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Wildcats
Catskill 35 Index CHH Index NJ1K Index

The Wildcats are two peaks located near Slide Mountain in Ulster County in the town of Denning. There is private land in some areas near the Wildcats so try to stay on state forest. They are two of the wildest peaks on the CHH list. Hikers seldom see another person during their walk and there a few signs of any civilization. The Denning trailhead, one possible starting point, is truly in the "middle of nowhere" and that's just where the hike starts! Another possible starting point is the Slide Mountain trailhead. <



Quick Look - Wildcats (from Denning)
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Location Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 6.5 mi. 1940 ft. N41.9877 W74.441 Google Maps

Where are the maps?

From Route 55 in Curry between Neversink and Grahamsville, go north on the Claryville Road and pass through Claryville. Continue on the Denning Road until it ends at the trailhead. You may also get to Claryville by driving south on Route 47, the Frost Valley Road, that passes by Slide Mountain. In Claryville make a left and follow the road to the Denning Trailhead. From the trailhead walk into the woods on a wide woods road which is lined by POSTED signs. In a short distance there will be DEC signs on your left near Flat Brook. From here you may choose to hike either of the peaks first. The woods are mostly open but there are some cliff bands to avoid.

One possible route is to head directly northeast to the east peak first. This is a fairly straight shot and avoids private property. Just off the woods road and before any climbing are some wet spots. Once you start to gain elevation it is only a matter of going UP and heading in the correct direction. Several spots offer nice views but none that are completely unobstructed for taking pictures. There is nothing significant about the highest point just make sure you find the highest ground. The other peak is to the west and a little south. There are two "bumps" in between. Make sure you go all the way to the highest point! Unless you like losing and gaining elevation, stay on the high ground even if it takes you a little out of your way. This seems much easier than a direct route. Once you are on the highest ground of the peak you can start the return trip to the parking area. One way to avoid going back to the east peak and down is to retrace your route for about .75 miles and then turn slightly southeast and head for the headwaters of Flat Brook. Cross a tributary of Flat Brook itself and then cross Flat Brook. Along the way you may see a stream that disappears into the ground and then reappears. You may also pass through a dark and impressive spruce grove. Once on the east side of Flat Brook you may parallel it for some distance. Eventually head more to the southeast to avoid private property and intersect the road that you left at the start of the hike.





Quick Look - Wildcats (from Slide trailhead)
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Location Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 6.8 mi. 1668 ft. N41.9877 W74.441 Google Maps

Where are the maps?

From Route 55 in Curry between Neversink and Grahamsville, turn left on Route 47, the Frost Valley Road. Drive north and park at the Slide Mountain trailhead just before the Winnisook Club on the right. You may also get to the Slide Mountain trailhead by driving south on Route 47, the Frost Valley Road, and parking in the area just south of the Winnisook Club.

After parking cross the Neversink and stay on the Phoenicia-East Branch trail for about 1.4 miles or so where you can head into the woods in a west-southwest direction. Your bushwhack will take you across the Wildcat Range ridge. Be sure that you look for the highest spots as you go as there are several bumps on near each summit. From Wildcat (the west peak) you can head all the way back, walk out to the Denning trailhead or walk north-northwest to the Biscuit Brook parking area. The last two options require car spots. The last option requires that you cross the Neversink River. The river here can be high at times, the water swift and cold. There are not too many shallow areas to cross and watch out for any private property areas.