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black The Devil's Path

  4.5 ( 15 )

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23.1 mile 37.2 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 8,104' 2,470 m
Descent: -8,373' -2,552 m
High: 3,883' 1,183 m
Low: 1,802' 549 m


Avg Grade: 14% (8°)
Max Grade: 70% (35°)


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Trail shared by Kristin McLane

A hike that can frequently be like a climb, with lots of straight up and down on roots and rocks.

Kristin McLane

Features Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

Camping above 3500' is only allowed in winter. No swimming in Notch Lake.


Frequently called the most dangerous and toughest hike in the East, most hikers tackle this trail east to west in order to go up the steepest parts. You'll bag five Catskills 3500' peaks along the way: Indian Head Mountain, Twin Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain, Plateau Mountain, and West Kill Mountain. There are a few lean-tos available to split the hike up into an overnight or two. Plenty of viewpoints will reward your efforts.

Need to Know

Map available fromnjnytc.org. Smileys Taxi will do shuttles: 518-589-6533.


From the Prediger Road trailhead, follow the red NYDEC trail markers. The trail starts out fairly level as you hike into the base of the mountain, and becomes steep as you start going up Indian Head Mountain. There are a several steep sections, including chimneys and cliffs, and also several views before you reach the view-less, marker-less summit at 3573'.

Descend Indian Head into Jimmy Dolan Notch, and then start climbing again, up to the summit of Twin Mountain at 3640'. There are a couple of views along the way again, but no view or marker at the summit. Pass by a cave on the descent into Pecoy Notch.

More views mark the climb up Sugarloaf Mountain, and a small cairn marks the summit at 3800'. It is a very steep and rocky descent into Mink Hollow, where a spring and a lean-to can be reached on short side trails.

Continue on the Devil's Path, passing a spring shortly after, and enjoy the views and flat hiking on top of Plateau Mountain. There is no summit marker again, but you'll pass the summit at 3840'.

Going down Plateau is generally less steep than the trail has been so far, and you end with a fairly level hike out to the only road crossing of the trail, Route 214 at Stony Clove Notch. The more difficult eastern half of the trail is now complete!

Cross the street and start climbing up Hunter Mountain. The climb starts out steeply, but you'll actually get to enjoy some switchbacks towards the top of it. From the Devil's Acre lean-to, you can take side trails to either of the two summits on Hunter Mountain. Pass a spring and continue downhill into Diamond Notch. There are falls there, and another lean-to on a side trail.

Start the final climb up West Kill Mountain. You'll pass another spring and a couple of views before the summit, marked with a cairn at 3880'. The trail stays high, passing another spring, until St. Anne's Peak, where you begin the descent into another Mink Hollow, and follow the stream out to the trailhead at Spruceton Road.

History & Background

Part of the trail was first cut in 1929, with more being added in the 1970s.


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Aug 16, 2018
Ray Basso
Jul 7, 2018
Nicole Del Signore
Jun 24, 2018
Debbie Carter-Jung
24mi — 18h 00m
Jun 3, 2018
Martine Acanfora
Nov 23, 2017
Allan Zhou
西半部完成,速度太快。 12.7mi
Nov 18, 2017
Vanessa Vincent
Oct 21, 2017
Vanessa Vincent
First half of Devil’s Path 14.5mi
Sep 2, 2017
Allan Zhou
完成东半部,时间可以减少。 13mi — 10h 05m

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Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 15 votes


  4.5 from 15 votes
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in New York


806 Views Last Month
32,180 Since Jan 8, 2016
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Akira Gunji
Brooklyn, NY
Akira Gunji   Brooklyn, NY
Devil's tombstone campground at end of Aug. call this number (518) 357-2289 before to get some info, on water etc. Knotch Lake Is Dried Out, No Water, Water at Devil's Arce Lean or hike farther to Dimond Notch Oct 17, 2016
Albi Eds
Brooklyn, NY
Albi Eds   Brooklyn, NY
I have done this trail three times now, in both directions, in a day and on really hot days. Water can be scarce in the high heat of the summer. Best to be done in early spring when its cool and not as many bugs are around. A five star hike and one of the best the East has to offer! Link it up with the Escarpment Trail for a real adventure via the Long Path! 1 day ago

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