While the Catskills have a reputation for rugged, steep terrain, the region also offers plenty of short, exciting jaunts with amazing views that kids can scale.
1. VROMAN’S NOSE. 1.5 miles round trip. A mostly gentle climb, with some steep sections, that leads to sweeping views of surrounding farmland. The large, flat summit is known as “The Dance Floor.” Park on Mill Valley Road in Middleburgh.
2. TROUT POND. 3 miles round trip. A pleasant walk on an old woods road up to a scenic lake. A side trail on the way overlooks a waterfall. Great fishing and camping opportunities. Park on Russell Brook Road near Roscoe.
3. FRICK POND. 2.2 miles round trip. A level hike through forests, swamps and meadows along the shoreline of Frick Pond. Can be muddy. Park on Beech Mountain Road, Livingston Manor.
4. TANBARK TRAIL. 2 miles round trip. A climb up to impressive views of Phoenicia, the Esopus Creek and surrounding high peaks. Trailhead at Parish Field, Phoenicia.
5. ESCARPMENT TRAIL NORTHBOUND FROM NORTH LAKE. 1.5 to 4.5 miles. Ledges with stunning views of the Hudson Valley. Short climbs and a fun rock scramble. Park at North Lake parking area, North-South Lake Campground, Haines Falls.
Tim Luby is a proud father of two, husband of one and the co-owner of the Catskill Mountain Storehouse, an outdoor store in Phoenicia.
This article originally appeared in the print version of the 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide, our annual publication about the Catskills outdoors. The Catskills Outdoor Guide is distributed across the Catskills region and at select locations in the NYC metropolitan area. Find a copy near you here.