Kaaterskill High Peak (officially just High Peak) is one of the Catskill Mountains, located in the Town of Hunter in Greene County, New York, USA. It was once believed to be the highest peak in the entire range, but its summit, at 3,655 feet (1,114 m) in elevation, places it only 23rd among the Catskill High Peaks. It is, however, the fourth most prominent peak in the range. Due to its situation as the easternmost High Peak, it is also the only one completely outside the watersheds of New York City's reservoirs in the region.
Along with Round Top to the west, its distinctive ridgeline is a visual signature of the Catskills. Even today, it dominates the view of the range from the Hudson Valley. In the early 19th century, it was a frequent subject of works by Thomas Colehttp://hamiltonauctiongalleries.com/Cole1825Laketrees.jpg
and other artists of the Hudson River school. Their works helped establish the Catskill Mountain House and other hotels around North-South Lake as the fashionable summer vacation spot for wealthy Americans of the era.
Despite that popularity, the mountain was admired from afar more often than it was climbed. Although it boasts the earliest recorded ascent of any Catskill peak, today it seems somewhat neglected, lacking an official trail to its summit. However, a well-used path does exist, and perhaps because of the light use the mountain gets it is very popular with the area's serious hikers, due to the views available from Hurricane Ledge south of the summit, and several other points of interest in the vicinity of the mountain.
Originally, High Peak and Round Top had each others' names, due to the clear difference in topography between their summits. However, since what was called Round Top is clearly the higher of the two, confusion developed over which of the two peaks was really "High Peak". In the late 19th century, the higher peak officially became High Peak and the lower one Round Top. The "Kaaterskill" is from the nearby creek and clove, in order to distinguish it from other "High Peaks" and "Round Tops" in the range.
In the latter years of the 18th century, the peak was known as Liberty Cap for its similarity to the Phrygian cap popular during the American and French revolutions.