New York's Popular 'Devil's Path' Hike Has It's Name For A Reason

By Kristin Conard


In the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York, the 24-mile-long Devil's Path trail is notorious for being a challenging hike, with some even calling it the hardest East Coast hike.
The trail, which has 9,000 feet of total ascent, reportedly got its name from early settlers who found the area so wild and dangerous that it could only be inhabited by the devil.
It takes you up and over five mountains, and there are exposed sections. You can expect to use your hands to pull on roots as you traverse massive cliffs and scramble along rocks.
In winter, you'll need spikes to traverse the ice. With recent rainfall, you can get water from mountain streams, but dehydration and heat stroke become serious concerns in summer.
When on the Devil's Path, you will need to have mental and emotional fortitude and be sure-footed, as one misstep could lead to an accident, and you might be hours away from help.
The Devil's Path trail checks off five of the 33 peaks in the Catskills that are 3,500 feet or taller. It is often hiked from east to west and gets progressively harder as you go.
You can do the whole thing as a day hike if you push yourself to an absolute limit, but the full hike is mostly made into a backpacking trip with a camping night or two on the way.