Hike the Escarpment Trail To View The Best In Fall Foliage
The Escarpment Trail |

  • Roundtrip: 23.9 miles
  • Features: Mixed hardwood trees, hemlock groves, rock scrambles, and rocky outcrops at many of the overlooks. Steep inclines and declines.
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate at times, but mostly difficult
  • Get There: By car, 2.5 hours from the city to one of the beginning points at North South Lake Campground: 42d11’54.23″N, 74d02’41.86″W

The Escarpment Trail is a challenging 23.9 mile hike overlooking the Hudson River Valley in the Catskill Mountains. The trail takes you through a varied landscape of dense hardwood forests, flowing creeks, rocky outcrops, and to the top of numerous elevated peaks – the highest of these being the summit of Blackhead Mountain, which tops out at 1,940 feet above sea level. Other highlights include the Artist and Sunset Rocks above North Lake, which were vantage points of artistic inspiration for Thomas Cole and Frederick Church, the mid-19th century Hudson River School painters known for their romantic depictions of the American wilderness.

If you are an experienced, seasoned hiker, you can complete the hike in one weekend. But, for the majority of people, we recommend stretching it out over three days.

Escarpment Trail in upstate NY. andnorth.com
Escarpment Trail in upstate NY. andnorth.com

  “There are many things you should remember when you are backpacking…one of them being that you shouldn’t carry more than a third of your weight. Doing so preserves the happiness of you and your party.”

Escarpment Trail in upstate NY. andnorth.com

  “Hiking through the fog was magical…the muted fall colors fading into the foggy abyss offered a new perspective on the foliage.”

Escarpment Trail in upstate NY. andnorth.com
Escarpment Trail in upstate NY. andnorth.com
Escarpment Trail in upstate NY. andnorth.com

  “When the weather finally let up and we were able to see the outstretched valley beneath us, I was in awe of nature’s brilliantly painted landscape.”

Escarpment Trail in upstate NY. andnorth.com
Escarpment Trail in upstate NY. andnorth.com

  “Though the weather didn’t cooperate on the first day of our hike, we came prepared with rain gear and Snickers bars (for a little pick me up).”

Escarpment Trail in upstate NY. andnorth.com

  “The Escarpment Trail is constantly challenging and not for the faint of heart.”

Escarpment Trail in upstate NY. andnorth.com
Escarpment Trail in upstate NY. andnorth.com

  “Our trip was an epic one to say the least.”

Escarpment Trail in upstate NY. andnorth.com

  “If someone were to ask me what advice I could give them about hiking this trail it would be: ‘Be prepared: physically, mentally and make sure to have the right gear’.”

4 comments

  1. Loving it !

  2. This looks gorgeous! I’m planning a weekend trip to hike in the Catskills this fall and would love to go when the colors are at their peak. At what point in the fall were these photos taken?

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