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"Redlining" the Catskills

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  • "Redlining" the Catskills

    There's an interesting discussion going on over at the AMC BB about redlining. Here's the link -

    Anyone interested in redlining trails in the Catskills? I've got a bunch of peaks still left to do for my 3500 list and I'm thinking of combining the two passions when I can. I was wondering about some Catskill trivia such as the total trail mileage, total elevation gain if one was to redline all of the trails and bag all of the 35 peaks in the Catskills, etc. I would also be interested in redlining the Schawangunks and other areas of NY. Thanks, Fred

  • #2
    Been there, done most of that.

    I guess I qualify as a "redliner", although I would prefer a different color. When I was new to the area in the mid 70s I "greenlined" the trails on the Mohonk Resort/Preserve map with a green highlighter until I had hiked every inch or every trail. There are nice cliff views and interesting rock formations just about everywhere in the Shawangunks, so covering all the trails is worthwhile and rewarding. Since that time I have hiked every inch of every marked trail shown on the NY/NJ Trail Conference Shawangunks 4-map set.

    I have also done all of the Catskill trails in the "3500 high peak" regions of the Catskills. I never set this as a specific goal, however, whenever I reclimbed a mountain I always looked for a different approach. In time I found that I hiked every inch of every trail. The only Catskill trails that I have not redlined are the southwest corner of map 43 (southern Catskills) and most of map 44 (western Catskills). I will probably be doing those sections in the next few years. Don't know that I would be into re-redlining trails I have done. I have also redlined all of the Long Path sections in the Catskills, however, I drew the line at walking the road sections of the Long Path - that was/is not for me. The sections north of Route 23 and south of the Peekamoose Road are not on the trail conference maps, but are described in the Long Path Guide.

    There should be some new Catskill trails coming. Last fall I noticed some new marked trails near the summit of Belleayre that are not yet shown on the maps. The DEC markers had the destinations on each disc. In one direction the disks read to the Belleayre summit, in the other direction they listed the valley trailheads. Perhaps that is the new standard for DEC trail discs. One trail that appeared to follow some ski slopes led to the Highmount Train station. The other trail led to the Belleayre Beach (the day use area on Route 28, east of Pine Hill). That second trail departed the Pine Hill - West Branch trail about 0.1 mile north of the junction with the Lost Clove trail. It did not appear to be marked yet at the point where it entered private land (part of the proposed Belleayre Resort). That trail to the beach is probably part of the proposed resort's PR campaign. I am always looking for a new trail to hike, although I would rather see the state acquire that property rather than have a golf course and resort on that ridge top.

    I also think a new off road Long Path reroute may be coming for the section between Silver Hollow Notch and Plateau - following a southwest ridge of Plateau. I have not seen any confirmation of that yet.

    With new trails redlining never ends, so I am still in the game.


    • #3
      Hi Mark, I just picked up a book today caled the "Shawangunks Trail Companion" by Jeffrey Perls, published by Backcountry Press. Looks like a nice book and a welcome addition to my collection as I'm fairly ignorant when it comes to the Shawangunks.

      I haven't hiked in the gunks nearly as much as I've hiked in the Whites or the Catskills but hope to do more as it is closer to where I live. One place I want to go in the gunks is the Ice Caves. Meanwhile I'll still be "working" on the Catskills.

      Alas, so many mountains, so little time........