• Activities:

    Chillin, Kayaking, Snowshoeing, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    4 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    584 Feet

Dog Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area

It's almost impossible to walk in any direction and not find an amazing view on this hike. During the summer there is also a very popular lake that gathers crowds. It's almost like a real life version of Wet Hot American Summer.

Located in the beautiful Catskill Mountains, this is an outdoors-mans(and woman's) dream spot! Although this hike is accessible year round, if you decide to go during the summer you should expect crowds. Luckily, there are so many different trails and activities that it won't even matter. North-South Lake offers a campground right by the lake that makes this place very family friendly. It is also pet friendly - but be warned, your pups must be leashed and MUST have proof of rabies vaccination. They will turn you away without it!

You can make this hike as long or as short as you want. There are many great views within half a mile of the campsite, and if you're feeling ambitious you can even make this a 7 mile loop from Newman's Ledge to North Point. This description runs from the campground to Newman's Ledge, and by the time it's done you'll have a few breathtaking views under your belt.

From the parking area, take the Yellow Trail. It very quickly joins the Blue Trail which leads to the old Catskill Mountain House. There is some history here, with signs that explain what the House once was. It has been demolished, but leaves a beautiful open area that now gives you your first views across the Hudson River. In the distance you can see Slide Mountain (the highest peak in the Catskills) and The Blackhead Range.

After soaking in this view, head back the way you came. Hang to your right at the junction to follow the Blue Trail. After walking downhill for a short bit, the trail leads towards a parking lot with a sign that leads you to the Blue Trail with mile estimates: Artist's Rock (.4 Miles), Newman's Ledge (1.0 Miles), and North Point (2.3 Miles). Almost immediately you will come across your next beautiful view with a post to name it "Artist's Rock". Enjoy these views, but they will not be the best of the day!

Continue on the Blue Trail. Shortly into the hike, you will see a sign leading you towards Sunset Rock (.3 miles beyond). Follow this, as it becomes the Yellow Trail. Although Sunset Rock is not labeled, you will know it when you see it. The trail opens up to a rock face with a giant rock in the middle of it. You guessed it - Sunset Rock! Have a seat, have a meal, have a conversation...This spot is one of the nicest in the Catskills offering views over North-South Lake and the Catskills in the distance.

After you're done here, continue back the way you came until you reach the sign that led you to Sunset Rock. Here, you can turn back or you can continue to the right rejoining the Blue Trail as it leads you .2 miles to Newman's Ledge (or 1.6 miles to North Point if you'd like). The trail is steeper here, but soon leads to a cliff with a huge drop - so please exercise caution! I mean, get the selfie of you sitting on the edge...but be careful about it!

To make this a modest 4 mile out-and-back hike, you would turn around here and retrace your steps down the Blue Trail back to the campground. Otherwise, head straight to North Point as you pass some small waterfalls and "Badman Cave"...but we'll save that for another write up.

Pack List

  • Day Pack
  • Water
  • Hiking Boots
  • Layers (Cold Months)
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Tent (If camping)
  • Sleeping Bag (If Camping)
  • Crampons/Snow Shoes (Winter Months)
  • Your Family!
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Overall rating: 

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Gorgeous area with so much to see!!! I did this hike but added a larger loop starting at the DEC lot on Scutt Rd and walked back to North Lake Rd to pick up the trail headed to Bad Man's cave and the above listed sights. I continued out around the lakes past Alligator Rock and on my way out checked out the old Scribner Saw Mill before arriving back at Scutts Rd.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Adam Ingoglia

Getting outside trying to make stories. Just trying to see the world one hike at a time!

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