Catskill State Park, NY: Overlook Mountain Trail

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.
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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.

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 Facts

  • Distance: 7.3

Waypoints

OVE001

Location: 42.071138, -74.122524

From the Overlook Mountain Trailhead, begin hiking up a wide, crushed gravel doubletrack.

OVE002

Location: 42.072314, -74.117064

Pass natural spring on the left side of the trail.

OVE003

Location: 42.073866, -74.114679

Go straight @ junction with spur trail on left. A sign designates camping is prohibited within 150 feet of water or trail.

OVE004

Location: 42.080032, -74.107973

Bear L @ Y-junction. Access road goes off the right. The trail winds left and keeps climbing.

OVE005

Location: 42.084275, -74.100178

Reach ruins of the Overlook Mountain House. Retrace steps back to path when finished exploring. The trail continues around the ruins to the left.

OVE006

Location: 42.084914, -74.098851

Bear R @ Y-junction heading toward Overlook Mountain.

OVE007

Location: 42.085054, -74.092719

Bear L @ Y-junction with cabin.

OVE008

Location: 42.085048, -74.093353

Climb to 360-degree views on top of the fire tower. When finished, retrace steps back to cabin and continue straight to the scenic overlook.

OVE009

Location: 42.084612, -74.091439

Reach a scenic overlook with views of the Catskills, Ashokan Reservoir, and the Hudson River. When finished retrace the route back to the trailhead.

Overlook Mountain House

Location: 42.084377, -74.099886

Butterfly

Location: 42.076072, -74.110486

More Ruins

Location: 42.084747, -74.099924

Fire Tower

Location: 42.085121, -74.09313

Westward view of Catskills

Location: 42.085078, -74.093345

Looking North from the Tower

Location: 42.08506, -74.09332

Ashokan Reservoir

Location: 42.08504, -74.09331

Hudson River

Location: 42.085014, -74.093318

Scenic Overlook

Location: 42.08462, -74.091389