giant ledge panther mountain catskills 45

Hiking Panther Mountain for Catskill 3500 Challenge

Three years ago we hiked Panther Mountain with family members on a nice June morning. We did not sign up for the Catskill 3500 Club challenge then but did talk about it with the two family members that completed it. One member was only ten years old at that time! He truly put us to shame but also inspired us to do more challenging hikes. Today, we went back to complete Panther Mountain hike for the Catskill 3500 Peaks.

The morning started off with me realizing that my boots were left outside, in the rain. Off to Walmart we went, where I found a quick pair of waterproof boots to hike in. For forty dollars, I wasn’t expecting much but was pleasantly surprised with how well they handled the Catskill terrain.

Panther Mountain Trail

Once we parked our car and crossed the street, the journey started. There were only two other cars in the lot which is shocking to see since on weekends the parking lots are full! After signing us in, we continued walking over the bridge. This is where the real hike begins. As we were going towards the trail, a hiker and her dog were coming down the hill. We waited for them to come down before we started the hike.

Right away you’re going to hike up a hill about 3/4 of a mile. If it was a nice smooth hill it would be easy-peasy but it’s a rocky, slippery and on this day, wet trail. Once we got up the .75 mile hike, the trail evens out. While it was flat, it was also very wet and muddy. It was the perfect terrain to test out my new waterproof boots. All I can say is, wow! They did very well. The mud slid off of them with ease and my socks stayed dry.

After another .8 mile in we got to the Giant Ledge on Panther Mountain. We were the only ones on the trail and enjoyed every little scenic spot to ourselves. We did not want to take a break until we got to Panther Mountain so we trailed on.

Hiking Giant Ledge and Panther Mountain Video

Like most Catskill trails, after reaching a certain peak or spot, the trail goes down. Only to go back up rocky, slippery and loose rocks. After hiking a little over a mile, we finally made it to Panther Mountain rock. I was not convinced that this was it, so we walked another .2 miles on the trail towards Fox Hallow trail. Once we realized that the trail goes down, we headed back to the rock and took a nice snack break. After eating and enjoying the views, we headed back on the muddy-wet trail back to our car.

Heading back, we saw four more hikers, enjoying the Giant Ledge views. We quickly passed them and continued down the slippery and wet trail. After sliding down twice, I decided it was time to grab my trekking pole. After that, I didn’t slide into any muddy puddles or slippery rocks. Trekking pole, kids. They really help!

The hardest part of the hike was going down with a bad knee. I’ve had issues with my knee since I was a teenager and it didn’t get better. If anything, it got worse over the years. I used to wear knee compression and now that fall is coming, I think it’s time to go back to them. If you’re thinking of hiking Panther Mountain trail I recommend that you choose a dry day, otherwise expect a lot of water down the loose rocks and plenty of water and mud puddles.

We now have completed four 3500 Catskill peaks, only 29 more to go!

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