North-South Lake/Escarpment Trail Loop Hike

Catskill Park

View from the Escarpment Trail - North-South Lake/Escarpment Trail Loop Hike - Catskill Park - Photo: George Dagis View from the Escarpment Trail - North-South Lake/Escarpment Trail Loop Hike - Catskill Park - Photo: George Dagis

Travel back in time on this historically rich hike with diverse scenery, where artists once found inspiration among the sweeping Hudson Valley views.

42.200662, -74.058473

Give yourself plenty of time to complete this hike. There is so much to stop and see along the way that you won't want to be rushed. All of the trails are well defined and well marked, and signs posted at intersections clearly indicate which turn to take, as well as providing mileages to various points.

From the parking area, walk directly across Scutt Road, where you will find the...

Prepare For Your Hike

Avenza App Map: Catskill 141

Let's Go

Trip Reports

rate experience
June 03, 2012
Camping in North/South Lake area
Although camping is generally allowed in the Catskill Forest Preserve below 3,500 feet, with some restrictions, wilderness camping is not allowed in the North/South Lake area, which is considered to be a "developed" area.  Of course, one can camp at the campground itself, and that would make it possible to break this hike into two segments.  But, in this area, the only camping that is permitted is at designated sites in the campground.
Daniel Chazin
June 03, 2012
Could I make this a 2-day  and camp? Not sure where exactly camping is allowed in this area. Thanks!
August 22, 2011
Amazing Hike!
This hike provided a wide variety of terrain which was perfect to keep it from getting monotonous, or too strenuous.  I’m glad clarification was given for the trail head, because the map does indeed say Schutt and the road sign says Scutt.  OOPS!  But if you stay at the campground, as we did, there really is no way to miss the trail head.  The road is the first left (it’s a dirt road) after passing through the park gate.  And then the trail head is immediately on your right.  My kids were fascinated by the horse corral and platform for mounting horses.   We decided to skip the little out and back portion of the hike that would have picked up Lookout Rock and Sunset Rock.  Our day was very hazy so we didn’t think we’d get to see much more than we saw from our previous view points.   By the time we got to Badman Caves, our energy was flagging.  So we decided to turn left onto Rock Shelter Trail.  This turned our hike into an 8.4 mile hike instead of 10.3 miles.  Rock Shelter Trail is pure evil at the tail end of a long day of hiking.  The trail is literally in a stream much of the way.  It’s muddy, wet and extremely slippery.  Lots of stepping stones and rocks have been put down, but many of these have become moss covered.  We did get to see two very pretty waterfalls by going this way, though.  Had we come down Mary's Glen, we would have just missed them.   We did decide to go back the next day.  We hiked back in Rock Shelter, hung a left onto Mary’s Glen and then another left onto the Long Path/Escarpment Trail to take in North Point.  I am so glad we decided to do this.  It was a fun climb up and the view was worth it.  Thunderstorms were approaching the area and we could watch the clouds approach from the Hudson River side of the mountain and squash up against the mountains.  It was a cool sight!  We took Escarpment back down to Badman Caves.  We were thinking of picking up Lookout Rock and Sunset Rock, too, but we could see from North Point that entire side of the mountain was under cloud cover so we ended up skipping them again.  We made a right just below Badman Caves back onto Rock Shelter back to the trailhead.  So our second day of hiking was 5.1 miles.   So far, North-South Lake Campground is the best state park campground we’ve experienced in New York this summer.  
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