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Windham High Peak from Rt 23

Windham High Peak

Overview of this Hike:

Distance: 7.50 mile trip from the DEC parking lot on Rt 23 and Cross Road.
Time: 5 hours (hiking time)
Elevation Gain: 1,815' gain from parking lot (1,710' to 3,525')
Best Time to Hike: Any time of day
Difficulty: Easy
Catskill Highest: #33
Peak Elevation: 3,525'
Digital Mapper: Topo Terrain Satellite
DEC Trail Map: Trails on the Blackhead Mountains
Attractions: A Number of Great views from Windham High Peak.
Attractions: Good conifer forest to walk through.
Attractions: Very nice lean-to about 1.5 miles from Rt 23.
Unattractions: A lot of Garter Snakes on the summit of Windham High Peak.
Common Animals: Garter snakes, birds, butterflies, and Barred Owls in the winter.
Risky Animals: Copperheads (Very low), Bears (low), Bees (High),
Access Methods: Foot and Snowshoeing.



Maps, Profile, and GPS files

gps map of hike to windham high peak
Click here to download the GPS file in gpx format




Directions to Trail Head from New York State Thruway

  • Take New York State Thruway to Exit 21 (Catskill).
  • Take a left out of the NYS Thruway entrance road.
  • Go approximately 1/2 mile
  • Take a right onto Route 23 West
  • Go somewhere around 20.2 miles on Route 23.
  • Take a RIGHT onto Cross Road - DEC parking lot is on the corner - DEC parking lot can be seen from Rt 23. (GPS: N42 18.762 W74 11.421 - WGS84: 42.3127, -74.19035)


  • Mile Post Chart

    Mile PostAltitudeNotes
    0.001,710' DEC Parking lot on Rt 23 / Cross Road. (GPS: N42 18.762 W74 11.421 - WGS84: 42.3127, -74.19035
    1.432,317' Trail Junction for the Elm Ridge Trail on left. Go STRAIGHT.
    1.443,513' Trail Junction. Straight will take you to Peck Road. Left will take you to Windham High Peak. Go LEFT
    1.472,341' Lean-To on right.
    3.613,487' DEC 3500' sign.
    3.663,516' View Point #1 near Windham High Peak.
    3.663,517' View Point #2 near Windham High Peak.
    3.763,525' Windham High Peak & USGS Marker
    3.803,507' View Point #3 near Windham High Peak (slightly beyond summit)
    7.501,710' DEC Parking Lot

    Hike of Windham High Peak from Rt 23

    DEC parking lot for Windham High Peak on Rt 23
    The picture shows the DEC parking on the corner of Rt 23 and Cross Road.
    Windham High Peak
    When you leave the DEC parking lot and walk to the intersection of Cross Road and Rt 23, you will see the DEC sign direction across Rt 23. Be careful crossing Rt 23. Walk down the trail and walk across the bridge. Please note: During big rain storms the water can rise above the bridge, and the beginning of the trail can be under 3' of water. If this is the case, drive to the DEC parking lot in Maplecrest (Peck Road).
    DEC sign at the beginning of the Escarpment Trail at Rt 23 to Windham High Peak
    The DEC sign on the south side of Rt 23.







    This is the trail between Rt 23 and the DEC Registration Box. This section can be under water. Sometimes it can be under 3' of water when the water is high.
    Windham High Peak
    DEC registration box for Windham High Peak
    This is the DEC Registration Box. You SHOULD register your hike. If you get lost or injured, this information will help SAR find you. This is for your benefit.



    Just after the DEC Registration box are the beginning of the Fun Loops. The Fun Loops are designed for Mountain Bikers. But, hikers and skiers use them too. Continue up the trail/
    Fun Loops trail near Windham High Peak
    upper entrance to Fun Loops on the trail to  Windham High Peak
    You will come to the Intersection of the Upper Fun Loop Trails. You want to take a RIGHT and continue up the mountain.



    When you come to the top of Elm Ridge, you will come to the intersection to the Mountain Bike Trails to Elm Ridge (can Hike and ski them too), and the trail from Peck Road, and the Escarpment Trail to the top of Windham High Peak. You want to stay on the Escarpment Trail, so take a LEFT at the 4-way intersection.
    Fun Loops trail near Windham High Peak
    conifer forest on the trail to Windham High Peak
    The picture shows one of the conifer forest you will pass through on your way to Windham High Peak. After a short distance you will see the Windham High Peak Lean-To and camp site on your right. If you do use the Lean-To, you must share it with others.
    DEC lean-to near Elm Ridge and on the trail to Windham High Peak
    This picture shows the DEC Lean-To near Elm Ridge. There is also a DEC camp site in back of the Lean-to along with an outhouse. Notice: You must share the Lean-To with others. The water supply here can be limited. In the dry part of the summer, the water source can dry up. A common problem all along the Escarpment Trail. The water source is located on the trail down to Peck Road.
    view from the summit of Windham High Peak
    This view point is near the summit of Windham High Peak. The peaks that you see in the distance are Blackhead Mountain and Black Dome Mountain. And, on the very right side of the image is Thomas Cole Mountain. This is the first view point, and it is located at 3.66 miles, and about 1/10 of a mile before the summit of Windham High Peak.
    USGS marker on Windham High Peak
    At mile post 3.76 you will encounter a rock in the path. This IS the Windham High Peak. You will find a USGS marker embedded in the rock. But, don't turn around just yet. There is another great view point 200' away from the peak. It will drop a little in elevation. But, the view is excellent.

    The picture on the RIGHT provides you with a close up of the USGS marker.
    USGS marker on Windham High Peak
    view from the summit of Windham High Peak
    200 feet past the peak is a beautiful ledge with a large panoramic view of the Hudson Valley. This is at mile post 3.80.
    Links and References:
    CatskillMountain.com Forum - Ask questions or tell us about your experience with this hike

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