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AMC Catskill Mountain Guide: AMC's Comprehensive Guide to Hiking Trails in the Catskills (Appalachian Mountain Club) Paperback – March 17, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter W. Kick, a native of the Catskills Mountains, is a New York State licensed wilderness guide and trip leader. The author of several hiking and mountain-biking guides, he has written for Backpacker, Sailing, Outdoor Traveler, and Adirondack Life. He lives in Saugerties, N.Y.

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Product Details

  • Series: Appalachian Mountain Club
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Appalachian Mountain Club Books; Second Edition edition (March 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934028193
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934028193
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,610,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Outdoor Writer, Consulting Utility Forester

Author of books and magazine feature articles, 1985-present:

Appalachian Mountain Club Books, author, WW Norton & Company, Countryman Press (Backcountry Guides) author. Contributor, Feature Writer, Sailing magazine, Cruising World magazine, Backpacker magazine, Conservationist magazine, CutureFront magazine, Outdoor Traveler magazine, Adirondack Life magazine, Adirondac magazine (former staff writer), map and book reviewer, New York State Conservationist, NYNJTC TrailWalker

I grew up in an active scouting family and became an Eagle Scout. I received degrees in forestry and English. I've spent most of my life out-of-doors and became a part-time writing teacher, freelance writer and a tree surgeon in order to free myself of the usual constraints of the typical career, mostly so I could explore Canada's subarctic rivers (The Wheeler, Whale, George, Albany, and so on). I also made considerable personal sacrifices to explore the Hudson Bay Territories several times by small sailing vessel, going as far as Hudson Strait in the year 2003, in a variety of sloops. This obsession with journeying, in the immortal words of Robt. Frost, 'has made all the difference'. (Anyway, one must never confuse having a career with having a life).

As a result of my canoe and sailing trips in the Ungava region of sub-arctic Canada, I was recruited by a handful of Cree acquaintances, under the auspices of the Cree Grand Council in Ottawa, into the James Bay Speaker's Bureau, for which I worked and lobbied against the massive Hydro-Quebec power projects of the 1980s and 90s. This richly rewarding work resulted in some long time friendships and ties with the Cree and Inuit people of Nunavik and the James Bay/Hudson Bay territories. Today, Canada's indigenous people continue their struggle against the same, unwieldy provincial utilities that destroyed (by flooding and mercury pollution) a great deal of their ancestral homeland and food supply.

I spent most of the summers of my youth on a defunct family dairy farm in the Saugerties-Woodstock area of the eastern Catskills in upstate New York. I got to know the Catskill trails intimately during that time, and they would become a subject of special interest to me in later years. I'm a NYS licensed guide, and have led trips in the Everglades, on Maine's St. John and Allagash rivers, and throughout the Adirondacks (The Raquette River, St. Regis Ponds, Oswegatchie River, and so on). After writing all I could about the Catskills and the Hudson Valley, I moved to mid-coastal Maine. In the two years since, I've served as an Allagash Ranger in the headwater districts of Chamberlain and Churchill lakes.

My titles naturally evolved out of the things I love most--adventure travel, cycling, canoeing, and hiking/backpacking. Recently, I've been working on canoe guidebooks. My mixed experiences with the world of commercial publishing have resulted in my increased interest in self-publishing, which is an option many regional authors are finding both more attractive as well as practical.

Please use your judgement before embarking upon any of the adventures described in these books. People and ability levels, perceptions and agility of course vary significantly, and an author cannot account for these differences except to offer them in terms of his or her own personal experience. Please feel free to contact me or the publisher(s) of my books if you have questions or can provide input regarding any of the trips that are described within them.

Peter Kick

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By W. Kolligs on September 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
I found the trail descriptions very clear and easy to follow. We camped at Woodland Valley Canpground and hiked to Mount Wittenberg. I especially appreciated the authors' comparisons of different trails and mountain peak options.

Contrary to Amazon's suggestion, it is not necessary to purchase the accompanying trail map as a separate item as it is already included with the book in the back pocket. Following Amazon's suggestion I ended up with 2 copies of the same map.

What is missing from the book, when comparing it to similar guide books i have used (mostly related to Western National Parks), is it has very limited history and natural history background. For example, My Mountaineers Yosemite book has pages and pages of historical background as well as a basic introduction to the flora and fauna. This makes good reading during down time on a hike or backpacking trip.

Overall I am satisfied with this guide book and would definitely recommend it to anyone contemplating a trip to the Catskills.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. L. Dickson on April 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date guide on the Catskill Mountains available, and the fact that it includes a map makes it the smartest buy. Bravo Mr. Kick! I found his historical and geographical references to be informative and accurate. And I especially liked the details about identifying distant landmarks. The guide is well-organized and contains all the pertinent information in a compact and packable format.
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Format: Paperback
A good guide book imbues you to get out and explore and this guide book does just that. It accomplishes this by doing more than just describing the trails. Giving the larger context of the areas you'll be exploring and their histories makes for a richer reading experience, and of course, once you're out on the trail, having this knowledge certainly enriches the outdoor experience.

One thing in particular that I appreciated was that throughout the book, the author made note of camping locations, which was very helpful to me in choosing my next backcountry adventure.

I highly recommend...both as a guide, and as leisure reading!
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sun Meng on December 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, although well written, is not good for real hikers. The information, trail description is written in a way you cannot find criticial information quickly. All I need is the length of the trail, parking spot location, book time and breif description of what to expect on the trail, not a long essay for every trail in the catskills. It's impossible to use this book as a guide book if you don't spend an hour to read it before your hiking day.

The map that comes with the book, is just ok. I have seen better maps designed with mileage clearly illustrated and parking spot highlighted.

I would not recommend this book to anyone, it is better to buy a very nicely designed map and explore the area.

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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer B. on August 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
Got this to prep for a backpacking trip. For my particular hike (Wittenberg, Cornell, Slide Mountains) it mentions one difficult spot where hand over hand scrambling is needed. Well that was true, problem was, there were numerous other similar (steep, dangerous) spots. I'm the type that can conquer most anything as long as I know about it in advance and can mentally prep. What I learned from others on the trail was, lots of other people knew from experience the AMC guides lack such details, which can really make a serious difference when choosing a hike or knowing who to bring along and who to leave home. Also, it's too bad Amazon shows the topo map as a "frequently also purchased item"---because although it's not very clear on the book's cover, the book contains the exact same map. Totals two disappointing purchases. Luckily, I was with a great trip leader and my trek in the perhaps often overlooked but beautiful Catskills was a great success despite the book!
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