Catskill State Park, NY: South Mountain and North Mountain Loop

Trace the eastern edge of the Catskills, tagging five 2,000-foot overlooks, en route to South and North Mountain on this 7.9-mile loop in Catskill State Park.
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Trace the eastern edge of the Catskills, tagging five 2,000-foot overlooks, en route to South and North Mountain on this 7.9-mile loop in Catskill State Park.

A strenuous trek linking five ledges, two peaks, and climbing more than 2,300 feet, this 7.9-miler in Catskill State Park makes hikers earn every inch of stunning scenery. Take the Escarpment Trail through a quiet forested area. After crossing over a creek full of moss-covered rocks, go southeast on the Scutt Road Trail. The red-blazed foot path climbs up 2,400-foot South Mountain.
The route rejoins the Escarpment as it winds west toward Boulder Rock, a south-facing tier with views of mountains to west and the Hudson Valley. The path goes north along a ridgeline to Catskill Mountain House Site, Artist's Rock, and Newman's Ledge. Each overlook showcases the Hudson River cutting through dense forests and boundless farmland. Cliffs are lined with flower-coated bushes and leaning trees. After Newman's Ledge, the route traverses a shady pine stand before reaching the final scramble to North Point. At the top, look westward for gorgeous views of North and South Lake rimmed by green mountains.
The loop descends into an expansive, verdant hollow called Mary's Glen. Marked by yellow blazes, the Rock Shelter Trail runs southwest. Hikers must be especially sure-footed during this stretch as they rock-hop along a boulder-strewn, flooded pathway. Finish off the hike by crossing Haines Falls Road, then heading back to the parking lot on Schutt Road.
-Mapped by MacKenzie Ryan

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 12.7

Waypoints

NOR001

Location: 42.2006681, -74.0582693

From Sleepy Hollow Horse Trail parking area, cross Scutt Road to access the blue-blazed Escarpment Trail.

NOR002

Location: 42.1954919, -74.0578723

Continue straight @ 4-way junction with unmarked trail.

NOR003

Location: 42.1946334, -74.0581405

Bear right @ T-junction.

NOR004

Location: 42.1943314, -74.0584624

Go straight @ 4-way, merging onto the red-blazed Scutt Road Trail.

NOR005

Location: 42.1913744, -74.0603936

Bear left @ junction.

NOR006

Location: 42.1882265, -74.0504372

Bear right @ Y-junction.

NOR007

Location: 42.188124, -74.05029

Turn left @ Y-junction, merging back onto the Escarpment Trail.

NOR008

Location: 42.191269, -74.039651

Turn right @ 4-way at the sign to Boulder Rock. Follow the blue blazes.

NOR009

Location: 42.1893394, -74.0375277

Reach Boulder Rock and views of the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains. When finished with scenery, turn left and continue toward the campground.

NOR010

Location: 42.1906808, -74.0374875

Bear right @ T-junction, following the sign to Catskill Mountain House site and North Lake Campground.

NOR011

Location: 42.1945639, -74.0346551

The trail passes the site of the Catskill Mountain House, an elite hotel opened in 1824. Burned to the ground by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on Jan. 25, 1963, the site still features stunning views of the Hudson Valley. Next: Turn right and head northwest.

NOR012

Location: 42.195601, -74.036489

Look for the blue blazes marking the Escarpment Trail on the rocks straight ahead. Continue straight at the intersection with an access road that brings hikers and car traffic to the North Lake shore (a few hundred yards to the left).

NOR013

Location: 42.196326, -74.034806

Bear right @ T-junction heading toward North Point and Artist's Rock. Option: Bear left for a short detour to North Lake Campground.

NOR014

Location: 42.2004913, -74.0309322

Bear right at an open boulder area (stay on Escarpment Trail).

NOR015

Location: 42.2020371, -74.0296072

Reach Artist's Rock (more views of the Hudson). When finished, continue on the Escarpment Trail for a short but rooty climb.

NOR016

Location: 42.2076599, -74.0312219

Continue straight @ Y-junction, following the sign to Newman's Ledge and North Point.

NOR017

Location: 42.2100221, -74.0307096

Newman's Ledge: This vantage point offers views to the north and east of the Hudson Valley. When finished, continue on the Escarpment.

NOR018

Location: 42.2139318, -74.0346524

Turn right @ Y-junction, scrambling up the rocks toward Badman's Cave and North Point.

NOR019

Location: 42.2139258, -74.0348026

Walk through Badman's Cave to reconnect with the trail after the scramble.

NOR020

Location: 42.2184371, -74.0403253

Bear right @ Y-junction and continue 0.3 mile to North Point.

NOR021

Location: 42.2198177, -74.0406311

North Point: Look to the west for views of North Lake and South Lake. Next, retrace steps to Waypoint 20 and take Mary's Glen Trail.

NOR022

Location: 42.2112439, -74.041028

Turn right @ Y-junction, merging onto the Rock Shelter Trail (yellow markers). Hike 1.2 miles to Haines Falls Road.

NOR023

Location: 42.2017192, -74.0580976

Cross the road and turn left. In 100 feet, turn right onto Scutt Road and follow to the parking lot.

Creek

Location: 42.1950229, -74.0580225

Boulder Rock

Location: 42.1893374, -74.0374956

View from Boulder Rock

Location: 42.1893513, -74.037509

Hudson Valley

Location: 42.189403, -74.0375492

View North

Location: 42.1894308, -74.0375733

View from Catskill Mountain House Site

Location: 42.1945619, -74.0346202

Artist's Rock

Location: 42.2020252, -74.0296125

Newman's Ledge

Location: 42.2100241, -74.0306747

The Hudson

Location: 42.2100658, -74.0307257

Views South

Location: 42.2100499, -74.0307149

Cliffside Flora

Location: 42.2100777, -74.0307337

Bushland

Location: 42.214188, -74.0346631

North and South Lakes from North Point

Location: 42.2198097, -74.0406471