In this article, I will list and briefly discuss the mountains over 3500 feet in elevation in the Catskill region of New York State.

I have also created a Catskill 3500 checklist in pdf format that you can download and track your progress as you climb each mountain.

Coincidentally there are 35 Catskill peaks (kind of- see below) in the Catskill mountains that are over 3500 feet in elevation.

Sadly, two of these mountains, Doubletop and Graham mountains, are on private land and can not be climbed legally as the property owners have closed these peaks to the hiking public.

It is a shame that you can't climb the peaks, but the misuse of private property has lead to the closure of these two peaks for now.

The tallest peak in the Catskill region is Slide Mountain, followed closely by Hunter Mountain, both of which are over 4000 feet and are included in the NE115 list of mountains in the northeastern United States over 4000 foot of elevation.

catskill 3500

Like the Adirondack 46, there is one mountain in the Catskill 35 that doesn't reach the required elevation standard.

Rocky Mountain at an elevation of 3487 is shy of 3500 mark. However, the Catskill 3500 Club does recognize this mountain in the list of over 3500 (see below).

Many of the Catskill Mountain peaks do not have an open summit and are covered by balsam firs and hardy deciduous trees.

Still, most do have open ledges, such as the popular destination of Giant Ledge on Panther Mountain, that provide incredible views of the surrounding mountains.

Giant Ledge on Panther Mountain

My View From The Woods is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We may earn a small commission from the companies mentioned in this post at no additional cost to you. Not all links are connected to affiliate companies.

Hunter Mountain and Balsam Lake Mountain also have fire towers that provide the best views of the beautiful Catskill Mountains.

From the towers, you not only get 360-degree views of the Catskills but can see the Hudson Valley and the Green Mountains in Vermont.

The Catskill 3500 Club does recognize hikers that have completed hikes of the 33 accessible peaks.

To complete the Catskill 3500 challenge, four of the peaks also need to be winter hikes (between Dec 21st and Mar 21st) to earn a number and patch. 

These mountains are Slide Mountain, Blackhead Mountain, Panther Mountain, and Balsam Mountain.

Some of the mountain peaks have orange-painted PVC canisters at the peak that contains a log book for hikers to sign.

These all appear to be the mountains that do not have a view from the peak.

In contrast, mountain peaks with a view do not have a log book.

Catskill mountain peak

My guess is that the canisters mark the high point on the forested peaks. However, I found that it can still be difficult even the open peaked mountains to know where the exact top is located.

It would be nice for all of the highest peaks to have canisters and log books. 

Also, I’ve noticed on my recent climbs that some of the signs at the top of the peaks are missing.

I always use a GPS to track my climbs and location, and the GPS will give you a good indication if you are near the peak or not. 

The best part of the Catskill 3500 is that you can reach all of the mountains with day hikes.

Some might be a long day, but you will usually hike to multiple peaks on those days.

For instance, when you hike the Wittenberg-Cornell-Slide trail, you not only get to finish three peaks but also the tallest mountain in the Catskill High Peaks.

There is no need to hike multiple peaks if you don’t want to.

In fact, you can reach all of the mountains with hikes of less than 10 miles out and back. 

catskill 3500 trail

Yes, that is the trail.

The best part of the Catskill 3500 is that you can reach all of the mountains with day hikes. Some might be a big day, but you will usually hike to multiple peaks on those days.

For instance, when you hike the Wittenberg-Cornell-Slide trail, you not only get to finish three peaks but also the tallest mountain in the Catskill High Peaks.

There is no need to hike multiple peaks if you don’t want to; in fact, you can reach all of the mountains with hikes of less than 10 miles out and back. 

Below are the 35 mountains over 3500 feet in elevation in the Catskill Mountains.

catskill 3500 checklist pin

The downloadable guide also lists the elevation, if the trail is marked or is a bushwhack to trailless peaks, if there is a view, the relative level of difficulty of the hike, and if a sign-in canister is found at the peak.

List of the Catskill 3500-foot Mountains

No.

Name (link to article)

Elevation (feet)

Distance Out-n-Back

Trail Type

Difficulty

1

Slide Mountain

4182

5.9 miles

DEC Trail

Easy

2

Hunter Mountain

4030

6.3 miles

DEC Trail

Moderate

3

Blackdome Mountain

3993

5.1 miles

DEC Trail

Difficult

4

Thomas Cole Mountain

3953

6.1 miles

DEC Trail

Moderate

5

Blackhead Mountain

3940

5.9 miles

DEC Trail

Difficult

6

West Kill Mountain

3898

6.4 miles

DEC Trail

Difficult

7

Graham Mountain

3868

Not Open

No Trail

-

8

Cornell Mountain

3857

8.9

DEC Trail

Difficult

9

Doubletop Mountain

3852

Not Open

No Trail

-

10

Plateau Mountain

3835

7.3

DEC Trail

Difficult

11

Table Mountain

3825

7.5

DEC Trail

Moderate

12

Peakamoose Mountain

3819

9.1

DEC Trail

Moderate

13

Sugarloaf Mountain

3793

6.7

DEC Trail

Challenging

14

Wittenberg Mountain

3792

7.1

DEC Trail

Difficult

15

Southwest Hunter Mountain

3753

7.1

Bushwhack

Moderate

16

Balsam Lake Mountain

3729

5.8

DEC Trail

Easy

17

Panther Mountain

3724

6.9

DEC Trail

Moderate

18

Lone Mountain

3700

6.7

Bushwhack

Challenging

19

Big Indian Mountain

3699

9.1

Bushwhack

Moderate

20

Friday Mountain

3692

7.7

Bushwhack

Challenging

21

Rusk Mountain

3686

3.7

Bushwhack

Difficult

22

Kaaterskill High Peak

3652

8.2

Bushwhack

Difficult

23

Twin Mountain

3650

6.0

DEC Trail

Difficult

24

Fir Mountain

3629

7.8

Bushwhack

Difficult

25

Balsam Cap Mountain

3608

7.7

Bushwhack

Difficult

26

Balsam Mountain

3607

5.5

DEC Trail

Moderate

27

North Dome Mountain

3605

5.0

Bushwhack

Challenging

28

Bearpen Mountain

3587

5

DEC Trail

Easy

29

Eagle Mountain

3583

7.9

Bushwhack

Moderate

30

Indian Head Mountain

3573

4.6

DEC Trail

Moderate

31

Sherill Mountain

3558

5.8

Bushwhack

Difficult

32

Vly Mountain

3541

3.6

Bushwhack

Easy

33

Windham High Peak

3525

6.2

DEC Trail

Easy

34

Halcott Mountain

3509

4.0

Bushwhack

Difficult

35

Rocky Peak

3487

9.7

Bushwhack

Challenging

You can click the button below to receive a pdf of the Catskill 3500 checklist.

Use the checklist as a reference to track your progress as you climb the 33 tallest mountains in the Catskills.

The checklist also includes the four winter peaks that need to be climbed during the winter to earn your Catskill 3500 patch.

catskill 3500 patch

I also recommend purchasing a waterproof map set.

The maps will list the location of the mountains, trailheads, parking area, location of herd paths, and nearby campgrounds and amenities. The two below are the most frequently purchased.

The New York New Jersey Trail Conference Map

National Geographic Catskill Park Map

I use the National Geographic version as I’ve always had good luck with their maps.

The Catskill 3500 Isn't Easy

Honestly, I have to say before I started hiking the Catskill Mountains, I did not give them the credit they deserve.

The first time I hiked in the Catskill mountains, I found rugged trails, and the elevation gain was as much as hiking the Adirondack Mountains.

The First Catskill Mountain Hike

The first Catskill Mountain I hiked was up Wittenberg Mountain then over to Cornell Mountain along the ridge. 

From the get-go out of Woodland Valley Campground, the hike up Wittenberg Mountain was very steep with several scrambles over rock ledges.

The views at the top were amazing even though there was some haze. 

View from Wittenberg Mountain

The hike down into the col between Wittenberg and Cornell was nice but then we got to the Cornell Crack.

The Cornell Crack is no joke.

cornell crack cornell mountain catskill mountains

It was a much more complicated to climb than I expected.

However, there were spectacular views, I also got to hike a section of the Long Path, which is a trail system I would like to complete some day.

What I Like About the Catskill 3500

The description of my first hike says it all. I was challenged and that's what I like. Maybe I don't like that in the moment, but afterwards, I enjoy when the trail gives me a challenge.

Also, I like that the hikes are quite short. In the Adirondacks many of the hikes over 10 miles long. In the Catskills the hikes are shorter so you can get two or more completed in a day.

As a sedimentary geologist I enjoy the sandstones, conglomerates, and sediment bedding features much more than the metamorphic gneiss and anorthosite of the Adirondacks and other ranges in the northeast.

catskill mountain trail

Catskill 3500 Checklist Download

Don't forget you can download a copy of my Catskill 3500 checklist and track your progress toward completing the Catskill 3500.

catskill 3500 checklist to download
Please Share this article:

About the Author T.Marsh


Hi, my name is Todd. My View From the Woods documents my journey of gardening, growing microgreens, preserving food, searching for a homestead, and hiking with my new Springer Spaniel, Caden.

Follow me on Instagram at @myviewfromthewoods

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
>