Summary: Poets Ledge, perched above the Kaaterskill Clove, has a view that has inspired artists for centuries.
From the parking area, continue walking west along Rte 23A. After the bridge over Kaaterskill Creek, turn left onto Malden Ave. Continue past both barricades.
Turn right onto the old road (Red Gravel Hill Road) which is after the house past the Inn. The trail is marked with blue DEC markers. It is a steady climb for most of the way.
You reach the first view point with a view of the Catskill Ecarpment and Hudson Valley.
Continue until you reach a yellow trail which branches off to the right. It leads to Poets Ledge in 1/2 mile.
Trailhead: Take NYS Thruway (I-87) to Exit 21 (Catskill).
After the toll booths, turn left at light onto County Rte 23B. Take left onto ramp for Rte 23 East. Exit onto Rte 9W South.
Continue on Rte 9W through Catskill. Bear right onto Rte 23A West to Village of Pallenville.
About 0.5 miles past the intersection with Rte 32A, there is small forest preserve parking area on the right (just before the "Entering the Catskills" sign).
Trail Guides for Poets Ledge:
The Long Path Guide
by Herb Chong - Editor (New York-New Jersey Trail Conference)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: NYS DEC
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by George Senft, who has posted 26 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Dan on 9/9/2012
Very challenging and very rewarding. It is also very secluded and many guidebooks stress that encounters with bears are very common on this hike so you should come prepared. The trail gets very narrow as you get higher and you'll definitely feel that not many people experience this trail. That being said I feel like the directions are pretty good to find the trailhead. To maybe clarify a bit: There are two dirt roads on Malden Ave that will get you to the trail. As of 9/2012 one road is completely unmarked and will take you behind a building that will be on your left. The second road will be marked a short walk (maybe 100 feet) and will curve you behind some homes that will be on your right. In short: look for dirt roads!
Reviewed by DP on 6/19/2011
Great hike. As noted below, Malden Ave has no sign. The Inn is just a painted red house. There is another house on the left and then immediately after it there is the trail head on the right. You walk up what seems to be someone's back yard but then it starts cutting straight up into the woods. It was a great hike and the Poet's Ledge was well worth the hike. Not one I'd bring the kids on though...
Reviewed by Tommy on 6/14/2008
Walking along 23A is a bit scary, but fortunately only the first 5 minutes of the hike. The inn is now a restaurant. The trail is mostly straight up. Haze made the views very limited, so make sure you go on a day with good visibility. Despite the violent storm that accompanied us the ENTIRE way down the mountain (2 inches of rain in 2 hours!!), the trek wasn't too painful, thanks to good trail conditions and good walking sticks.
Reviewed by MB on 10/1/2007
A great hike with beautiful views. I would note that there is no sign for Malden Avenue, just a no parking sign on the barrier. Also, moderate may be a little misleading. The hike is basically straight up hill and, as noted, rises 2100 feet.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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