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A Guide to Hiking the Catskill Mountains


The Catskill Mountains are a popular stretch of land for visitors of New York State.
The Catskill Mountains are a popular stretch of land for visitors of New York State.
Peter Gridley/Photodisc/Getty Images

With its marvelous, unmatched beauty, the Catskill Mountains, located in southeastern New York, has inspired generations of wilderness seekers. Perhaps most famous are the Hudson River School painters of the 19th century, who memorialized the mountain range's grandeur in landscape paintings. To this day, the numerous activities and hiking trails in the Catskills attract thousands of visitors each year.

If you want to impress your friends with your geological knowledge, you can point out that the Catskill Mountains are misnamed. Geologically, they aren't mountains at all but actually dissected plateaus. That is, they were once a plateau of uplifted flat land that, over time, has been eroded by streams and rivers. Notice that the peaks are generally of the same height -- this is one distinguishing characteristic of dissected plateaus. In fact, the Catskill Mountains have dozens of peaks that reach above 3,500 feet (1,066.8 meters).

With so much to see, one could spend a lifetime hiking and exploring the Catskills. So, before you set out on your expedition, let's discuss some important topics to help plan your trip.


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