Van Wyck Mountain
|Quick Look - Van Wyck and Woodhull (from Peekamoose Road)|
|Difficulty||Round trip||Total climb||Location||Internet Maps|
|8.5 mi.||3020 ft.||N41.95200 W74.43600||Google Maps|
Van Wyck and Woodhull Mountains are often hiked together. They lie on the Catskill Divide which forms a natural path between them. Routes can start on Porcupine Road near Woodhull, at the Denning Trailhead or at any of the many parking areas along the Peekamoose Road.
Turn onto Route 52A near the TriValley School. Stay on the road until the hamlet of Sundown where the road splits. Bear to the left on Peekamoose Rd. and continue on the road until parking areas begin to show up on the left. The parking area used to climb Peekamoose and Table Mountains is the sixth marked spot and indicates the beginning of the Peekamoose-Table Trail. You may park at these spots or at the pulloff near Bear Hole Brook.
From the parking areas head north and UP toward Van Wyck. The initial hike may be steep in places. If you find a road, you may follow it as long as it heads in the general direction. The contour maps show a "finger" of land pointing down from the summit. It is best to head for this area. Once on this "finger" the hike is somewhat flat with gentle elevation gain until you get to the base of the mountain. Along the way you may find some old foundations and a plane crash. If you head directly north to the summit expect about .2 miles of near vertical ascent. On the ascent stop to look over your shoulder. There are some flat rocks that act as viewpoints. An easier path may be to head to the west and up to the ridge and then east to Van Wyck. Once on the summit plateau wander around some until you feel you have hit the highest spot. From Van Wyck stay on the "high ground" of the Catskill Divide even though it adds a little distance and does not look like a direct route. Heading directly west to Woodhull drops too much elevation which must be regained. Staying on the Divide allows you to follow a path and keeps you on the highest ground. There are a few lookouts along the way. The climb up Woodhull is steep in places but not too bad. Wander the summit plateau and then decide how you will get back. Spotting a car on Porcupine Road is probably the best idea. If you forgot to spot a car, you may return the way you came or take a southeast bearing back to your car. As you follow this track you may or may not come across the upper end of Porcupine Road. You WILL come across Stone Cabin Brook. Follow this brook south staying on the higher banks out of the drainage. You will come across a tributary coming in from the west. You may cross this and continue south to Peekamoose Road. A walk along the road will bring you back to the car. You may also follow the tributary to the main stream and cross the main stream. As you work your way eastward up the bank, you may come across a woods road. Follow this road as it parallels Stone Cabin Brook which empties into Rondout Creek. You may wade across the Rondout or continue to follow the road for a while as it heads east. Do NOT follow the road for too long as it starts to climb back up the shoulder of Van Wyck Mountain. Leave the road and head down and southeast or south back to your car. With nay luck you will hit a spot where the Rondout is on the other side of the road so you will not have to wade!