OverviewWindham High Peak is the first peak above 3,5000ft if traveling east on the Escarpment trail and the northernmost peak above 3,5000ft in the entire Catskill Park. It is also 34 out of 35 on the list of Catskill peaks above 3,500 feet.
Windham High Peak would be an ideal place for the less experienced to begin their experiences with the Catskill High Peaks. It is not overtly challenging, and for a reasonably easy hike it allows for some fine views that should only encourage further escapades into the Catskills.
The Northern Slopes of Windham drain north and than east into the Hudson River, while waters falling on the Southern Slopes drain south into the Batavia Kill creek, and than west through the Blackdome valley where they eventually find their way into the Hudson. Windham High Point offers views of both Albany to the North, and the Blackhead range to the South.
Who would not want to tackle the Blackhead Range after seeing them from Windham? A little further east of this southerly viewpoint the mountain once again opens up for a view to the North.
On a clear day from this point you can clearly see the Corning Tower in Albany's Empire Plaza, and also the four student dorm towers of the SUNY Albany Campus. To the east you can see the Taconic Mountains and Mount Greylock; while to the Northeast and North you can make out the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks.
Getting ThereThere are two main trailheads that offer the easiest access to Windham high Peak. The peak can be accessed from the Southeast using the Big Hollow Road Trailhead.
There is another trailhead located Southwest of Windham high peak. To locate this trailhead you also must find your way to Big Hollow Road, but instead of following the road east, take a left on Peck Road. At the end of Peck Road you will find the trailhead.
TrailsIf starting at Peck Road, follow the yellow marked trail North. You will than meet the blue marked Escarpment trail, at which point you should turn right (east). Continue following the blue markers until you reach the summit. If you continue east after the summit on the Escarpment trail, you will eventually summit Burnt Knob High Point, if you continue a little further east you can take another right (south) on the red marked trail and you will find yourself at the Big Hollow Road trailhead. At that point you may follow Big Hollow Road to Peck Road and your original trailhead if your are looking for a loop.
Although many hikers would be hesitant to follow a road, think twice. Big Hollow Road provides views of both Windham High Point, the Blackheads, and the Batavia Kill. While looking at the old houses, one if forced to think about the heritage of the area.
From the Peck Road trailhead to Windham's summit is 3.3 miles, from the Big Hollow trailed head to the summit is 3.8 miles.
CampingThere is a Lean-to located at the convergence of the yellow Peck Road trail and the blue Escarpment trail.
Catskill 3500 Club