Cat Mountain is most quickly accessed by a series of four trails, beginning with the Dead Creek Trail and ending with the Cat Mountain Trail.
The Dead Creek Trail follows an old railroad bed south toward the shore of Cranberry Lake. As the trail approaches the lake, it passes over a series of gentle hills. The trail circumnavigates Dead Creek Flow and reaches the junction with the 0.25-mile spur trail to Janacks Landing and its lean-to and tent sites in 2.8 miles. Past this point, the trail becomes known as the New Plains Trail.
The New Plains Trail travels for 0.8 miles to a junction with the High Falls Trail and the Cowhorn Junction Trail. Here the route to Cat Mountain turns left and east on the Cowhorn Junction Trail. The trail passes by Glasby Pond on narrow and muddy terrain before reaching the final junction on the route after 0.75 miles with the Cat Mountain Summit Trail on the left.
Climbing in elevation, the Cat Mountain Trail summits at 2257' with outstanding views of the Five Pond Wilderness from a partially bald summit. A fire tower once stood on the summit, but now only a radio repeater exists. From the summit, it is five miles of backtracking to return to the Dead Creek Trailhead and parking area.
In the winter, this trail is used by cross-country skiers, please be considerate and walk beside their tracks in order to protect the condition of the tracks.
The trails accessing Cat Mountain are on land maintained by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as part of the Cranberry Wild Forest and the Five Ponds Wilderness.
Dead Creek Trailhead: Located on the side of South Shore Road in Wanakena, 0.5 miles past the bridge over the Oswegatchie River. There is a small parking lot adjacent to the trailhead. Additional parking is located earlier on South Shore Road at the High Falls Trailhead, just after the bridge.