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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

Kerhonkson

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.

Kaaterskill Falls

Hunter

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.

Read more of the beginners guide, written by Megan Wilson here.

LAST UPDATED

November 14, 2022

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Megan Wilson

Hudson Valley

MEDIA MENTIONS

Sawyer Products Picaridin Insect Repellent provides great value, especially since you get a two-pack with each purchase. The spray is unscented and easy to apply, and it provides some of the longest-lasting protection with a 12-hour formula.

Pete Ortiz
Writer

MEDIA MENTIONS

The snow is already settling in across some parts of the country.

Amanda Reed
Updates Writer

MEDIA MENTIONS

All water along the trail should be boiled for at least a minute or filtered through something like a Sawyer Micro Squeeze Water Filter.

Korrin Bishop
Gossamer Gear