The Devil’s Path, an east-to-west voyage along the spine of the Catskills, is often cited as the toughest hiking trail in the East. In 25 miles it ascends six major peaks, plunging into deep valleys between climbs.
“From end to end the Devil’s Path is one of the more challenging trails around,” said Josh Howard, a director at the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, which publishes detailed maps of area trails, including the Devil’s Path.
Backpackers hoping to complete the route face a total climb and descent of more than 14,000 feet. Steep ascents include cliff bands and traverse terrain that is vertical enough at times to be confused with a mountain climb.