Hiking in the Catskills: A Beginner’s Guide to Hudson Valley Treks
Want to explore the gorgeous Catskill trails but have no clue where to start? Here’s a step-by-step hiking guide for beginners.
These are the days for scenic treks, but, before you venture out, make sure you’re prepared. Doug Kluthe from Catskill Outfitters in Phoenicia advises hikers to bring an extra layer or two (temperatures can be unpredictable this time of year), wear sturdy and supportive footwear, and pack plenty of water. Bill Kennedy, owner of Kenco Outfitters in Kingston, suggests packing first aid supplies such as bandages and antiseptic wipes, as well as insect repellent and healthy snacks.
Here are six hikes that are perfect for beginners. Stay safe by sticking to the marked trail and signing in and out on the register at the trailhead.
Minnewaska State Park
With a variety of trails that allow hikers to explore as much or as little of The Gunks as they want, this park has something for everyone. The most basic trail is a nearly two-mile loop with easy terrain that circles Lake Minnewaska. As you become more adventurous, make sure to check out the remaining 50 miles of foot trails leading to Sam’s Point or Gertrude’s Nose.
An easy-to-moderate hike to the base of a stunning 260-foot waterfall, this 1.4-mile trail is well-groomed but has lots of stairs (200 to be exact). It begins at the trailhead off Route 23A and ends at the bottom, offering scenic views that have inspired many an artist, including the Valley’s own Thomas Cole.
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