Added by Michael Martineau
Enjoy multiple viewpoints of the Catskills and waterfall access on this 6 mile roundtrip hike.
Have you ever wanted to feel as if you were hiking two different locations at once? If so, then North Mountain is definitely somewhere to check out. Take the birch tree forests around Aspen, CO and pair it with the spruces/pines of the Adirondacks and you'll have this route in the Catskills.
Parking can be found on Scutt Road but get there early if you want a spot, otherwise park at the Visitors Center on N Lake Road. At the top of Scutt Road, locate the kiosk sign and then cross over the road to pick up the yellow blazed trail. Following this trail is simple as the markers are very visible. There are some wet and muddy sections on this trail so I suggest you wear hiking boots as opposed to shoes. After about 1.3 miles of relatively flat terrain you will come to your first trail junction. Head to the left, now following the red blazed trail toward North Point.
On the red trail you will start to encounter the feeling I explained above, especially in the fall. The trees are bright yellow and orange as you walk along the trail but then just around a bend it turns to a forest full of spruces and pines. You are only on the red blazed trail for a short time (about 0.8 miles) so take your time and enjoy it.
At the second trail junction you will jump on the blue blazed trail and begin your real climb. Most of the elevation gain for this hike is in this section. Scale your way to the top and you will be rewarded with some incredible views. Walk around on top and check out the backside for even more views in the direction of Massachusetts. The best part is, you're not done after the first ledge - continue on the blue blazed trail to get to a few more viewpoints. When you reach the ledge with the big boulder on top you have made it to the summit. Take your time up here and soak it all in.
When you are finished on top retrace your steps and head back down the blue blazed trail, then back onto the red blazed trail. Now, at the 1st trail junction you came to, instead of turning right to follow the yellow trail back to your car, stay straight to the orange blazed trail. 300 feet after you get onto the orange blazed trail you will see Ledge Falls on your left, very cool area to take some unique photos.
Follow the orange blazed trail downstream till you reach the wooden bridge. Before crossing, turn left and walk through the trees to reach the top of Ashley Falls. Explore the falls a bit and then head back to the orange blazed trail. The trail ends when you reach N Lake Road. Turn right and follow the road about 0.8 miles back to your car. *Note, there are forks in the road as you walk back up to your car, stay to the right at each fork.
- Hiking Boots
- Water and snacks
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