Chris and Jarrett hiking on the Table - Peekamoose Trail

Peekamoose and Table Mountains in the Catskills

Peekamoose and Table Mountains, in the southern Catskills, are the end of the chain of peaks which sit below Slide Mountain and are require climbs by the Catskill 3500 Club. These two wonderful peaks can be hiked on the trail from the north from Denning or the South from Peekamoose Road. Either way, you’ll work for the summits. A third and in our opinion more fun way is by hiking Lone and crossing the ridge to Table which can be read about here.

This trail description is from the Denning trailhead which requires the hiker to ascend from the remote Neversink Valley.

Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking The Neversink is a remote sections of the Catskills…

Things to know about this hike:

  • Its effort level is 9 out of 10.
  • There’s a ton of wildlife in the Neversink Valley
  • The Neversink trailhead is remote.
  • The Neversink may be problematic during spring melt or heavy rains.
  • You’ll climb to a knob on the ridge to Table only to lose elevation and climb again
  • If you want to see some of the views from Peekamoose you’ll need to go over the summit toward Peekamoose Road.
  • Great camping is found in the valley and at the Bouton Memorial lean-to
  • Don’t underestimate the distance/effort ratio for these peaks.
  • Recent measurement has lowered both peaks elevation, but they are still hard.
  • One peak is 6′ taller than the other (go find out!)
  • I hurt my leg on a hike here.

Trail to Table and Peekamoose from Denning

The trail to Table starts at the Denning parking area (0.0-miles) at the end of Denning Road 3.5 miles northeast of its intersection with New Road (Ulster County Route 19). After you sign the register (here’s why you should) at the large kiosk you will begin your hike on an old turnpike which is now the yellow blazed Phoenicia East Branch Trail (AKA Woodland Valley-Denning Trail).

Denning Trail-head to access the Table - Peekamoose Trail
Challenged Hiker | copyright Challenged Hiking Denning Trail-head for to access the Table – Peekamoose Trail and the Neversink
Parking area a Denning trailhead in the Catskills
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Parking area a Denning trailhead in the Catskills

Please respect the rights of property owners as the first mile of trail runs through an easement so hikers may access the Slide Mountain Wilderness Area. This part of the hike is pleasant crossing a few streams, with a couple on small wooden bridges, while it undulates but generally ascends to the junction with the blue markered Peekamoose – Table Trail which it reaches about 1.2-miles (straight ahead goes toward the Curtis – Ormsbee Trail to Slide Mountain). At the junction of Peekamoose – Table Trail you’ll turn south and begin a rocky drop to the Neversink Valley floor.

Bridge in Neversink
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Bridge in Neversink
Double log bridge in Neversink
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Double log bridge in Neversink
Single log footbridge in the Neversink
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Single log footbridge in the Neversink

This is a wild and remote place. You will cross several bridges before reaching the Fisherman’s Path to the peaks in the Bushwhack Range at 1.5-miles. There is a designated campsite across the trail which makes for a good place to basecamp for extended hiking in the area or as a short overnight. Water is plentiful.

Chris under a tarp camping in the Neversink, Catskills NY
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Chris under a tarp camping in the Neversink, Catskills NY

From the designated campsite you’ll cross the valley floor. The trail somewhat sandy at times as the valley is prone to flooding. The will gain elevation to 2.5-miles at which there is a limited view on a spur trail. The view is dominated by Van Wyck Mountain.

View from trail to Table and Peekamoose looking Van Wyck Mountain
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking View from trail to Table and Peekamoose looking Van Wyck Mountain

From the viewpoint, you’ll climb a knob on the ridge and then lose elevation before resuming mixed pitch climbing so typical of the Catskills. The trees in the small col grow taller as they are more protected than the ones exposed on the ridge. Several of the next pitches are quite steep. Just below the Bouton Memorial lean-to at 3.5-miles you’ll see a sign for a spring.

Bouton Memorial Lean-to
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Old photo of Boy Scouts at Bouton Memorial Lean-to when I was a Scout Master

At about 3.6-miles after another steep pitch you reach the side path to the Bouton Memorial lean-to. At about 3.8-miles you’ll reach a side path which will take you to “the view of the day”. The vista is expansive as you’ll sit perched on the clifftop. By now you have passed the 3,500-foot mark where camping is prohibited during the spring, summer, and fall.

View from overlook on Table Mountain
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking View from overlook on Table Mountain (Click to enlarge)

With some relief, the trail eases as you’ll be on the ridge of Table which lives up to its’ name. The essentially flat summit is reached at 3.95-miles without fanfare. But stop, sit and enjoy the high elevation boreal forest.

On the summit of Table Mountain in the Catskills
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Jarrett & Chris On the summit of Table Mountain in the Catskills

After leaving the summit, you walk on the level and then begin a decent at 4.3-miles where you may get a glimpse of Peekamoose. You’ll reach the col quickly at 4.6-miles which is small but is a scene of destruction with blowdown on the sides of the well-worn footpath.

Blowdown between Table and Peekamoose
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Blowdown between Table and Peekamoose
Footpath in col between Table and Peekamoose
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Footpath in col between Table and Peekamoose
Jarrett hiking between Table and Peekamoose
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Jarrett hiking between Table and Peekamoose

From the col, you’ll make a short but steep climb to the summit of Peekamoose at 4.8-miles which is marked by a large glacial erratic. At one time one could climb the boulder and gain a view, but the trees have grown in and this is no longer possible.

On the summit rock of Peekamoose
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Chris on the summit rock of Peekamoose

If you continue to hike past the summit other views can be found. Better yet post two cars with one at Peekamoose Rd, and make the 4-mile hike from the summit heading south and see them all or do as we did on this outing and retrace your steps back making it a 9.6-mile outing.

Slide Mountain Wilderness
Contact Information:DEC Region 3 New Paltz Office:
phone (845) 256-3000 (M-F 8:30AM - 4:30PM), email: r3admin@dec.ny.gov
Law Enforcement, Emergency & Ranger: 518-408-5850 or dial 911
Location: Towns of Shandaken, Denning and Olive in Ulster County
Map: Slide Mountain Wilderness Map
Amenities:Food, gas, and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Phoenicia and Boiceville.
Dining opportunities can be found in the nearby communities of Boiceville, Mount Tremper, Phoenicia and Shandaken.
Lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Mount Tremper, Oliverea, Phoenicia, Shandaken.
Weather:Slide Mountain Weather
Map of Table - Peekamoose Trail
Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking Map of Table – Peekamoose Trail (click to enlarge)

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