|Quick Look - Woodpecker Ridge (from Beaverkill Road)|
|Difficulty||Round trip||Total climb||Location||Internet Maps|
|7.65 mi.||2170 ft.||N42.04 W74.6176||Google Maps|
Woodpecker Ridge Mountain is one of the more western CHH peaks located in the Town of Hardenburgh in Ulster County. It is only accessible by bushwhacking. One way to hike this peak is to hike the Millbrook Ridge Trail that runs between Alder Lake and Balsam Lake Mountain. The high point on the ridge is less than a mile from where the Millbrook Ridge Trail passes by Woodpecker Ridge Another route is to park at the trailhead for the Mongaup Hardenburgh Trail and cross the road. From Livingston Manor (Exit 96 from I86) drive north and west on Old Route 17. Turn right on Beaverkill Road and continue on this road through the hamlets of Lew Beach and Turnwood. Watch for a sign for Cradle Rock Ridge on the right. Continue passed this sign until you see a small parking area for the beginning of the trail on your right. Park here and walk down the trail to the Beaverkill. Take some pictures of the suspension bridge over the river here. Return to your car, cross the road and enter the woods.
Head UP and almost due north for a little over two miles. The woods are mostly open with only a few rocky areas. Once the terrain flattens out it is a long walk to the highest point. There may be some viewpoints for Balsam Lake Mountain on the eastern side of the summit plateau. A little clearing open up on top of the plateau. You may now retrace your route to the car or continue ahead to the Millbrook Ridge Trail. Hiking to Alder Lake will leave a LONG road walk back to your car. Sine the road walk from Balsam Lake Mountain is more manageable turn right toward Balsam Lake Mountain when you reach the Millbrook Trail. Be sure NOT to lose too much elevation by cutting the corner and heading to far east.
The trail wanders some and then gains some serious elevation. After about 1.75 miles it intersects the trail to the fire tower. Turn left and visit the tower. Now walk back down the main trail up the mountain to the Balsam Lake Mountain parking area. The road walk back to the car is just short of 2 miles.