Overlook to Echo Lake
ElevationAscent: 1,852' 564 m
Descent: -1,850' -564 m
High: 3,136' 956 m
Low: 1,764' 538 m
GradeAvg Grade: 10% (5°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)
Popular rides nearby
Cortina Valley to Palenville
10.9 mi 17.6 km • Point to Point • 1,460 ft Ascent 445.11 m Ascent
Double Down Elm Ridge
15.4 mi 24.8 km • Loop • 2,108 ft Ascent 642.62 m Ascent
Elm Ridge Loop
14.1 mi 22.7 km • Loop • 1,406 ft Ascent 428.64 m Ascent
Elm Ridge Wild Forest - Windham
11.4 mi 18.3 km • Loop • 1,227 ft Ascent 373.92 m Ascent
Belleayre Mountain Pine Hill West Branch Trail Loop
10.3 mi 16.5 km • Loop • 2,306 ft Ascent 702.9 m Ascent
Two Wheel Tuesday
10.0 mi 16.2 km • Loop • 982 ft Ascent 299.3 m Ascent
“An out-and-back of two long and burning hills with several incredible vistas as reward.”— Daniel Frisina
Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown
As far as fitness, it is uphill monotony at its best. No real intervals here, just up, up, up.
Then snake back down to the fork and make the mostly downhill, somewhat singletrack-like, to the Echo Lake fork. Less smooth, more leaves, and it is the north side of Overlook Mountain, therefore much more technical than Overlook Spur Trail. This trail gives you views a little more north. Big view reward being Indian Head Mountain and maybe even a glimpse of Twin Head Mountain.
Need to Know
Sign in at the registration kiosk. It helps the DEC channel support for upkeep. The Fire Tower hill is the Red trail with numbered utility poles all the way up, called the Overlook Spur Trail. Then ride part of the Overlook Trail to the Echo Lake turnoff. This is the Blue trail.
Consider getting yourself a set of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference maps of the Catskills. Waterproof and unparalleled in accuracy and scope of mapped terrain.
At 1.85 miles you'll reach the junction of the Overlook Trail (Blue) leading to Echo Lake.
Bear right and pedal another 1/2 mile and this leg summits at the peak of Overlook Mountain and some truly breathtaking views of not only the Catskills, but the Shawagunks, the Hudson River, and tons more. The Fire Tower has stairs and if you got the steam, it is well worth the climb up.
Coast back down the to the aforementioned fork and turn right onto the Overlook Trail (Blue) towards Echo Lake and Devil's Tower lean-to and Indian Head Mtn. This trail is more fun, more technical, but barely can be dubbed singletrack. It has more loose stone and a few big stone drop-offs. Just shy of a 1/2 mile in, look for another spring (and the muddy trail along it).
1.4 miles down and you'll reach the junction of the Echo Lake trail (Yellow). Remember, no bikes down that 1/2 mile to the lake, but it is a manageable walk (however dicey it may be in bike shoes).
When ready, turn around and start the second burly uphill back to the red trail. This is hard and long and technical uphill. Difficult to link the whole thing without a few foot taps, and maybe some heaving gulps of air.
Back to the fork, test your brakes (you'll need 'em), and descend pack to the parking area. Be wary of the multiple drain ditches/culverts, which amount to moguls/jumps at the speeds you'll be going.
History & Background