Acra Point Loop
|Difficulty||Round trip||Total climb||Location||Internet Maps|
|5.5 mi||1350 ft||N42.29640 W74.10030||Google Maps|
Park at trail head parking area on Black Dome or Big Hollow Road. Be aware that past a certain point this road is considered seasonal and may not be plowed or maintained. During the winter the trailhead parking is almost never plowed and parking is limited along the shoulders of the road. The trail head is just BEFORE the parking area on the right. Find the red-blazed Black Dome Trail and immediately cross the Batavia Kill on a bridge. After a short walk, re-cross the Batavia Kill and continue on the Trail for about 1.1 miles. Look over your shoulder occasionally to see the imposing presence of Blackhead, Black Dome and Thomas Cole Mountains. This walk winds its way upward through mixed hardwood and spruce forest until it meets the blue-blazed Escarpment Trail.
Turn right on The Escarpment Trail and head toward Acra Point. The terrain now is more rugged and steeper. There is a hint of views to both the north and south on both sides of the trail but they are not clear. Walk off the trail on the left to get a view to the north toward Albany or wait until just after the top of Acra Point. After about .7 miles you will be at the summit of Acra Point. The best views to the south and west are from a lookout BEFORE the summit. The path is well-traveled and is easy to find. When you walk out onto the rock shelf, you are treated to a spectacular view of the three mountains and the Camel's Hump. The views down the Black Dome Valley to the west are also excellent. From here you can also see Burnt Knob and behind and to the right Windham Mountain.
Continue on the Escarpment Trail for another 1.75 miles. The trail skirts a hill nearly as high as Acra. Views to the north from the trail continue to be elusive.The trail descends but has several short ascents before it heads down to meet the Batavia Kill Trail. The Escarpment Trail continues up over Blackhead Mountain. As you descend the trail toward the Batavia Kill Trail junction it looks very much as if you MUST ascend this mountain! Turn right on the yellow-blazed Batavia Kill Trail to return to the parking area. This trail goes on for about 1 mile and ends. Be sure to turn right and follow the red-blazed Black Dome Trail and the signs to the parking area about .6 miles away. If you turn left you will be climbing to the col between Blackhead and Black Dome! Bridges span the widest and deepest water crossings near the end of the trail. There is also evidence of a dam and the foundations of a mill on the Batavia Kill.
(The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)