When it comes to things you can do to stay active, there are few things better than hiking. Taking a hike allows you to escape the confines of our modern, technological existence. Instead, you can surround yourself with nature, gaining a deeper appreciation for all the things that make this world of ours so beautiful and wonderful.
Not all hikes are created equally, though. While there are many that are perfect for a leisurely afternoon, there are still more that demand a lot of the would-be adventurer. These are trails that offer steep climbs, treacherous footing and other natural dangers. These kinds of trails appear to those who like their physical activity with a side of excitement.
As it so happens, one of the deadliest and most dangerous hiking paths in the continental United States is located in New York. It’s called the Devil’s Path, and it takes hikers up and down three different mountains, throwing in plenty of obstacles along the way. The round-trip is about 25 miles, and it can take an entire day to complete. Those who aren’t prepared for the steep inclines and drops, or who haven’t brought along enough supplies, have been bested by this dangerous trail. If you want to see what it’s all about, what makes it so dangerous and also so beautiful, then come take a quick tour with us!
1. Getting Started
Although there a variations to main hike, if you’re going to do the real deal, then you’ll start in the town of Hunter, New York.
2. Easy Going At First
As you make your way through the first stretch of trail, which is predominantly flat, you’ll cross over Schoharie Creek.
3. The First Challenge
It isn’t until you reach the bottom of Indian Head that things will begin to get tougher.
4. Quite A Climb
The Devil’s Path will take you directly up Indian Head, and it’s an incredibly steep climb that’s too much for most amateur hikers.
5. Stop Halfway
A little bit past halfway in your climb, you’ll find yourself at an overlook that offers stunning views of the Hudson River.
6. Keep Climbing
After that stop of, you’ll still have another half-mile of up-hill climbing to go before you reach the summit of Indian Head.
7. Jimmy Dolan Notch
After making your way down from the summit, you’ll find yourself at Jimmy Dolan Notch, which is about 3,200 feet above sea level.
8. Climbing Again
There’s no rest for the weary – part of the reason this trail is so dangerous. After leaving the notch, you’ll be ascending Twin, which overlooks Sugarloaf Mountain.
9. Back Down Again
After you’ve made it to the top of twin, you’ll be heading back down for about 2.5 miles through some treacherous terrain until you reach Pecoy Notch.
10. Remember Sugarloaf?
Did you check out Sugarloaf while you were near the top of Twin? Well, that’s where you’re heading next.
11. A Long Way Up
Although not as steep as the climb up Indian Head, the path to the top of Sugarloaf is much longer and more treacherous.
12. The Real Danger
Of course, the real danger comes after you begin making your way down from Sugarloaf, as you’ll have to descend through treacherous rock chutes.
13. Mink Hollow
Provided you’ve managed to navigate those rock chutes successfully, you’ll find yourself in Mink Hollow, where the going’s a bit easier.
14. Next Stop
After catching your breath, there’s still more climbing to be done! Next up you’ll be tackling Plateau Mountain.
15. Plateau Mountain
Your hike through Plateau Mountain will happen to be a hike through the highest-elevation trail in the Catskills.
16. Orchard Point
All of that climbing will be rewarded with a chance to visit Orchard Point, which offers sweeping views to the west.
17. And Down Again
From here, you’ll make your way to Stony Clove Notch, before making the final steep descent on the trail. Again the terrain is difficult.
18. Can You Do It?
The Devil’s Path will take you up and down three different mountains, so it’s only recommended for experienced and physically fit hikers. Do you have what it takes?