Catskill Hike: Slide Mountain
While logging my Adirondack 46 mountain ascents into the online site at Peakbagger, I noticed that many were included into the list for the Northeast 111. That's 115 peaks in the Northeast that are near or above 4,000 feet in height.
There are two in the Northeast 111 that reside in the Catskills, Hunter and Slide Mountains. I figured as I neared the completion of the ADK46, that I would be moving on to the next challenge and might as well take a day and head south to grab both peaks in one day. Here is the trip report for Slide Mountain, the highest peak in the Catskill Park at 4,182 feet, 5.86 miles in an out and back hike in terms of distance, with an elevation gain of 1,749 feet.
I left the Becker Hollow Parking Area after hiking Hunter Mountain around 1:30 p.m. after stowing my gear and doing my recap. I took route 214 south to Phoenicia where it hooked up with route 28. At Phoenicia, they had a gas station where I stopped for a couple of water bottles and a chicken sandwich.
Then I headed west on route 28 until I got to Oliverea Road (route 47) in the town of Big Indian. The road is well marked with signage and I turned left onto Oliverea and headed south towards Slide Mountain.
The trip between the two mountains, including a five-minute stop for food, took forty-five minutes. I was at the parking lot and signed-in and on trail at 2:15 p.m. The parking area (see below) is well-marked and you pass a few others on the drive in (McKenley, Giant Ledge).
Just past the sign-in book, there is a nicely sized stream crossing. I joked to myself that it was like a hazing thing...if you can't cross this stream, turn around.
The terrain starts with a moderate incline, then gets a bit steeper and rockier until you come to a flat section where the trail turns to the right. It takes about ten minutes to get to this point.
It took me about another ten minutes to walk the flat section of terrain until you come to a junction point and the incline begins. The signage lets you know it's only two more miles to the summit.
This is the hard part of the hike and for the next thirty minutes you're in a fairly dry creek bed with some good elevation. I took multiple rest stops in this section and ran into one couple coming down.
It took fifty minutes to get to the 3,500-foot elevation sign. From another trip report I read, this sign was 1.59 miles into the hike.
Another twenty minutes up the trail, there's a pretty nice sized rock on the left and the trail turns and keeps heading up a bit more until you finally come to the ridge line. Once on the ridge line (see below), things get very moderate and it's a nice easy walk in the woods.
On the ridge line, there are only two slight inclines as you head back for about thirty minutes. It's pretty wooded, so there isn't much of a view, but it's a nice reprieve from the steep creek bed you took to get up there.
A few minutes before the actual summit, you come to a pair of lookout points. I ran into a pair of hikers at this point and we chatted about the summit and they asked me about my favorite hikes in the Adirondacks. I went out and grabbed a few pictures at the first lookout, including the first one in this recap.
I got to the summit at 3:50 p.m., so the trip up took me around an hour and thirty-five minutes, which wasn't bad considering I had already done Hunter. I spent a few minutes snapping off shots and snacking on some food before heading over to the second lookout for some video.
I was off the summit by 3:55 p.m. and starting down the trail. I figured I could be one of the last on trail and as I was hiking alone, I wanted to see if I could catch up to the last pair of hikers I saw just in case I needed any assistance.
I came down the ridge and then down the creek bed, aiming to see the 3,500-foot sign, but missing it as I had my head down to take safe steps.
I caught the pair just before the sign for the two-mile mark at the bottom of the creek bed and made it back fifteen minutes later at 3:55 p.m. The whole hike took two hours and forty minutes total and I spent ten minutes washing the bug spray and sweat off at the first stream crossing. The cold water felt glorious and I would recommend dipping your feet there before heading home.
All-in-all, it was a good day of hiking. I was on trail at 10:25 a.m. and off by 3:55 p.m., so five and a half hours to grab two nice mountains that counted for many lists at Peakbagger (around fifty total that these two apply towards). On the road out, I went straight east to connect with route 81 and ran into some very scenic views of lakes along the way (see above).
Hope you enjoyed my recap and best of luck on your hikes!
Other Catskills Trip Reports
- Catskill Hike: Hunter Mountain
A trip report from my May 31, 2019 hike to the summit of Hunter Mountain in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. Hunter is the second highest peak in the Catskills with an elevation of 4,040 feet.