ABOUT THE PARK:
Hunter Mountain - New York Department of Environmental Conservation
Hunter Mountain - Wikipedia
Northeastern Catskill Trails Map #141 - NY/NJ Trail Conference
Hunter Mountain Fire Tower Trail Map Brochure - NY/NJ Trail Conference
GPS Coordinates: 42.18454, -74.27265
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Should this lot be full, there are two more lots on the right a little farther up Spruceton Road. You will pass those two parking lots at the end of the hike so regardless of where you park, the hike will take you back to the right lot. If you park in one of the other lots, walk back to the first lot to start the hike.
Hunter Mountain Loop without Colonel's Chair - 8.30 miles
Hunter Mountain Loop with Colonel's Chair - 10.50 miles
Click here for NY/NJ Trail Conference hike directions.
From the parking lot take the blue Spruceton trail which will be a woods road for 3.4 miles, mostly uphill, all the way to the fire tower at the summit. Be sure to sign in at the trail register at the beginning of the trail.
At .5 miles cross over a bridge.
At 2.1 miles a hitching post and water for horses on the right.
At 2.4 miles, arrive at the intersection with the Colonel's Chair trail which goes to the Hunter Mountain Ski Area. This adds 2.2 miles to the hike and involves descending and ascending again on the return trip.
|New high speed 6 passenger chair lift installed with helicopters August 2010|
Head back on the yellow trail arriving back at the blue Spruceton trail at 4.6 miles; turn left.
Turn left on side trail at 4.9 miles to a view.
At 5.6 miles arrive at the fire tower at the summit of Hunter Mountain, the second highest peak in the Catskills at 4,040 feet. I was only able to make it up to the third level of the fire tower to get some shots from above the trees while hanging on for dear life - that fear of heights thing. Views from the very top must be incredible.
Return to the intersection and turn right on the yellow Hunter Mountain Trail. At 7.25 miles, at the end of the yellow trail, turn right on the red Devil's Path. While this part of the Devil's Path is rocky and does descend steeply at times, there are no rock scrambles and it is the easiest part of the Devil's Path, which is very challenging to the east.
Continue on the red Devil's Path to Diamond Notch Falls at the intersection with the blue Diamond Notch trail.Turn right on the blue Diamond Notch trail which runs parallel to multiple smaller falls on the left.
At 10.2 miles the trail ends at a barrier, beyond which is Spruceton Road and a parking lot on the left. Continue along Spruceton Road past another parking lot on the left, arriving at the first parking lot on the right at 10.5 miles.
|Early fall colors in the Catskills.|
[ 0.00] Blue trail from parking lot; sign trail register[ 0.50] Cross over bridge
[ 1.60] Blue trail makes right turn then steeper uphill
[ 2.10] Hitching post and water for horses on right
[ 2.25] Yellow trail to right goes to a shelter
[ 2.40] Left on yellow Colonel's Chair trail
[ 3.00] Yellow trail becomes woods road and levels out
[ 3.50] Arrive at Hunter Mountain Ski Area; retrace back to blue trail
[ 3.90] Yellow trail turns left and becomes footpath and goes uphill
[ 4.10] Trail register on left, on right opposite register short side trail to view
[ 4.60] Left on blue Spruceton trail
[ 4.90] Side trail to left goes to view
[ 5.60] Fire tower
[ 5.90] Intersection with old fire tower site, trail to view and yellow Hunter Mountain trail
[ 7.25] Right on red Devil's Path[ 8.00] Fork in trail; Geiger Point to left, trail continues to right
[ 9.50] Arrive at Diamond Notch Falls; turn right on blue Diamond Notch trail
[10.20] Trail ends at Spruceton Road; follow Spruceton Road
[10.50] Arrive at parking lot on right