike with them, but I have heard great things and their pictures are incredible!
For more information on visiting Kaaterskill Falls, check out my Kaaterskill Falls blog post with information about visiting at any time of year.
Slide Mountain is the tallest mountain in the Catskill Mountains. It is a popular hike, and for good reason.
I include Slide Mountain on the list of best winter hikes, because it is not too long or steep, but has gorgeous views. The trail is wide and gradual, perfect for a snowy winter hike.
The trail to Slide Mountain is 6.4 miles round trip. There aren’t many views along the way, but at the end there is an open area of rocks that has great views of the Catskills.
Another perk of the Slide Mountain hike is the amount of pine trees, meaning the trail is green and covered even in the winter.
I hope that this list of winter hikes in the Catskills is helpful to you when deciding where to hike in the winter! Have you hiked any of these trails before? I would love to hear your experience! Let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!