2 Days, 3 Nights, on a Path Named for a Devil

September 25, 2009
Stephen Regenold
NY Times


2 Days, 3 Nights, on a Path Named for a Devil


NIGHTFALL came after the rain had stopped, and in the wet woods columns of fog twisted around dripping trees. It was 10 p.m. on a summer Friday, the forest moonless and still at the trailhead to the Devil’s Path.

An opening in the woods off the parking lot looked like a dark door. Beyond, a small trail edged into the night, its route unseen. 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.