Slide Mountain Winter Hiking

Snowball fight with camera

Travel along with me and climb the highest mountain in the Catskills region, Slide Mountain. Adding variety to our backpacking trek is the recent winter snowfall that covers the trail.  Shortly before the summit we’re greeted by an incredible view of mountain ranges to the North East.  As we push on past the scenic outlook near the summit we search for the Burroughs Plaque.  After this we race against the rapidly dwindling sun as we try to exit the trial prior to sunset while attempting to traverse the rocky snow covered trail back down Slide Mountain.

Location: Near Salisbury, NY
Trailhead GPS coordinates: 42.0108N  74.4214W
Season: Winter
Weather Conditions: Partly cloudy, above freezing
Trails: Phoenicia East Branch, Wittenberg-Cornell-Slide and Curtis-Ormsbee memorial trail
Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
Views: North/North East view of mountain ranges including Overlook and Sugarloaf mountains as well as others
State Park: New York State conservatory region
Recommended Supplies: 5 x 750ml (20 OZ) bottles of water (or sports drink), a small snack, map, compass & first aid kit.
Safety Direction (if lost): North East take you back to Route 47







  16 comments for “Slide Mountain Winter Hiking

  1. James
    February 13, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Nice to see some winter hiking videos on your site but when are you going to show more actual camping trips instead of just bringing your test with you “just in case”? Nice view from the top, will definitely try to do this one in spring.

  2. admin
    February 20, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Hi James. Glad you enjoyed the winter backpacking video. I do plan on showing more camping trips this summer so check back soon.

  3. Eddie Williams
    April 24, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Felt like I was hiking with you on slide mountain. Thanks for the education.

  4. Janella
    June 2, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Great video 🙂 It felt like I was there with you. I would love to go hiking with you.

  5. June 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Looks like a whole different world in the winter! So much more open with no foliage. Thanks for sharing!


  6. admin
    June 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Glad everyone’s enjoying the video. I definitely hope to make one or two more winter hiking videos this winter! Keep an eye out!

  7. B
    September 14, 2011 at 8:48 am

    There is a mini premade campsite 3/4 way up the red trail if you get stuck out there due to nightfall. I have to say that the red trail becomes strenuous and steep at many, many parts. The snow covers all of the jagged rocks and makes it looks innocent lol…

    Slide Mountain is very mystical and rewarding, not for novice hikers in my opinion. Great video and thank you!

  8. Mitch K.
    November 15, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Hey James, great video. I hike the Catskills all the time, and it’s nice to see someone else’s perspective. Makes me itchy to get out there! Keep on filming! Thanks 🙂

  9. Mark
    October 25, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Thanks much for the trail info. LOVED that video. Here visiting from the Northwest. Plan on doing this tomorrow.

    • admin
      October 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the slide mountain video. Enjoy your hike, the fall leaves should be great this time of year.

  10. Mark
    October 27, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Hey James, I found the plaque. On the Red trial, you first see what looks like the foundation of the old fire tower. Then you hit a big open area with a big slab of granite that is I assume the summit. On the back (south ) side there is maybe a 10′ drop off. The plaque is on that wall. You go to the right of the slab area and you will walk right by it. The snow may have covered it up. If you continue on you will see the Trail Marker to Cornell Mtn about 100 yards down. You then do a VERY steep decent. Here is a link to my pics that show the plaque to John Burroughs.

    Met a shop keeper in Woodstock who told me her Boyfriend is a naturalist and that there is a secret trail build by Burroughs to the summit. He carved out steps with all sorts of Gothic type features. Maybe you can find it some day and do another video. She said the entrance is hidden by a very large rock. I bet if you walked around the summit you could find it.

    • admin
      November 6, 2012 at 7:42 pm

      Hi Mark, thanks for the detailed note about the plaque. Good notes for others who may be trying to find it as well… although admittedly it would be easier if you don’t go when there’s snow on the ground. Interesting story about Burroughs, not sure when I’ll next make ti to slide mtn but if you find the secret trail first, let us know!

    • January 27, 2013 at 5:53 am

      Burroughs did not build the steps actually, James Dutcher did. A good portion of that trail is on private property (Winnisook corp.) but permission could be requested and is advised. That’s why you will not see it in trail books. Check the official NYSEC brochure for more information. I have hiked it many times, not lately, am the great, great, grandson of James Dutcher, but always get permission. I am 60 so I like company to hike it.

      • Holly Olsen-Pierce
        September 6, 2015 at 8:26 pm

        James Walton Dutcher was also my great, great, grandfather. Small world.

  11. Amy
    June 30, 2013 at 12:02 am

    Taking my family hiking there soon, Bears?????

    • admin
      July 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      Hello Amy

      I did not encounter any. Considering it’s location I’m sure there are bears around but to my knowledge this is not known as an extremely active bear area like some other places are in the Adirondack’s. Of course if this is a concern for you many people purchase bear spray just in case. If your camping you’ll want to keep your food a few hundred feet away either in a tree, bear canister or some other method to reduce the chance of a bear encounter at night. Happy hiking!

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