North-South Lake along the Escarpment Trail.

North-South Lake along the Escarpment Trail.

In the Northern Catskill Mountains of New York, the Escarpment Trail beckons hikers looking for a challenging and rewarding multi-day trek.

The rugged, remote singletrack trail makes for a great 3-day weekend backpacking trip. At roughly 24 miles long, the trail passes through some of the most scenic regions of the Catskills, crossing no roads along the way. But along with its beauty, the Escarpment Trail has a mean streak. It’s known for its treacherous terrain. It’s extremely rocky and steep in spots. And you’ll be doing a lot of climbing. The trail crosses seven summits that are more than 3,000 feet high, including 3,940-foot Blackhead Mountain. The trail’s total elevation change is roughly 10,000 feet.

Escarpment 1The trail is also home to a fascinating history. The mountains are the legendary home of Rip Van Winkle, and at the trail’s south end is Rip Van Winkle Hollow, where, according to the story, the Dutchman fell asleep for 20 years.

Interested in taking on the Escarpment Trail? Check out these links below for more info:

Escarpment Trail Run – Believe it or not, but some people run this thing.