Hiking: Devil's Kitchen Lean-to Hike - Catskill Mountains, NY - April 16, 2012

The Devil's Kitchen Lean-to is located in the northeastern Catskills and is easily accessible from the Prediger Road Trailhead or the Platte Clove Road Trailhead.  The route, along the Long Path from Platte Clove is approximately a mile shorter and at slightly more than a mile in one direction, makes for quick access.

The Trailhead for the Long Path is located on Platte Clove Road in the Catskill Center's Platte Clove Preserve.  There is a pull-off at the Trailhead, but you should drive east a few hundred feet along Platte Clove Road, turn at the "Forest Preserve Parking" sign and use the lot that provides parking for the trails to the north and south of Platte Clove Road.

Back at the Trailhead, the Long Path drops down the steep embankment, passes by a trail register and then crosses on a replica of the original king post bridge that used to cross the stream.  The trail follows sections of the Old Overlook Road, which provided access to the Platte Clove area from Overlook Mountain and the Woodstock area.  There was also an old hotel in Platte Clove that the road accessed and a number of older quarry roads intersected with the Old Overlook Road.

The Long Path through the preserve is marked with the blue and white Long Path trail markers.  After the bridge, the trail turns to the right to avoid the very eroded roadbed that is straight ahead.  It then climbs steadily and makes its way through the mostly hemlock forest while following and crossing some streams.  After about a third of a mile, the trail rejoins the Old Overlook Road and follows that road the rest of the way.

A little further along, the trail crosses into the Forest Preserve and the trail markers switch from the Long Path plastic discs to the DEC plastic disks.  The trail then comes to the intersection with the red marked Devil's Path from the Prediger Road trailhead.  Just beyond that, the trail intersects with the red marked Indian Head Trail which the Devil's Path also follows.

We continued straight at both intersections, staying on the Old Overlook Road.  Just beyond the intersection with the Indian Head Trail, the Old Overlook Trail comes up on the Devil's Kitchen Lean-to and the Cold Kill stream is just beyond.  The lean-to is an older lean-to and receives a lot of use so is not in the best shape, but it is a nice area.  Cod Fish Point, a great view of the Hudson Valley is about a quarter mile beyond along the Old Overlook Road.

When we arrived no one was at the lean-to, but the campers from the night before hadn't put their fire out.  Considering the dry conditions at the time, that was a pretty bad decision.  We had a snack and got the fire out thanks to a few trips down to the Cold Kill with our water bottles.

On the way back down we stopped in the large rock quarry that is just east of the trail junction with the Devil's Path.  There really are no views, but visitors have built stone chairs that you can relax in the sun in.

Trip Details
Platte Clove Road to Devil's Kitchen Lean-to - 1.1 miles
Easy to intermediate hike

Need more information on hiking and planning your 
trips to the Catskills and the Catskill Park?

Need a hiking map for your hikes in the Catskills? We recommend the Trail Conference's Catskills Trails 6-Map Set. These maps are the best available for hiking and outdoor adventures in the Catskills and the Catskill Park. The Catskill Center offers a regional map of the Catskills that provides an excellent overview of the region, it's roadways, attractions and trails. National Geographic Trails Illustrated also produces a map for the region. 

How about a guidebook? Both AMC and ADK publish trail guides to the Catskill Region and thAdventures in the Outdoors Bookstore carries many more books and maps that will help you as you hike and explore the Catskill Mountains region. 

If you are looking for more information about the extensive history of the Catskill Mountains and the Catskill Park, we would suggest reading The Catskills, From Wilderness to Woodstock and The Catskill Park, Inside the Blue Line. For the most comprehensive natural history of the Catskill Park and the Forests of the Catskill region, we recommend reading The Catskill Forest, a History by Michael Kudish.