Palmer Hill Trail in the Catskills. Fun but Unusual.

View from Palmer Hill Trailhead
Average read time 6 min
Hike Summary

The Palmer Hill Trails are wonderful and unique

At 3.7-miles, the Palmer Hill Trail system provides the hiker with views from once farmed meadows and rolling hills. Short forest walks on footpaths that offer the canopy’s coolness will please the hiker, especially on warm sunny days. Add the stunning view from the trailhead; this is a must-do hike. The Palmer Hill Trails are great for anyone, including families with kids. It can be shorter if you hike only one of the loops. If you go at the right time, you may be able to pick an apple or some berries! The only negative is the powerlines that cross the old farm.

On this page

The Palmer Hill trails stats

Distance:Difficulty:
Trailhead to Farmstead Int. 0.6-milesEasy
Upper Meadow Loop – 1.0-milesEasy +
Lower Meadow Loop – 1.5-milesEasy +
All trails out-and-back – 3.7-milesEasy-moderate

The trail step by step

  1. The trailhead is at the corner of State RT 28 and Finkle Road (42.1952906, -74.7434402). The best view of the day is found here.
  2. Depart the trailhead mostly downhill through fields; you cross Bryant’s Brook, then quickly reach Farmstead Intersection at 0.6-miles. The remains of foundations are found here.
  3. Going left or straight from the Farmstead Intersection, you’ll be on the 1-mile red-marked Upper Meadow Loop Trail. Either direction will bring you back to the intersection—some moderate climbing. There are lovely views from the top of the loop.
  4. From the Farmstead Intersection going right, you’ll be on the longer 1.5-miles blue-marked Lower Meadow Loop Trail. The loop provides close-up views of the valley and farm below and surrounding hills—hike on downhills and some level stretches and short climbs.
Note: bring plenty of sun protection and water as most of the trails length are through open fields and are fully exposed to the sun. Dress for deer ticks.

Photos

Palmer Hill Parking Area
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Small parking area, car parked on road
Trailhead kiosk
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Trailhead kiosk
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking High Peaks view from parking area

The view from the parking area is stunning. On the horizon from right to left is Balsam Lake Mountain, the two tiny bumps are Schoolhouse East and West, Graham, Double Top, Dry Brook Ridge, Pakatakan Mountain, Haines Mountain, Hirams Knob, and Balsam Mountain. Closer and in the middle is Cole Hill. The two ridges in the foreground are from Fords Hill (R) and Little Pisgah Mountain (L).

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Panorama of trailhead view

Panorama of trailhead view
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Click to enlarge
Trail crossing open meadow. Little Pisgah Mountain in view
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Trail crossing open meadow. Little Pisgah Mountain in view.
You'll pass some nice conifers
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking You’ll pass some nice conifers
Trail to Farmstead Intersection eventually follows an old woods road
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Trail to Farmstead Intersection eventually follows an old woods road
Bryant's Brook
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Bryant’s Brook
Trail sign at Farmstead Intersection
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Trail sign at Farmstead Intersection
Foundation walls at Farmstead Junction
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Foundation walls at Farmstead Intersection
Red marked Upper Loop Trail in the woods now a footpath
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Red marked Upper Meadow Loop Trail in the woods now a footpath
Stone wall near red trail
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Stone wall near the red trail
Panorama from upper meadow on Blue Upper Loop Trail
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Panorama from Upper Meadow (Grays & Ford Hill across the valley)
Stone treads crossing a wet area on the lower loop trail
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Stone treads crossing a wet area on the Lower Meadow Loop Trail

Another hike on NYCDEP lands: Bramley Mountain Loop Trails Catskills

View of farm in valley from Lower Loop Trail
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking View of farm in valley from Lower Meadow Loop Trail
View of a 2780' Peak at the top of the Lower Loop
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking View of an unnamed 2780′ peak at the top of the Lower Meadow Loop Trail
You'll come close to private land several times on this hike
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking You’ll come close to private land several times on this hike
The blue trail crossing a rock wall again
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking The blue trail crossing a rock wall again
On your return to the parking area on the short 0.6-mile trail go left
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking On your return to the parking area on the short 0.6-mile trail go left at this junction

Map of The Palmer Hill Trail

Click on the map or here for a larger version of the map.

Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Palmer Hill Trails

Other resources

Catskill Mountain Club Avenza Map Set

NYC DEP Recreation Map

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