Hike the Escarpment Trail To View The Best In Fall Foliage
The Escarpment Trail | Palenville, NY
- 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.