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Catskill State Park, NY: Overlook Mountain Trail

ny

Star Star Star

Distance: 4.6 miles


Discover 19th century hotel ruins and 360-degree views of the Hudson Valley and Catskills on this 4.5-mile out-and-back to Overlook Mountain.
  • Overlook Mountain House
  • Butterfly
  • More Ruins
  • Fire Tower
  • Westward view of Catskills
  • Looking North from the Tower
  • Ashokan Reservoir
  • Hudson River
  • Scenic Overlook

The Overlook Mountain Trail climbs for nearly two miles before hikers get a visual break from shady deciduous forest. The effort pays off and then some.

At mile 2, ruins of the Overlook Mountain House afford the first chance to go off-trail and investigate. Trees grow out of old rooms and fountains. A spiral staircase sits unsupported, leading to nowhere but better views of the structure and surrounding woodland. Rotting bath tubs are filled with dirt and covered with moss.

Continuing uphill another half mile, a skyscraping fire tower lets the brave who climb it see for hundreds of miles in every direction. To the east, the Hudson River seems like a skinny creek in the middle of green slopes. The wide waters of Ashokan Reservoir dominate the scenery to the south. Catskill Mountains wrap around the landscape to the west and the north.

Hike only a short distance further to the trail's scenic overlook, the summit of Overlook Mountain (3,140 feet). Rocky outcroppings allow for mid-walk picnics and a sprawling Hudson Valley panorama. Look down closely at the overlook's giant slabs. Visitors to the summit have etched their names or initials—some as early as 1857.

When finished, retrace the route to the trailhead.

-Mapped by MacKenzie Ryan

Trail Reviews & Comments

READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star
Kris Boughton
Jan 25, 2013

I've done this hike several times. It's an old fire road and a little boring but the ruins and view at the top make it worthwhile. Not mentioned in the article but this area is a sanctuary for timber rattle snakes. In the late spring and summer you have a pretty good chance of seeing one sunning itself out on the trail. Be sure to be on the lookout and give them a wide berth.

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