Check out this 4.9-mile loop trail near West Kill, New York.


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FATMAP difficulty grade



Check out this 4.9-mile loop trail near West Kill, New York.

Generally considered a moderately challenging route.

This trail is great for hiking, running, and walking, and it's unlikely you'll encounter many other people while exploring.

Dogs are welcome and may be off-leash in some areas. Rusk Mountain is a Catskill high peak and is a great introductory bushwhack.

This particular loop is longer but is gentler than the more common in-and-out method.

It's wild and largely untouched wilderness.

You may see a bobcat, grouse, rabbit and deer tracks in the snow.

It may either be icy or muddy depending on the season.

Bring a map and compass.

There are no summit views, but there are some nice views on the way up.

You start on an old carriage road.

Continue up about 1.75 miles until the first intersection.

You will see a sign saying that the John Robb Lean-To is a half mile to the right.

You want to go left.

Follow the ridge WNW up a relatively gentle incline for almost a mile, and shortly you will reach the summit of East Rusk (3640), which is not technically considered a separate peak and is not part of the 35 club or highest hundred.

From here, you will follow the ridge line west down into a small saddle, which you will follow for about a half mile before you start your final gentle ascent to the peak of Rusk (3680).

There is a bright orange canister that you should not miss.

After you sign the canister register you head SSE down an old herd path that follows a creek.

After about a mile you will rejoin the carriage road and head back to the car.