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