Best Hikes: The Kaaterskill Rail Trail In The Catskill Mountains

The Kaaterskill Rail Trail
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Winter is upon us. With several snowfalls already there are hopes of a good year for snow related sports. We’ll keep our fingers crossed! A great addition to the trail system in the Catskills for both beginner snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and winter mountain biking is The Kaaterskill Rail Trail. The trail is located just to the north of the Kaaterskill Wild Forest for most of its length.

KRT in winter
KRT in winter Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking

The Kaaterskill Rail Trail is currently a 1.5 mile out-and-back trail (or short point-to-point) that traverses some nice terrain on an old abandon Ulster & Delaware Railroad bed which has been converted to a multi-use trail. It is located in the Kaaterskill / North-South Lake Area which is beautiful and rich with Catskill history and charm.

The trail boasts great views to Kaaterskill Falls and Clove and is not open to any motorized travel. The trail is best done from the Mountain Top Society location as the parking at The Laurel House is VERY limited. Follow KRT trail markers.

The 2nd phase of the trail is planned to take it to the Escarpment Trail. With the bonus access to the trail that leads to the falls overlook, this is a must trail for all.

Directions to the KRT

Driving Directions From the North: Exit 21, I-87, NYS Thruway. Make left onto Rt. 23B, follow sign for Route 23. Make left at McDonalds. Take Route 32 to traffic light at junction of Rt.23A. Make right, heading towards Palenville. After the light in Palenville,  travel 4.5 miles to reach MTHS Campus and KRT Trailhead is on the right.

Driving Directions From the South: Exit 20, I-87, NYS Thruway. Left at exit , then right onto NY32. Bear left at NY 32A (blinking light) then left onto NY 23A at the light in Palenville. Travel 4.5 miles to the MTHS Campus and KRT Trailhead on the right.

Link to printable map for the trail.

Map of Kaaterskill Rail Trail