"The Devil's Playground"

Date of Hike: 5/22/10

Devil's Path
Prediger Road Trailhead to Stony Clove Notch NY 214: 13.1 miles (4,800 feet elevation gain)
Stoney Clove Notch back to Prediger Road Trailhead: 13.1 miles (4,300 feet elevation gain)
Total Miles: 26.2 (9,100 elevation gain)

Trip Report:
- My original plan was to hike the Devil's Path in one day East to West in June but after last weeks hike in the lingering annoying snow I had had enough so it was time to go on a kick ass endurance hike with my favorite daypack on!  I was going to see if I could find a car spot or try to join in on the huge group doing a one day traverse of the Devil's Path on Sunday until I took a closer look at my maps and guide book.
- The Devil's Path is 24.5 miles with an elevation gain of around 8,250 feet, however I noticed that most of the steep and fun sections are located on the eastern part of the trail and if I did an out and back of that it would be 26.2 miles with a gain of 9,100 feet!  So I figured bring on the hike I will call..."Devil's Playground"
- On trail at 5:30am, Stony Clove Notch 11:00am, Minor hallucinations 4:37pm, finished 5:15pm.  Cloudy with hazy sun, temps in the 60's, light wind above 3500 feet, good views from the many outlooks.
- The best way to describe this hike is "elevation up, elevation down" there would be six times throughout the hike where I would ascend over 850 feet at a time. Along with the gains and losses are about a half dozen vertical scrambles best described as "Chutes or Steeps" which were a blast to go up and pretty easy to find excellent grips.
- The "Steeps/Scrambles" reminded me of the "Chimney" between Osceola East Peak and Mount Osceola except not as high.  As for the "elevation ups" they were equal to the Wildcat Ridge Trail from Route 16 to Wildcat "E" Peak.
- I had trouble getting into a good hiking pace until I finally saw some views below Indian Head Mountain and got to the first and most fun scramble (click here for video clip) followed shortly by another quick scramble where an old tree and its roots are conveniently placed to help you up.
- I hit my first wall of the day coming down Sugarloaf Mountain and up to Plateau Mountain but once on Plateau the grade is flat for a good mile plus and I zoomed along the ridge and then made good time on the steep descent to Stony Clove Notch.
- I refueled and relaxed for about 15 minutes and then it was time to rehike in the opposite direction and a battle through seeing the same terrain again.  Hiking back up to Plateau Mountain I chatted it up with two guys who I met earlier who hiked the Devil's Path to Mink Hollow the day before and where hiking the remaining miles to the end of the Devil's Path at Spruceton Road!
- Hit another wall hiking back up to Sugarloaf Mountain but caught my 5th wind for the hike up to Twin which has the second most fun scramble on the trail, it's wet, steep, and like the other scrambles has great foot and hand-holds making it lots of fun....just wish it were longer!
- Hiking up to Indian Head I knew it would be my last ascent so I was in good spirits especially as I passed two guys, one an old hippie and the other one best described as a pirate, all that was missing was an eye patch and a parrot on the shoulder, they smelled...like weed, as where I smelled like a weed after 20 plus miles...Happy Hiking!
- The last two miles were a battle of the wills (Lincoln Woods/ Wilderness trail style!) as I had run out of water,  my legs were wasted, and I started "sightseeing" hallucinating.
- A pretty kickass hike for endurance hikers, the pros - lots of ups and downs with major elevation changes which will keep pushing you as well as the fun "Steeps". The cons - lack of continous views, when you hit a wall you can't just take a break and take in the views and get a boost of energy as if you were above treeline, instead you're in the woods and just have to suck it up!

Pictures (Click here for all pictures)

Platte Clove and Katterskill High Peak
Devil's Path (Sugarloaf Mountain)
Devil's Path (Twin Mountain)
Notch Lake
Twin Mountain


  1. Incredible you can hike at that pace for so long...sweet pics!

  2. That's a great idea, hiking the eastern section as an out and back. I planned on doing the whole thing, but this out and back may be a better idea. More challenging, plus it's the original DP.

    That is a nice pace over that terrain. It doesn't appear you slowed down much on the way back. Great hike and pics!

  3. Thanks Chris, it was a perfect day on the mountains!

    Great hiking blog you have by the way!