VIA WOODLAND CAMPGROUND TRAILHEAD (EASTERN SIDE): From Route 28 head west make a left (east: right) on Woodland Valley Road (0.5 miles from Phoenicia. Take the road about five miles where the Wittenberg-Cornell-Slide Trailhead will be on your left.
Slide Mountain from the east
7.0 miles (one way) over three mountain
3600 ft. elevation gain
If you are looking for a challenging climb in the Catskills this the the hike to try. It involves summiting over three mountains along with scrambling and some ladder climbs. It is among the hardest trails in all of the Catskills.
From the Woodland Valley take the Cornell-Wittenberg-Slide Mountain Trail up a road. The trail begins out rocky and moderate for the first 1.15 mile to a bluff. It then will ease until the junction of the Terrace Mountain Trail at about 2.6. The trail soon steepens where by the 3500 sign it becomes a Class 2 trail. There are number of steep pitches when at 3.9 miles you reach the summit of Wittenberg with great views on the summit. From here the trail narrows until reaching a rocky ledge at 4.6 miles. The then steepens rapidly into a class 3 with a large about of caution inwinter as you ascent the bluff and then a V in a cliff. The trail then eases again and lead to a side path to the summit of Cornell Mountain at 4.8 miles. The hits a number of overlook until hitting a tight area between ledges. The trail then continues to descend slowly past cmping areas until at 6.2 miles it reaches the lowest point of the col between Cornell and Slide Mountain. The trail then begins to ascend Slide Mountain passing by a number of other campgrounds. At 6.5 the major climb begins (Class 2-3) with a 35 ft. scramble up an outcrop. The next 0.5 miles with go through four ladders and and many steep scramble until reaching the summit at 7.0 miles where you pass the John Burroughs plaque. At 7.05 miles you hit the true summit (no views) and 7.1 miles you hit a beautiful view to the north.
In summer normal hiking gear (hiking shoes, poles, water) is all that is needed. I would highly recommend this over the other side if you want better views and more of a challenge.
I would not recommend using this trail in winter unless you very well prepared. This is true especially on the last leg of the trail where ropes and an ice axe was recommended in winter. The ladder and ledges do ice over in winter and can be very tricky. If you are looking for a nice easy winter snowshoe climb to the summit, choose the other side.
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