Hiking in the Catskills: Slide Mountain

June 2, 2013 by

Trail Head

Hiking in the Catskills provides stunning views and an exciting challenge. Slide Mountain in the Catskills offers a loop hike composed of three trails. The loop gradually climbs to the summit which is the highest peak in the Catskills.

Those who make the hike are rewarded with spectacular views from several breathtaking viewpoints. In all, hikers have several trails to choose from.

Slide Mountain Trails

Phoenicia-East Branch Trail

The Phoenicia-east branch trail follows yellow blazed markers that carry hikers across rocks on the West Branch of the Neversink River. From there it climbs along a rocky footpath that takes hikers to an old woods road and a lever path for about a third of a mile where it runs into the red-blazed Wittenberg-Cornell-Slide Trail.

The red-blazed trail takes hikers back to the road where they will pick up yellow markers as the trail narrows to a footpath hikers follow to a stream crossed via a wooden bridge.

Wittenberg-Cornell-Slide Trail

The Wittenberg-Cornell Slide connects the Phoenicia-East Branch Trail to the blue-blazed Curtis-Ormsbee Trail. The red-blazed Wittenberg-Cornell Slide trail is marked by wooden DEC signs. About a mile and a half from the start it connects to the Curtis-Omsbee Trail.

Catskills Curtis-Omsbee Trail

The blue-blazed Curtis-Ormsbee Trail is named after two famous hikers who lost their lives in a snowstorm on Mount Washington, NH in 1900. A monument to them stands along the trail where the Curtis-Omsbee Trail connects to the Wittenberg-Cornell Slide Trail.

The Curtis Omsbee ascends to the top of a large rock and continues upward. Hikers are challenged by a short steep section, but the extra effort is worth it. Here hikers cross the 3,500 foot elevation point where camping and fires are not allowed.

A short distance later, hikers will find a flat area ideal for taking a rest, or they can follow a short 200 ft. yellow-blazed side trail for an exquisite view over the Table, Lone, Rocky, and Balsam Cap Mountains.

Back on the Curtis-Omsbee Trail, hikers continue to follow blue blazes another mile until it hooks up the red-blazed Cornell-Wittenberg-Slide Trail again. Gradually, hikers ascend as they follow the trails forming a loop until it reaches a fairly level path along the summit.

Hikers will enjoy this inspirational trek. It’s challenging but not too hard, and the views are magnificent.

Photo credits: benswing, andyarthur, ScubaBear68

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