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Devils Path
Eastern Section


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Devils Path - Eastern Section

This is the "classic" Devil's Path. It features four major summits, with the trail going straight up and down into the gaps between, with all the rugged terrain that you would expect from the devil. This stretch of the Devil's Path is located within Indian Head Wilderness.

Officially, the blazing starts at the junction of Prediger Road near Haines Falls in the town of Hunter. The eastern trailhead is located at the end of Prediger Road. It is often reached via the steep drive up nearby Platte Clove Road except during winter, when the road is closed.

Just after its start, the trail crosses an unnamed tributary of Schoharie Creek and then turns south, crossing the state-land boundary after a short distance. At 0.45 mile from the start, the blue-blazed Jimmy Dolan Notch Trail leaves and crosses over the Schoharie. It offers a shorter route for those planning to skip Indian Head Mountain, the first peak on the trail's itinerary.

The Devil's Path itself remains level, trending eastward for the next 1.4 miles past the source of the Schoharie to a junction with the Old Overlook Road which once connected Platte Clove Road and Overlook Mountain to the south. Today the portion joining the trail is part of the Long Path, leading down through the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development's Platte Clove Preserve. Shortly after this junction, the Devil's Path leaves the road and begins to climb Indian Head.

Indian Head

The ascent is unremittingly steep for the next 1.25 miles, reaching a lookout to the north on the mountain's east slope. Kaaterskill High Peak predominates from here. The trail then runs around through an increasingly boreal forest to the mountain's north slope, where a view cut (somewhat controversially) by DEC in the past offers a preview of later, more expansive vistas to the south. After a half-mile, the trail reaches a section where roots form a sort of ladder up a steep rock face. Just past it is a ledge with a wide view over the Hudson River and points east.

It is another half-mile from here to the summit, across mostly level stretches of trail except another steep cliff at 3,500 feet in elevation (where special DEC regulations banning fires and camping except during winter take effect). An overhanging tree provides the only way to get up a narrow cleft in the rock here. The mountain's 3,573-foot summit is unremarkable after all this, with a sudden drop the only indicator it has been reached.

The actual summit is just off the trail, with a limited view available to the west. From here it drops down another half-mile into 3,200-foot Jimmy Dolan Notch, the highest col on the trail, passing a few switchbacks and chutes along the way. The trail of the same name returns here.

Twin Mountain

The trail starts climbing again almost right out of the notch, alternating between challenging ledge scrambles (although not as serious as the ones on Indian Head) and level sections over the next 0.4 mile. These take over shortly after the 3,500-foot contour is crossed again, and the mountain's southern summit offers a sweeping panorama of the Catskills that has been considered by many to be one of the best views in the region. Slide Mountain and all the major peaks around it are visible across the flat valley of Esopus Creek and Ashokan Reservoir in central Ulster County. Close up loom Twin's true northern summit and Sugarloaf Mountain.

Another half-mile and a gentle descent into the col followed by a slightly steeper ascent separates the south summit from Twin's true, 3,640-foot summit. The view just past it is not quite so sweeping, but also takes in Hunter Mountain, the Catskill's second highest peak, to the west.

The trail then descends 0.75 mile down through switchbacks, tricky rock chutes and some more scrambles to Pecoy Notch, about 2,900 feet above sea level. There are some views available to the north in the lower reaches. At the notch, another trail runs north about 2 miles to the nearby community of Elka Park.


After a short level stretch, the climbing resumes. The eastern slope of Sugarloaf is similar to its counterpart at Twin, except it offers more chutes to surpass and climb, plus some sections where the trail passes narrowly between large rock outcrops. There are some good views back toward Twin where damage caused by past landslides is apparent.

The trail becomes more and more level after the 3,500-foot marker is reached. But the 3,800-foot summit is still some distance off, 1.2 miles from Pecoy Notch, and the elevation gain to reach it comes in extremely small steps up. Only when the trail starts to slope down and side trails lead off to views similar to those available from Twin is it apparent the climb has been successful.

In the next mile, the trail descends 1,600 vertical feet to Mink Hollow. The rock chutes here are some of the most challenging on the entire Devil's Path, and they have led to the nickname "Suicide Mountain" by those using it as a route up in winter.

Shortly before Mink Hollow, a new routing of the trail of the same name comes in from the north, another route off the range if needed or desired. At the col, the Mink Hollow Trail follows an old road north to a lean to and trailhead near Lake Hill.

Plateau Mountain

It is yet another steep and rocky climb up the eastern slope of Plateau Mountain. A good spring can be found about a half-mile from the hollow, and the 3,855-foot summit itself is just off-trail 0.75-mile later. The newly rerouted Long Path also comes in from the South on Plateau.

The ensuing walk across the aptly-named Plateau is seen as another attraction of the trail. While there are no views, the 2.25 miles are the longest high-elevation level walk in the Catskills, surrounded entirely by boreal forest, with only 200 feet of elevation loss (or gain) along the way. It comes to an end shortly after Danny's Lookout to the northeast, at another spectacular view to the west, Orchard (sometimes Orchid) Point. Here Hunter Mountain, Southwest Hunter Mountain and West Kill Mountain loom ahead, across the depth of Stony Clove Notch.

Again the trail descends steeply and drastically, 1,400 feet into the notch. In season, the state charges a fee for use of the parking lot at the trail crossing. The neighboring campground is a short walk away along NY 214.
Mile Trail Description

Marked trail begins at the corner of Platte Clove Road and Prediger Road.  Follow paved Prediger Road following the red discs.


Limited parking at end of road.  Trail enters woods and crosses stream on bridge.


Junction of blue blazed Jimmy Dolan Notch Trail.  Continue straight following red discs.


Trail joins Old Overlook Road (right).


Turn right off old road and begin to ascend.


After steep ascent reach excellent viewpoint to the north.


Spectacular lookout after steep ascent.


Summit of Indian Head Mountain (3573 feet).


Jimmy Dolan Notch.  Blue blazed trail on right leads 1.6 mile back to Devils Path (Jimmy Dolan Notch Trail).


East peak of Twin Mountain.


Summit of Twin Mountain (3640 feet).


Pecoy Notch.  Junction on the right of the blue blazed Pecoy Notch Trail that leads 1.65 miles to Elka Park Road. 


Summit of Sugarloaf Mountain (3800 feet).


Junction of the blue blazed Mink Hollow Trail on your right that leads 2.55 miles to the Roaring Kill Trail and Elka Park Road.


Blue blazed Mink Hollow Trail turns left and leads 250 feet to a lean to and then to Mink Hollow Road.




Viewpoint to the east after a steep climb.


Summit of Plateau Mountain (3840 feet).


Excellent view to the north and west.  Begin a steady descent.


NY 214.  Stony Clove Notch.  Devils Tombstone State Campground is just to the south.  Cross road and stream, then begin ascent of Hunter Mountain.  For a continuation please see Devils Path Western Section.

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