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Twin Mountain

Twin Mountain

Overview of this Hike:

Distance: 6.02 miles round trip from DEC parking lot from Preditor Road and back to the parking lot.
Time: Average 4.50 hours round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,586 feet from parking lot to the summit of Twin Mountain.
Best Time to Hike: Morning.
Difficulty: Difficult
VO Map No: 22 & 21
Catskill Highest: #23
Previous Names: Schoharie Peak - because it is the beginning of the Schohaire Creek. Changed from Schoharie Peak to Twin Mtn in 1928. Also known in the past as Sugarloaf Mountain.
Peak Elevation: 3,643'
Digital Mapper: Topo Terrain Satellite
Attractions: Beautiful views to the South from View #1
Attractions: Specacular 225 degree panoramic views to the South and West from View #2 - One of the best views in the Catskills
Attractions: Great views to the West from View #3
Attractions: Challenging! Bragging rites that you did part of the Devil's Path.
Unattractions: Difficult climb up.
Unattractions: Challenging climb from Jimmy Dolan Notch to Twin Mountain Peak #1
Dangers: Falling off mountain.
Common Animals: Black bears, Coyotes, birds.
Risky Animals: Rattlesnakes (Low), Bears (Moderate)
Access Methods: Foot only

Maps, Profile, and GPS files

Twin Mountain GPS map
Twin Mountain elevation profile
Click here to download the GPS file in Garmin GDB format
Click here to download the GPS file in Garmin TEXT format

Directions to Trail Head from New York State Thruway (Easist, not the shortest):

  • GPS Coordinates to DEC Parking Lot: N42 08.042 W74 06.261 - Elevation is approximately 2,055 feet
  • Take New York State Thruway to Exit 21 (Catskill).
  • Take a left out of the NYS Thruway entrance road.
  • Go approximately 3/4 mile
  • Take a right onto Route 23 West
  • Go approximately 6.6 miles to Cairo, NY
  • Take a LEFT onto Rt 32. McDonalds Rest. on corner.
  • Go approximately 7.7 miles on Rt 32
  • Take a RIGHT onto Rt 23A
  • Go appoximately 9 miles to Tannersville NY.
  • At the only RED LIGHT, take a LEFT onto Rt 16 (platteclove road)
  • Go approximately 5.7 miles on Rt 16 (Platteclove Road)
  • Take a RIGHT onto Prediger Road
  • Go approximately 1/2 mile - When you come to the end of the road, take dirt road to the DEC parking lot

  • Special Circumstances about this Hike

    This hike is part of the Devil's Path. The Devil's Path is one of the most difficult and dangerous hiking paths in the world. There is a good reason why they call it the Devil's Path. You better be a skilled hiker who is in good shape. If you are scared of heights, you might not want to do this trail.

    Mile Stone Chart

    Mile PointAltitudeNotes
    0.002,055 DEC Parking Lot at the very end of Prediger Road. GPS: N42 08.042 W74 06.261
    0.262,082 Trail Junction - Take RIGHT.
    1.943,128' Jimmy Dolan Notch (col). Right will take you to Twin Mountain and Sugarloaf Mountain. Straight will take you to a view point. Left will take you to the summit of Twin Mountain. Take a RIGHT.
    1.993,100' Diversion to view point at Jimmy Dolan Notch. You can see this view point by going straight for 250'. There is a winter bear's den on the left.
    2.053,126 Return back to Jimmy Dolan Notch (col). Go LEFT.
    2.273,532 First View Point after difficult climb from Jimmy Dolan Notch (col)
    2.313,571 Small faint trail to rock that is considered peak #1 for Twin Mountain on the right side of the trail.
    2.363,557 Spectacular 225 degree View point from rock ledge. Can see from Ashokan Reservoir to Sugarloaf Mtn.
    2.983,641 Twin Mountain Peak #2. Enjoy views. Turn around and return to your car
    3.593,557 Spectacular 225 degree View point from rock ledge. Can see from Ashokan Reservoir to Sugarloaf Mtn.
    3.953,139 Jimmy Dolan Notch (col). Take LEFT and go downhill and return to DEC Parking Lot.
    5.762,082 Trail Junction - Take LEFT to DEC parking lot.
    6.022,094 DEC Parking Lot at the very end of Prediger Road.

    Hike to Twin Mountain

    Twin Mountain
    The picture on the left is the DEC parking lot (new in 2009) for this hike. The parking lot was changed in 2009 from the end of Prediger Road to about 1/4 mile inside the forest. In the past many people had parked in the road, and blocked the homeowners driveway, and made their life miserable. Please Note: The land around the one-way dirt road to the DEC parking lot is PRIVATE LAND! Do not trespass on this land. It is a very large parking lot. This parking lot can probably hold 25 cars.

    Twin Mountain
    The image on the RIGHT shows the trailhead.

    The picture on the LEFT shows you what the trail looks like in the beginning of the hike. In the beginning, the trail is very mellow.
    Twin Mountain
    Twin Mountain
    At mile post 0.26, you will encounter the Picture on the RIGHT. This is the Trail Junction. Straight will take you to the Overlook Carriage Road Trail. RIGHT will take you to the col of Twin Mountain and Twin Mountains. Go RIGHT..

    From the parking lot, the trail is just about level. As you ascend up the mountain, the trail will get steeper-and-steeper. Just before the col (Indian Head Mtn & Twin Mtn) the trail gets fairly steep. You will need to use your hands to help you climb the steep trail. From the DEC parking lot to the Jimmy Dolan Notch you will climb a 1,000' vertical climb.
    Twin Mountain
    Twin Mountain House
    At mile post 1.94, you will encounter the Picture on the LEFT. This is Jimmy Dolan Notch. This is the Trail Junction. Straight will take you to a view point. Right will take you to Twin & Sugarloaf Mtns. LEFT will take you to Indian Head Mtn. To go to the view point, go Straight. If you want to skip the view point, go RIGHT.

    Now you will be on the Devil's Path. This entire path is difficult. There is nothing easy about this path. It has every possible kind of difficult hiking obstacle. Dangerous cliffs, big rocks to climb, cliffs to climb, deep mud, chimneys, loose rocks, trees, slippery rocks, moss covered rocks, water running over the path, etc. You will swear that only the devil could make a trail this difficult. Hence, the name, "Devil's Path".
    Twin Mountain
    If you continue STRAIGHT, you can see a nice view about 250' down this path. While you will be seeing much better views further up the trail, it is nice to get a little enjoyment before the last 500 vertical feet to the summit.

    While traveling to this view, you will also notice a winter bear cave on the left. I would not climb into the cave. Never know if a bear is sleeping in there.
    Twin Mountain
    Like most col's the path starts out easy, and then starts to slope upward. As soon as you get to the point on the LEFT, you will start to witness the nastiness of the Devil's Path. This section has a large rock with a rock on top that creates a ledge over the path. After the ledge is a challenging climb up the rocks. From now on, the path will be difficult. There is always an easier way up the difficult section. Just examine the challenge first, then take the best path. .

    The picture on the RIGHT show another difficult section on the vertical climb. There are probably 25 sections like this for the next 0.20 miles. Once you get to the summit, the climb suddenly becomes very easy. But, this short section will challenage your climbing skills. There is no doubt that the Devil worked hard to make this section as difficult as possible.
    Twin Mountain
    Twin Mountain
    When you get to the top of the climb, you will come to your next view point. This is at mile post 2.27 at elevation 3,532'. A nice reward right at the top of the hill. There is a much better view down the trail, so don't turn around yet.

    The mountain on the left is Indian Head Mtn. The mountain on the right is Overlook Mtn. You cannot see Plattekill Mtn, which is behind Indian Head Mountain.
    Twin Mountain
    A little ways down the path is what we call "Sandwich Rock". At the right time of day, you can see the layers very easily. Just like you see in the picture on the left.
    Twin Mountain
    Shortly after the rock, you will see a small faint path on the right. It goes in about 25'. You will see a large rock. If you climb up on the rock, you can see the view in this picture. This is the peak of the southeastern peak. It is at mile post 2.31 at elevation of 3,571'.
    Twin Mountain
    At mile post 2.36 (elevation 3,557') you will come to the spectacular 225 degree view in the picture above. From here, you can see see a large variety of mountains. You can also see the Ashokan Reservoir and Cooper's Lake in Woodstock.

    Once in a while, you will see Warblers flying around. Some other animals can also be see inside the tree line. Just past this point is a spring that runs when there is a lot of water. You cannot see the spring, but you can hear it. If you cannot hear it, then it probably is not flowing.

    This spot has one of the best view points in the Catskill Mountains. If you are to hike this trail, try to pick a clear day to hike this mountain. On a "bluebird" clear and crisp day, this view point is awe inspiring. You can sit here for an hour just "inhaling" the views.
    Twin Mountain
    After you leave the spectacular view from the picture above, you will walk thru a conifer forest. The trees are about 15-20' high. At first, the trail will be level. Then it will head downhill slightly. Then it will start back uphill. The grade is gradual and very easy walking. At times, you will see the side of the ridge where the land will drop suddenly and steeply. The picture on the LEFT gives you a good idea of what the trail looks like. During our trip, we did see one garder snake.
    Twin Mountain
    At mile post 2.98 (elevation 3,641') you will come to the Northwest summit of the OTHER Twin Mountain. It has a nice ledge with a great view. You can see that view in the picture above.

    The mountain next to Twin is Sugarloaf Mountain. Sugarloaf is probably the hardest mountian to climb in the Catskill Mountains.

    After you are done enjoying the view, reverse course back to your car.
    Links and References: Forum - Ask questions, talk about your experience with this hike
    USGS Information

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