Created from 6 pictures from Giant Ledge









"Other" Trails

Besides the thirty-five 3500 foot peaks in the Catskills, there are many other smaller mountains to climb. In addition, there are hundreds of miles of trails to hike. There are also MANY other places to hike also. I have divided the Trails section into list of All Trail, the Catskills, the Shawangunks, Bear Mt/Harriman, East Hudson, West Hudson, New Jersey and Other Trails. The All Trails list is almost 250 different trails and may load slowly on your computer. The "divided" list should load more quickly.

You can view all the "Other" Trails here.

Clicking on Trails Index will bring up an index of trails. Clicking on Top of page will return you to the top of the page.

Pick an Area:

Albany County Line to Fawn LakeTrails IndexTop of page

Quick Look
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 11.5 mi. 1550 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map

Head north on Route 30 through Margaretville, Roxbury, Grand Gorge, North Blenheim and Middleburgh. Just over the Route 30 bridge in Middleburgh, turn right on Route 145 and follow it to the other side of town to Huntersland Road. Turn left on Huntersland Road and drive 2.7 miles and make a left on Lawton Hollow Road. After driving 3.9 miles on Lawton Hollow Road, pull over to the left side of the road where there is a shale pit and room for several cars. Just passed this spot on the right is a "Welcome to Albany County" sign. The first .5 miles of the hike is slightly downhill on Lawton Hollow Road to the intersection with Bradt Hollow Road. Walk south on Bradt Hollow Road for about .7 miles gaining about 260 feet in the process. There aren't many aqua blazes but watch for a brown and yellow sign for the Partridge Run Wildlife Management Area on the left side of the road. It has blazes that indicate a right turn onto a snowmobile trail. The trail is usually mowed but may be overgrown with grass and weeds. From this point on most of the trail follows snowmobile and Nordic ski trails and woods roads. The aqua blazes are very clear in most cases. At 2.1 miles cross High Point Road and begin walking through stands of Norway spruce and red pine. At about 2.7 miles there is a beaver pond and the trail parallels it for a short distance and then turns right shortly after that. The trail stays near the pond briefly and then turns away from it to the left. Begin an uphill walk which brings you to to Bradt Hollow Road at 3.6 miles. Walk out onto the road and turn right and almost immediately left onto a gravel road. Take the next right into a snowmobile trail but watch carefully as the blazes are hidden. The snowmobile trail parallels the road for at least a quarter mileand then begins to swing east away from the road. Begin to follow an extremely straight woods road which seems to be the boundary between private and state land. Walk mostly downhill for about a mile to Beaver Road. Turn left on Beaver Road and walk downhill for about .2 miles where the trail turns right off the road at 5.1 miles. Continue downhill on a snowmobile trail that leads to Tubbs Pond which is not marked on all maps. Continue across the bridge just downstream from the dam. From the parking area, continue to walk on the access road to 5.8 miles then turn right on Fawn Lake Road. It is only about .4 miles to the end of the road at the Fawn Lake parking area. The road parallels the lake shore most of the way. The Long Path continues through the parking area to the left onto a snowmobile trail. This is the turnaround point for the hike and as always you may simply follow your route back to the car. Walking the back roads provides and interesting alternative. Retrace your route back to Tubbs Pond and back up to Beaver Road. Turn left on Beaver Road and continue passed the trail. Walk .3 miles out to Bradt Hollow Road and turn right on Bradt Hollow Road. Walk .9 miles to the intersection with Cook Hill Road. There was a small parking area here and a sign describing the wildlife management area. Follow Bradt Hollow Road to the right. The road is exceptionally straight and heads almost due north. At 9.9 miles cross High Point Road and at 10.3 miles you will be back at the point where you turned off the road onto the trail earlier in the day. It is just .7 miles back to Lawton Hollow Road. Turn left and walk the .5 miles back to the car.

(The map at the right shows the parking area and the modified out and back hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image below shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Bear Mt. And Lion's Head (CT)Trails IndexTop of page

Quick Look
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 13.2 mi. 3205 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map Bear Mt. is the highest peak in the state but the highest point is further north and west on the shoulder of Mount Frisell which is mostly in Massachusetts.

Park at the AT parking lot .8 miles north of the Route 44/Route 41 junction in Salisbury, CT. on Route 41. The entrance to the parking area is VERY narrow and not well marked. The parking area will accommodate 8 to 10 cars and is a popular place for many day hikers. The trailhead has a large signboard and a privy maintained by the AMC. The first part of the trail to the Lion's Head is wide and pretty smooth and the elevation gain is minimal. Several turns and switchbacks make the climb even easier. At about 1.4 miles you will cross a running stream with cool, clear water. At just over 2.0 miles the Lion's Head Trail joined from the left coming in from Bunker Hill Road. From this junction the trail becomes rockier and harder to walk. It also becomes much steeper as it ascends the Lion's Head with the very last part being an open rock outcrop. After another .25 miles, at about 2.3 miles into the hike, you will arrive at the viewpoint known as the Lion's Head. The views from here are expansive but be prepared to share the view with others! Leave the Lion's head and continue on the AT north toward Bear Mt. At 2.64 miles the Bald Peak Trail joins the AT from the left. The AT in this area is not exposed but instead runs under a leafy canopy most of the way meaning that it is protected but has no views. Along the way to Bear Mt. there are several places to camp and a few water sources. The Riga Lean-to comes up at 3.0 miles into the hike, followed by the Ball Brook campsite at 3.5 miles and the Brassie Brook Lean-to at 4.25 miles. In another .6 miles you will arrive at Riga Junction where the Undermountain Trail comes in from Route 41. Continue on the AT to the junction with Bear Mt. Road at 5.0 miles. From here the trail becomes much rockier and steeper. The AT winds up and over many rocky outcrops offering some limited viewpoints. You arrive at the summit of Bear Mountain at about 5.55 miles and the elevation is 2330 feet. At the top of the mountain is a stone pyramid more than large enough to accommodate 20 people. You can walk to the top of the pyramid to get views to the north and east but the views west and south are limited. To hike a loop head down the north side of Bear Mt. on the AT. The AT down Bear Mt. To the north is very steep. Most northern sides of mountains in this area are steeper than their southern counterparts due to the way glaciation eroded the rock. At a little more than 6.0 miles you will cross the border into Massachusetts and then arrive at a trail junction. Straight ahead the AT leads to Sage's Ravine. Turn right on the Paradise Lane Trail which immediately begins to gain some elevation. At 6.5 miles you will pass the Paradise Lane Group Campsite. From here the trail is flat or slightly downhill for the next 1.15 miles until you reached the junction with the Undermountain Trail at 7.6 miles. Turn right on the Undermountain Trail and start toward the AT at the Riga Junction. At 7.9 miles there is a bog. At 8.6 miles you will be back on the AT where you should turn left to head back to the Lion's Head and eventually the car. A long 2.4 mile stretch of the AT put you back at the Lion's Head. The hike back to the car is downhill.

(The map above shows the parking area and the hiking route in a counterclockwise direction.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Beaver Dam Road to Ryan RoadTrails IndexTop of page

Quick Look
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficulty 8.6 mi. 1615 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

Follow Route 30 into Middleburgh and turn right to head east on Route 145 to Cotton Hill Road just outside of town. Turn left on Cotton Hill Road and drive 8.3 miles to Route 443, the Helderburg Trail. Make a right and drive about 6 miles to East Berne and make a left onto Route 157A. In 2.5 miles turn right on Beaver Dam Road and drive about 1.3 miles to where the Long Path crosses the road at the southern boundary of Thacher Park just passed a gated woods road. Park on the left side of the road where there is room for several cars. Head into the woods to the trail. Thacher Park has its own trail system and the Long Path is co-aligned with these trails. The blazes in the park are in good shape and you should be able to follow them without any trouble. A blue trail parallels Beaver Dam Road and the aqua blazes indicate a left turn. Within a few hundred feet the trail turns right onto a woods road and continues to follow a series of woods roads downhill until about .9 miles where it makes a sharp right turn. After the right turn, you will be headed east and walking over a small hill. There are several seasonal streams along the way. At 1.5 miles the trail turns almost 180 degree and starts to head north. It passes behind the maintenance sheds and near the Knowles Flats picnic area before crossing Thacher Park Road (Route 157) at 1.7 miles. After crossing the road there is an overlook with incredible views to the north and east. Often vultures and raptors can be seen floating on the air currents. Walk along the lookout from one end to the other to a well-packed trail along the edge of the escarpment. There are limited views through the bushes but none better than at the overlook. You will soon break out out into an open field near the Minelot parking area. Continue along the escarpment to the southern end of the Indian Ladder Trail at about 2.3 miles. The Long Path continuEs along the edge of the escarpment. The Indian Ladder Trail below closes in the early fall so it is an optional route. You may decide to do the Indian Ladder Trail on the way out or the way back. Continue north on the escarpment trail following the aqua blazes. On your way north you will cross two intermittent streams. Pass the northern end of the Indian Ladder Trail at 2.75 miles and continue to follow the blazes to a parking area and across the main entrance road and booth. On the other side there is an open area and it may be hard to spot where the blazes. Bear to the left toward the woods as the trail entered the trees. In this area the Long Path is on more of a trail but than woods road but it is still easy to follow. Along the way you can glimpse several more parking lots and picnic areas on the right. At 3.1 miles the trail emerges from the trees, passes along Hailes Cave Road and then re-enters the woods. At 3.4 miles you will cross an access road by a large pavilion. Walk out and across Hailes Cave Road where there is a nice picnic area and some more goods views. Retrace your steps to the Long path to continue your hike. Pass through a field and as you enter the woods notice the signs warning of fissures in the woods and on the trail ahead. The area around the park lies primarily on a limestone bedrock which is easily eroded by acid in the water. At 4 miles make a right onto a woods road and pass from the state park into land owned by the Open Spaces Institute. To the left is a large open area with a woods road. Begin a steep but short ascent as the trail switchbacks up to the ridge. At 4.2 miles make a sharp left following the blazes and at 4.35 miles there will be a yellow blazed trail that leads out to Ryan Road. Turn around and retrace your route back to the northern end of the Indian Ladder Trail. Turn left at 5.7 miles to take the lower trail. The limestone is rich in Devonian fossils which can be hard to see if you stay on the trail as requested. The trail can get very busy and patience is needed to negotiate the narrow walkway. There are some "caves" and underground streams along the way. Near the end is Minelot Falls which cascades off the escarpment to the trail below when there is enough water. There are two overhangs on this trail which require a little crouching to get through. At the top of the southern stairs turn left and retrace your steps back to the car.

(The map above shows the parking area and the out and back hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Buttermilk Falls State Park (NY)Trails IndexTop of page

Quick Look
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficulty 2.0 mi. 760 ft. MSR Maps GPSIES

link to topo map

Head south on Route 13 from Ithaca, New York. Watch for signs for East Buttermilk Falls Road and Buttermilk Falls State Park on your left. The main Buttermilk Falls area is a popular swimming area and it may be hard to get good pictures of the falls from below. Walk through the swimming area to pick up the trail on the west rim of the gorge on the Gorge Trail. As you walk up the first set up steps you may be able to get better pictures. The main "falls" simply has water that passes over a wide expanse of harder bedrock and does not really fall. Over the years the stream has cut an interesting path through the rock forming the gorge. You will soon be at another falls without a sheer drop but one that is narrower and, therefore, seems to be faster flowing. As you continued along the path, you will see how the stream has meandered along the gorge and causing many different and interesting formations. Another falls will appear soon as the water passes through a narrow slot in the rocks. In several places the swirling water has cut circular "pools" in the rock which are deep with rather large diameters. More falls and more interesting formations appear along the way as the path continues climbing up the gorge. At the top of one set of steps you will see a nice three-tiered cascade. There is a lean-to on the right of the trail. Pass by the bridge that crosses the stream to make sure you see the whole gorge. There are several more falls and interesting rock formations and then you will be at Pinnacle Rock. Here a spire of rock has either pulled away from the gorge wall or, more likely, is of greater hardness than the surrounding stone. In any case, it is quite impressive standing tall right next to the path. The pattern of falls, plunge pools, and slots continues as you walk to the head of the gorge but they become less frequent as the stream volume deceases. Cross the next bridge to get to the Rim Trail on the east side of the gorge. This trail descends for most of its length but has at least one area that drops to the gorge before climbing again to the rim. In several places the trail meets a service road and the path was not well marked. The Rim Trail will take you back to the parking area.

(The map at the right shows the parking area and the hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the out and back hiking route. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Conesville to Manorkill FallsTrails IndexTop of page

Quick Look
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 11.9 mi. 1760 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map

Follow Route 30 through Margaretville, Roxbury and Grand Gorge. Turn right on Route 990V and drive through Gilboa and West Conesville. Three miles after the intersection with the Prattsville Road you will be in Conesville. Park in parking lot at the firehouse as far out of the way as possible. Walk east on the main road to Champlin Road and turned right. The road has a hardpacked dirt surface and there are only a few houses near the beginning. Watch for the point where the Long Path turns right off the road. This happens after walking past a driveway on the right at about .8 miles. Just off the road is a sign explaining the trail is now on private property. There is also a small mailbox and a request for hikers to "sign in". The next 2.7 miles of hiking is through private land as the Long Path heads almost due west and just to the north of Sickler's Mountain. The route is downhill most of the way. In this area, as in so many others along the Long Path north of the Catskill Park, there really isn't a trail. There may be paint blazes on the trees but there is little evidence that a trail was constructed or that anybody walks the route very much. There is little or no maintenance in most places. It can be very hard to watch the blazes and watch your footing at the same time. At 2.2 miles you will pass north of the summit of Sickler's Mountain and there are some very interesting cliffs on the left. Remember not to violate the property owner's request that hikers stay on the "trail". Follow the paint blazes which are often placed along old woods roads. There are many more open areas which may be heavily populated by briars and nettles! As you get closer to Pangman Road there are a few places to get some views by walking off the trail. Pangman Road is about 3.5 miles into the hike and the straight line distance to Manorkill Falls is almost exactly a mile. Walk downhill from Pangman Road for .85 miles until we you can see Prattsville Road ahead through the trees. Just before you get to the road the trail comes very close to the edge of the gorge cut by the Manorkill. The Manorkill usually flows slowly and lazily below and, in its present state, does not look like it could have cut such an impressive ravine. As you approach the road, the blazes turn north to almost parallel the road. The first part is simply a zigzag through numerous blowdowns. After that, the blazes take you within sight of the Manorkill again near the area of the upper falls. The land below the trail is marked with orange paint so continue to a spot where there is a lookout down into the gorge. Several different viewpoints provide good opportunities to take pictures of the falls and rapids. Continue out to the road and turn right to walk over the road bridge. You may want to stop on the bridge and look to the right for a better view of the upper falls. The main falls is just below the bridge and it is hard to see. Walk out to Route 990V and turn right to head towards West Conesville and the Conesville. The entire walk is about 3 miles. This road always seems busy but in most places it has a wide enough shoulder.

(The map at the right shows the parking area and the lollipop counterclockwise hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image below shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Creamery Road to Doney HollowTrails IndexTop of page

Quick Look
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 5.2 mi. 860 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map

Head north on Route 30 through Margaretville, Roxbury and Grand Gorge. Continue on Route 30 passing Minekill Falls and Lansing Manor. Watch for the NYPA fishing access road on the right just before a bridge and the sign for Blenheim. Turn right and park on the shoulder of the road. Go back out to Route 30 and turn left to walk downhill to Creamery Road. Turn left onto this dead end street and watch for paint blazes on a few trees and poles. Just after the turn there is a rather large and old cemetery up on the right bank. At about .3 miles there are some blazes on the left although they may be hard to see. Head up a very steep bank and passed the cemetery on the right. Climb to some level ground and turn right to walk along the top of the ridge. This section may be VERY poorly marked so watch carefully for the blazes at about .35 miles. From this point the blazes are hit and miss and there is no trail to follow. At about .5 miles you will come out into a field where there are blazes along the edge. Walk to the corner of the field and turn left uphill at the edge of the field. At the top there is a single blaze on a tree but there was no indication of which way to turn. Turn right and look for a blaze on a tree. You may have to wade through tall grass to get to the treeline. Walk down a steep bank to come out to West Kill Road. Turn left on West Kill Road and begin a road walk. At .9 miles pass by the turnoff onto Burnt Hill Road on the right. At 1.15 miles the trail turns into the woods and ascends another steep bank through grass and briars to a small ridge. Walk along the ridge parallel to the road and within sight of it most of the time. The trail is in the woods for a little more than .1 miles then you will be right back out on the road. Cross the road and ascend another bank to start on a section of "trail" that is more like a bushwhack. Blazes are few and far between and blazes are missing at some important turns. The blazes pass above a pond where you will sidehill as best you can. At around 2.2 miles there is a single paint blaze on a tree and a choice of two equally distinct trails. Turn left and come to West Kill Road within less than a hundred feet. The trail crosses the road and an descend to the bank of the West Kill. After this descent, the blazes again become hard to find and the trail seems to meander around. The West Kill at this point is not spectacular. This section only lasts for .4 miles until you climb another steep bank. At 2.6 miles turn left on West Kill Road and walk to a small parking area near a bridge. Turn around here. You may reverse your route OR walk back on West Kill Road. The walk back on West Kill Road to Route 30 is 2.1 miles. At Route 30 turn right and walk back up the hill to the car.

(The map at the right shows the parking area and the lollipop counterclockwise hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image below shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Delaware Water Gap: Mount MinsiTrails IndexTop of page

Quick Look
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 4.51 mi. 1139 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map

From Main Street (Route 611) in Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania turn south on Mountain Road. Drive up the hill and watch for Lake Road on your left. Drive in and park in the lot to been the hike. Watch for the white blazes of the Appalachian Trail which will take you to the summit. You will pass by Lenape Lake on your right as the trail slowly ascends through the forest. The trail is rocky at times but not very steep. After about 1.2 miles the trail turns and starts a steeper ascent. There is a nice viewpoint here down to the river and over to Mount Tammany on the New Jersey side. As you continue to climb another viewpoint is evident at 1.8 miles. Since you are higher here, the views are generally better. The next .25 miles gets you to the relatively flat top of the mountain. Continue your walk passing a small building in the area where you can see the steps to a fire tower. The trail goes near the edge of the cliffs and side trails lead nearer the edge. Walk to the viewpoints to get good views south on the Delaware River. Turn back to start down the mountain and walkabout .45 miles from the summit. Bear left on the Mt. Minsi Fire Road. The road is not an official hiking trail but is very obvious and gives a different route down the mountain. Around 2 miles from the top Table Rock will be on your right. This large, flat rock gives another viewpoint but is no better than the ones you have already experienced. The fire road will intersect the AT just short of Lenape Lake and you can follow the trail back to the parking area.

(The map at the right shows the parking area and the clockwise hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image below shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Doney Hollow to Old Cemetery RoadTrails IndexTop of page

Quick Look
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 9.7 mi. 1770 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map

Head north on Route 30 through Margaretville, Roxbury and Grand Gorge. Just after coming to North Blenheim, turn left on West Kill Road and drive a little over two miles where there is a small pulloff on the left side of the road. Walk a little farther along the road and over a bridge to the point where the trail cuts right into the woods. The trail follows a woods road but after a short distance leaves the road to climb a bank. The woods road has been eroded by the small creek and all but disappears causing this detour. After another short distance, the trail rejoins the road. For the next 1.6 miles the trail stays mostly on woods roads paralleling a small creek. There are no majestic views over the countryside but there is a lot of evidence of past habitation. At about 1.25 miles there is a large pile of stones across the stream. This was once a dam and the site of one of two water-powered sawmills. On the other side of the trail is a set of stone steps that leads to a foundation. You will be passing by the summit of Burnt Hill. The area got its name from the frequent fires that were purposefully set in the early 1900's to improve the blueberry crops. Within a short distance, at about 1.9 miles, the trail crosses Burnt Hill Road. The road is little more than a single lane dirt and gravel woods road at this point. Cross the road and at 2.25 miles there is a short side trail on the left that leads to a small but pretty pond. A little passed the pond begin a rather steep descent to Cole Hollow Brook. In .6 miles you will have dropped over 400 feet and be at the edge of the brook. Turn left and walk another quarter mile northwest along the brook before the trail comes to Cole Hollow Road. Along the way there are several "pool diggers" in the brook. These artificial "waterfalls" oxygenate the water and help to erode small pools. Both of these actions help trout and other game fish to survive when the water level is low and the temperature rises. Turn left on Cole Hollow Road and walk to about 4 miles where the road turns left. Continue straight ahead on what is marked as Thomson Road on many maps. The old name for the road is Huckleberry Kingdom Road reflecting the importance of that "crop" in the area. Walk along this road for only about .5 miles where the trail turns left into the woods. Just before this turn there is a homestead on the right side of the road. This was the site of the home of Henry Conklin. Conklin authored the book Through Poverty’s Vale, which details the difficulty of living in area in the 1840s. The trail travels along a stream and there may be nettles to wade through since the trail is little traveled. Fortunately, the trail enters a pine forest and seems to follow a woods road which makes the hike more pleasant in several ways. At about 5 miles cross a small stream on a bridge and the trail intersects with a gravel road. You may turn around and retrace your path at this point or use the roads to form a partial loop. The road is marked as Old Cemetery Road on some maps and there is an old cemetery a little further up the Long Path. Turn right to hike south on Old Cemetery Road. Walking the roads is much easier than the trails particularly because of the level surface. At 6.3 miles stay right at a fork in the road to get on one of the many CCC roads in the area. This road has a very good gravel surface and is easy to walk although it heads uphill toward the pond and Burnt Hill. At 7.5 miles you will pass by the pond from earlier in the hike. Continue out to Burnt Hill Road and turn left to head back toward where the trail leaves Burnt Hill Road. Watch for the trail on the right which is only .1 miles from the intersection. The rest of the hike is a repeat of what you hiked earlier only in reverse.

(The map at the right shows the parking area and the lollipop counterclockwise hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image below shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Enfield Glen: Robert Treman State Park (NY)Trails IndexTop of page

Quick Look
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 5.0 mi. 1470 ft. MSR Maps GPSIES

link to topo map

Head south on Route 13 from Ithaca, New York. Watch for signs for Buttermilk Falls State Park. Drive another 2 miles south and watch for signs for Robert Treman State Park and Park Lane. Park in the main parking area to begin the hike. The trails here parallel the glen and can be done in either direction. From the parking area head north to get on the trail that runs along the north rim of the glen. The first part of the hike has a steep ascent to the gorge rim and does not have many points of interest for over a half mile! Enfield Glen is not as developed as some other parks which means there are fewer people but also that the trails are more rugged with fewer defined viewpoints. Along the way you may be able to walk down to the stream bed and photograph some of the numerous small falls and rapids on the stream. Some places you should use your better judgment and stay on the trail as trying to get to the stream bed is dangerous! After a variety of falls and rock formations you will pass a bridge that crosses to the rim trail on the south side of the glen. Bypass this bridge to continue on to the main attraction, Lucifer Falls. Continue to limb up the path and various stairs toward the head of the glen. You will soon be walking next to a railing and a high rock wall. As you round a corner, Lucifer Falls comes into view. It is truly impressive even with low water levels and has an impressive drop. After taking in the view, walk passed this viewing area and another falls will come into view. Around another corner is a stone bridge which leads to the path on the other side of the stream. Beneath the bridge is a narrow slot which channels water into another falls. You will eventually arrive at the upper parking area where you can turn around and head back along the south rim. Before turning around you can visit an old mill and the falls that powered it. Head back to the beginning of the rim trail and climb UP to the south rim of the gorge. The trail flattens at the top but still has its downs and ups. In one place the trail drops down an impressive set of stone steps to the level of the stream. It follows the stream briefly before climbing back up to the rim. There are several viewpoints along the way with one offering a nice view down to Lucifer Falls. Near the end of the trail you can see down to the gorge and the Lower Falls. There is a swimming area for the park which sort of ruins the appearance of the falls. Below the Lower Falls a small dam holds back some water to form a pool for swimming. The gorge below this is not as high as further up but has some nice features. On the other side is some artificial stonework and a stone building. Return to the main path and follow it through an area where there are some cabins. To cross the stream there is a walkway for hikers but cars have to drive through several inches of water and ford the stream to cross!

(The map above shows the parking area and the hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the out and back hiking route. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Falls CreekTrails IndexTop of page

Quick Look
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 2.3 mi. 765 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map

This hike is all bushwhack with no defined trails and few paths. It follows a creek through a gorge that is beautiful but can be dangerous. Although the hike is just over 2 miles it can take between 2 and 4 hours to complete! It requires scrambling over large rocks and tree stumps, crossing the stream several times and climbing up and down steep banks. Choosing the right water level can be tricky. Too much water makes hiking up the creek bed dangerous and tricky but too little water means the falls are not interesting. Take State Route 17 west from Binghamton to Waverley. At Waverley head south on State Route 220 through Towanda to Monroeton. Turned west on Route 414 to a small town called Powell. Turn left or south on Brocktown Road. Crossed two bridges and turn right onto Weston Road along Schrader Creek on your right. When the road forks, stay to the right. Cross the first narrow cement bridge and KEEP going to the second narrow cement bridge. It is a total of about 6.1 miles from the turn onto Weston/Schrader Creek Road. You will be in State Game Lands 36. Park on the right just before the bridge.

The water in Falls Creek drains from a plateau with an elevation of just under 2000 feet. The elevation of the parking area is about 1200 feet. In 1812 coal was discovered on top of the plateau. By 1856 the coal was being commercially mined and the town of Barclay was well-established on the plateau. After the coal ran out, the area became a center for logging and tanning. Most of the large hemlock forests were removed to feed this industry centered at the town of Laquin on Schrader Creek. Due to all this industry the waters of Falls Creek like many in the area are highly acidic. To counteract the acidity the state has built a water treatment facility on the creek just before the water flows into Schrader Creek. A dam diverts water through a cistern filled with limestone. The water turns a device that grinds the limestone which then dissolves in the water to neutralize the acid. The rocks in the upper part of the creek have a distinctive orange tint from the acid but those in the lower part show almost no discoloration. To hike simply head up the creek. Walk in the creek bed or on the left or right banks as you see fit. There are a few small rapids and then some falls with drops of six to twelve feet. At about .55 miles there are three small but pretty water falls in a row. Just passed the third falls you will begin to hear and then catch a glimpse of Bradford Falls. Bradford Falls is ENORMOUS compared to the ones below it! It is at least 70 feet tall. The water drops over the edge into a pool and the falls is bordered by the high stone walls of an impressive gorge. Work your way up the creek bed and you may be able to stand at the base of the falls. The next challenge is how to get out of the gorge to continue hiking upstream. Walk back down the stream until you see a spot where you can work your way up the right bank (looking upstream). Any route will be a STEEP climb up a slippery bank. You can use some of the trees to pull yourself up. Walk along the high ground briefly before descending back to the creek. Just above Bradford Falls is Barclay Falls. This waterfall is not as high as the one below but has a higher volume of water or at least a tighter chute. Climb back up to the higher ground and get ready for another descent to an area above a series of cascades and chutes on the creek below. This area has a steep bank and there may be no safe way to get down to the creek bed. Climb back up the bank and walk the high ground before starting to work your way down a steep bank toward another cascade. Once you make it down the steep bank there is a more level area. There is a ten foot cascade in this area. Walk along a little path along the creek and you will catch a glimpse of another falls. At Laquin Falls the stream passes over a receding ledge and splits to form at least two streams of water. The flow is not great as it is high on the creek but the falls is interesting. The stream is almost flat at this point with a greatly reduced volume of water. You will be at 1850 feet and near the top of the plateau. This is the end of the hike up the stream. Cross the creek here and walk along the high bank on the other side until you find a woods road. Follow the road downstream as it parallels the creek. The road becomes more defined as it descends. When it meets Schrader Creek Road turn left and walk across the bridge to the parking area.

(The map above shows the parking area and the hiking route.)

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Fawn Lake to Gifford HollowTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 9.2 mi. 1460 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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Follow Route 30 into Middleburgh and turn right to head east on Route 145 to Huntersland Road just out side of town. Turn left on Huntersland Road and drive 5.5 miles. Make a left on High Point Road. When High Point Road meets Sickle Hill Road after 3.8 miles, turn right and follow Sickle Hill Road for 1.6 miles to Fawn Lake Road. Turn right on Fawn Lake Road and drive to the parking lot at the end of the road near Fawn Lake. Begin the hike by following the trail as it leaves the upper end of the parking area on a snowmobile trail. After a slight ascent the trail begins to descend to a trail intersection at about .5 miles. Here a trail to the left branches off to White Birch Pond. Stay right on the Long Path and cross a stream on a bridge. At .8 miles the trail comes out to gravel Partridge Run Road. Turn right and walk down to Ravine Road at almost exactly one mile. The trail turns left and follows Ravine Road for a couple hundred feet before turning right again on Partridge Run Road. Continue on Partridge Run Road which is in pretty good shape but would require a high clearance vehicle to access. At 1.3 miles you may want to walk off the main trail to the right to inspect a waterfall on Partridge Run. At 1.6 miles Partridge Run Road turns to the right and descends to cross a bridge over the stream. The Long Path heads slightly left and comes to an open area. Continue passed a gate on the road and then a small pond on the right. A snowmobile trail comes in from the left. Continued ahead to a fork in the trail and bear left. The trail begins to ascend to an escarpment above Partridge Run. Unfortunately there are no viewpoints along the trail. At 2.4 miles intersect another woods road and begin to follow it until the trail turns off the road. The blazes are very clear in this area. At one point a switchback takes you along a wall of rock and then to a higher level on the escarpment. At 3.9 miles begin a switchbacked descent to the Switz Kill Valley. At 4.4 miles start to follow a woods road that parallels the edge of a field. The trail breaks out into the last field on your descent and straight ahead is the Gifford Hollow lean-to. This lean-to was finished in 2012 as an Eagle Scout project. At 5.1 miles make a sharp right and walk along the edge of a field to Gifford Hollow Road at 5.3 miles. Make a left turn onto the road and hike out to Switz Kill Road at 5.5 miles. You may now turn around and retrace your steps or try another return route. Turn around and walk back on Gifford Hollow Road passing the point where the trail intersected the road. After .75 miles, there is a sign for the Partridge Run Wildlife Management Area. Look closely when you get to this sign as what is left of Partridge Run Road turns to the right here. As you walk it is clear that at some point the stream was high enough to wash out a large part of the road. You may want to walk down to the streambed to get a closer look at the work the stream has accomplished. At about 7 miles there is a sign that says "Bridge Closed Ahead". The bridge is intact but has seen better days. At 7.2 miles cross the bridge and continue on the road until another bridge at 7.7 miles. Walk up a little hill and you will be back at the point where you were earlier in the hike just below the waterfall. Continue to walk west on Partridge Run Road until at about 8 miles you can see another waterfall on the stream below. You may want to visit this one as it has an unusual conformation. There is a drop of about 8 feet over a solid rock wall. Water shootis out from two places that hve worm more deeply than the rest of the rock. Climb the bank to the road and continue out to Ravine Road. From this point on simply follow your route from earlier back to the parking area at Fawn Lake. where we had just turned around and see how e felt at that point.


(The map above shows the parking area and the hiking route.)

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Gifford Hollow to Willsie RoadTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficulty 6.8 mi. 830 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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Follow Route 30 into Middleburgh and turn right to head east on Route 145 to Cotton Hill Road just outside of town. Turn left on Cotton Hill Road and drive 8.3 miles to Route 443, the Helderburg Trail. Make a left and drive 1.3 miles to Switz Kill Road (CR-1). Turn right and follow it 4.0 miles to Gifford Hollow Road on the right. Park on the shoulder of the road at the intersection. Start by walking south on Switz Kill Road for about .7 miles. Turn left onto Willsie Road which is flat momentarily and then begins to climb gently up a hill. As you climb up the hill and reach the top at 1.8 miles there are nice views across Partridge Run to the Catskills. Continue to walk along the road. At 2.1 miles the blazes on a telephone pole indicate a left turn. There seems to be a woods road on the left but just passed this the trail turned into the woods. Walk uphill and then down through some stands of pine and spruce with hardwoods inbetween. There are several stone walls to cross. At 3.1 miles cross Irish Hill Road where there is a shale pit and room to park a few cars. The trail ascends briefly and the aqua blazes share the trees with state cross country ski trail markers. As you walk along the trail pay attention to the blazes as there are numerous woods roads, trails and ski trails that cross the path. In general, the aqua blazes are good enough to guide your course. Begin to walk along an escarpment at about 3.3 miles. Cross several more stone walls as you reach the highest point on the hike at 3.75 miles. Here it looks as if the trail continues straight ahead but the blazes lead to the right. Start to descend through some pines until you intersected Woolsie Road at 4.2 miles. Turn right on Willsie Road to hike back to the car.


(The map above shows the parking area and the hiking route.)

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Heberly Run: Waterfall BushwhackTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 4.6 mi 688 ft MSR Maps GPSies

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From Route 118 turn north onto Central Road. In Center take a right onto Jamison City Road. in Jameson City continue straight ahead on T720 to Sate Game Lands #13. Park in the parking area at the end of the road where you can go no further. This hike is a bushwhack up Herberly Run to three different waterfalls. The waterfalls are more interesting after a heavy rain but this makes them harder to access.

To begin the hike walk over to the stream and start walk along the far bank or in the stream bed itself. Keep working upstream for about a mile when you will be in the area of Big Falls. Since you are probably below the falls at this point, you will have to work your way up a steep embankment to continue the hike. A path exists on the left bank looking upstream but it is slippery even when not very wet. Continue to walk up the left bank until around 1.9 miles when Twin Falls will appear. This falls is smaller than Big Falls but is pretty in its own right. Once you are done inspecting these falls try climbing out of the gorge on the right bank. This will take you to the upper drop of Twin Falls where you may be able to walk or wade across to the right bank and access the path along the left bank above the falls. At around 2.65 miles Lewis Falls should come into view. The gorge at Lewis Falls is deeper than at the other two falls and the banks are impossible to scale. Walk back downstream until you can work your way out of the gorge preferably on the right side. From here you can walk to the top of Lewis Falls. There is a path that follows Herberly Run and then Shanty Run until it cuts across the plateau and comes back down. The path is indistinct and not well marked! Cross the stream above Lewis Falls and walk out to Grassy Hollow Road. This is a grass and dirt road that the Game Commission opens during hunting season. It makes the walk back to the car fairly easy. Along the way you can hear Heberly Run and catch glimpses of the water.

(The map above shows the parking area and the hiking route in a counterclockwise direction.)

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John Boyd Thacher State ParkTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficulty 6.3 mi. 1008 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map The main hiking attraction in the park is the Indian Ladder Trail along the Helderberg Escarpment. This trail extends around the rim of the escarpment and descends into the gorge below the rim. Other trails run throughout the park. The Long Path runs through one section. Most of these trails are wide and well-maintained and relatively flat. An overlook area allows motorists to park their cars and take in the beauty of the escarpment and the gorge. This area is a favorite of "birders" since eagles and hawks frequent the area to ride the updrafts. The park contains the Helderberg Escarpment which has two deposits of Devonian limestone. It is rich in fossils from a shallow see that covered this area during that period. This escarpment is the one pictured in the movie "Last of the Mohicans".

Start at the main parking lot at the park and find the Indian Ladder Trail. Descend the steps into the gorge. A fenced path runs along the limestone cliffs. Cracks are obvious in the limestone layers. Areas where the rock has been eroded away by water are clear. Small caves and underground streams riddle the rock face. Two different waterfalls cascade off the escarpment onto the trail below. Walk behind the falls but be careful since the limestone can be VERY slippery when wet. One area of the trail is almost obscured by overhanging rock. Climb out of the gorge to the escarpment rim. The trail continues along the rim in both directions. From the rim the views of the surrounding countryside and the other rim of the escarpment are magnificent! To extend the distance of the hike, cross over the main park road when you come out of the gorge and look for the forest trail. This trail start out by heading south but turns west until it intersects the Long Path. Turn right on the Long Path and continue north to the area of the gatehouse. Cross the main park road to walk back to the car.

(The map on the right shows the parking area and the hiking route in a clockwise direction.)

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Lenape Ridge TrailTrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 7.1 mi. 1502 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map The trailhead is on Route 6 north just outside Port Jervis. There is a pulloff going up the hill on the right hand side by the Town of Deerpark sign. If you go as far as the power lines you have gone too far. Walk across the road and look for three red rectangles on a tree for the beginning of the Trail. The trail enters the woods and quickly connects to a woods road. There Rae many roads and informal paths in the area so be careful to follow the red trail markers. At .4 miles the trail abruptly makes a 90 degree turn northeast. The trail makes another 90 degree turn to the northwest at 1.2 miles and then starts to ascend to the ridge. At 1.6 miles there is a lookout to the north and wet and down into the Conrail cut through rocks. For the next 1.9 miles the trail follows the ridge line and dips and rises and some impressive rock formations. The red Minisink Trail ends at this point at a junction with the white Lenape Ridge Trail. Turn left on the white trail to hike back along the southeastern side of the ridge. The trail begins to climb to the highest point on the ridge at 4.2 miles and some nice viewpoints to the south and east are found here. Another lookout is at 4.5 miles above Heinlein Pond. From here the tower at High Point is clearly visible. The trail now begins a long descent off the ridge until at 5.3 miles it ends at the red Minisink Trail. Turn right here and follow the trail back to where your car is parked.


(The map on the right shows the parking area and the hiking route in an out and back and anticlockwise direction.)

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Leonard Hill Fire TowerTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 3.8 mi. 700 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map Drive to Broome Center, New York in Schoharie County. Turn southeast on Leonard Mountain Road. Drive 1.2 miles on a seasonally maintained road until the signs for Leonard Hill State Forest. Park where you can which varies depending on the season. Start out and stay on the wide woods road that ascends the hill. After .65 miles at the top of the ridge the trail will turn right and begin to skirt Hubbard Hill on the left. Continue around Hubbard Hill staying on the road. Just after a slight descent the road will turn away from Hubbard Hill and start toward Leonard Hill where the fire tower is located. The total distance to the tower is about 1.7 miles. The tower is presently closed to the public and the first two flights of stairs are missing. Fortunately there is a nice viewpoint nearby that will have to do until the fire tower is restored. When you are done, retrace your steps back to the car. This hike can be combined with a visit to Vroman's Nose, the Middleburgh Cliffs or several other hikes in the area.


(The map on the right shows the parking area and the hiking route in an out and back and anticlockwise direction.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Loyalsock Trail: Smith's KnobTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 4.7 mi. 1482 ft. MSR Maps Google Maps

link to topo map The Loyalsock Trail is a 59.3 mile trail in north central Pennsylvania in Lycoming and Sullivan counties . It stretching from the western trailhead just north of Montoursville to the eastern trailhead just north of LaPorte. It is well maintained by the Alpine Club Of Williamsport and is well marked with a distinctive yellow LT on a red can lid. The trail passes through main different geological and ecological areas and each is as interesting as the next. The hike described here starts near the western trailhead and takes and out and back and loop route to Smith's Knob.

Get on Route 87 going north from Williamsport. At between 9 and 10 miles the trailhead for the start of the Loyalsock Trail will appear as a pulloff on Route 87. Just passed this pull off is Little Bear Creek Road on the right. Turn onto this road and in less than 1 mile you will see a sign on the left for the Loyalsock trail to Smith's Knob. Just passed the bridge to the maintenance barns and across from the ranger's house is a pull off for several cars. Park here and then walk back down the road to the sign. Turn right up the hill, sign in at the register and begin your hike.

The first part of this hike is a long uphill with only a few places to catch your breath. At about .7 miles there is a viewpoint called Helen's Window that exposes a long, straight section of Loyalsock Creek. The trail continues until about 1.6 miles when it turns right onto an old woods road. This continues for about .1 miles where the trail turns left and begins a steep assault on Smith's Knob. At this point an alternate route continues straight ahead and is marked with a red X on a yellow background.

After climbing the short but steep slope the trial turns right toward the top of Smith's Knob. Near the pond on the right is a view to the right of the trail. There is no real view from the top but continue to walk east on the trail. When the trail begins to descend walk off the trail toward the obvious viewpoint to the left. This lookout offers beautiful views up and down Loyalsock Creek. At this point you may return the way you came or continue on the trail to complete the loop.

The descent on the other side of Smith's Knob is steep and eroded with several switchbacks. A little further along the trail is another Lookout called the DER View. This lookout offers more views up and down Loyalsock Creek and Loyalsock Valley. Continue on the trail being sure to stay on the marked LT trail. Be on the lookout for the trail marked by the red X's. This will be a sharp right turn and may have a NO HORSES sign marking it. This alternate route is not as well traveled as the main trail. There are several blowdowns and the markings are spread out further. This trail meets a woods road and travels along it for a short distance. Soon the road turns left and the trail bears right. In only a short distance the trail leads back to the junction with the main trail where the main trail turned up Smith' Knob. Follow the main trail back to your car.

(The map above shows the parking area and the hiking route in an out and back and clockwise direction.)

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Loyalsock Trail: Sock RockTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 6.2 mi. 1460 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map The Loyalsock Trail is a 59.3 mile trail in north central Pennsylvania in Lycoming and Sullivan counties . It stretches from the western trailhead just north of Montoursville to the eastern trailhead just north of LaPorte. It is well maintained by the Alpine Club Of Williamsport and is well marked with a distinctive red LT on a yellow plastic. Each mile from the beginning of the trail is also denoted at the closest markers. The trail passes through main different geological and ecological areas and each is as interesting as the next. The hike described here starts at the western trailhead and is a loop that includes the Allegheny Front. This first part of the trail takes in Sock Rock and has some great views especially when there are fewer leaves on the trees

Get on Route 87 going north from Williamsport. At between 8 and 9 miles the trailhead for the start of the Loyalsock Trail will appear as a pulloff on Route 87. Pull off and park here. The hike is STEEP right from the start giving you no chance to "warm up". After .4 miles the trail turns right as it meets an old woods road and there is a brief respite. Almost immediately the trail turns left off the road and up the ridge. A little further up the trail is a limited lookout on the right side of the trail. The overall .6 mile section to Sock Rock is an average of a 29% grade! There are some impressive ledges along the way but Sock Rock itself doesn't look much like a sock and there are no views! The trail turns right after Sock Rock but continues to climb steeply for another .25 miles. After the climb, the level part of the trail is welcome! At 1.55 miles the Red X-1 trail crosses. The Red X trails connect different parts of the Loyalsock Trail in different areas acting as shortcuts. There are eleven of them in all and can be interesting adventures in their own right. All, true to their name, are marked with red X's. Continue on the main trail and at 2 miles the Loyalsock Trail turns left. A woods road is to the right and straight ahead is a bridle path to allow horses access to the plateau. After this point the trail begins to climb some but it is hardly noticeable when compared to the initial climb. You are now walking west to east along the Allegheny Front. Looking for viewpoints which are few during the seasons when there are leaves on the trees. At about 2.9 miles there is a limited viewpoint. The trail is interesting in this area as it ascends and you will be walking very close to the edge of the Front. As you continue on another viewpoint, the best yet, opens up on a rock ledge with nice views to the south. A short path leads down to a lower rock shelf with an even better view. Be careful to watch for rattlesnakes sunning themselves on the rocks! They will rapidly vacate the area on your approach as long as you do not surprise them. From "Rattlesnake Rock" the trail begins to descend gently for about .5 miles until it takes a sharp left and heads down a rocky drainage. The hike down this part of the trail can be tricky as the rocks may be mossy, damp and slippery in places. Watch for some very tall and very straight trees along this route. These trees may not have be first growth but they are old. Loggers in this area harvested white pine for ship masts and when the white pines were done they turned to hemlocks. The hemlock bark was used for tanning and, many times, the rest of the tree lay unused. Over the next 1.2 miles the trail drops over 950 feet and the total drop from the highest point is over 1100 feet. The trail crosses Little Bear Road at the bottom of the descent. Turn left and start to walk back out to Route 87. The Loyalsock Trail continues on your left and goes up and over Smith's Knob. You can hike this loop using the Painter Run Trail on your return if you still have the time and energy. Walk .8 miles out to Route 87, turned left and walk .5 miles to the your car to complete the loop.

(The map above shows the parking area and the hiking route in an anticlockwise direction.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Manorkill Falls to Mine Kill FallsTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficulty 11.9 mi. 1760 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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Head north on Route 30 through Margaretville, Roxbury and Grand Gorge. In about 5 miles after Grand Gorge turn right on Route 990V. Drive about 3 miles to Conesville and turn right on the Prattsville Road. Just after crossing the bridge, park on the side of the road. Walk back across the bridge to Route 990V and turn left to hike the shoulder of the road back toward Gilboa. The road has a lot of traffic and in most places the shoulder is wide enough. The road rolls a little until you pass the Gilboa-Conesville School on the right at about 1 mile. Just after this the road narrows for the ongoing construction on the dam. Start a descent to the post office. Just after the post office there is a small display of fossils found when excavating the reservoir. More fossils are in a small museum on Stryker Road. The museum in only open on summer weekends from 12:00 PM to 4:30 PM! The descent continues to 1.9 miles where you cross Schoharie Creek on a road bridge. From here walk up hill to the right turn onto Stryker Road. Stryker Road is now a dead end from both directions and is closed to through traffic. Walking on Stryker Road is a pleasure since the traffic is light. You will pass a large farm on the left that seems to have exotic animals. At about 2.6 miles there is a barrier that blocks traffic. Be careful as you walk around the barrier to the left as the right side of the road is collapsing into Schoharie Creek. There is more erosion downstream. Continue to walk down the road and at 3.1 miles there are a series of rock ledges at the side of the road. The second set is more interesting and shows that the road has all but disappeared. A little farther along the road is down to a single track for walking! From the road you can see a huge area of erosion ahead where an entire hillside seems to be in danger of collapsing into the creek! Shortly after this is another barrier as the road starts to ascend and moves away from the creek. Continue toward the Nickerson Park Campgrounds and at 3.5 miles turn into the campground. Follow the aqua blazes behind the store and down the main camp road. At one point you will cut to the right off the road onto a trail but then come right back to the road after a short distance. Just follow the blazes which are pretty clear through the campgrounds. Eventually you will run out of campground roads and enter the woods on a trail at about 4.4 miles. The trail can be muddy in spots and at about 4.75 miles there is a short but steep climb. At the top the trail levels and makes a sharp right turn to head directly for Schoharie Creek. At 4.9 miles there is a nice viewpoint upstream and down to the water at least 50 feet below. This continues for about a quarter of a mile. Soon the trail descends steeply and then makes a sharp left turn to run along the banks of a small stream parallel to the main creek. Walk upstream and watch for a rock shelf on the edge of the water which gives a nice view up and down the stream. Continue to walk upstream until a set of stepping stones crosses the stream. On the other side walk along the bank back downstream until the trail cuts up the bank. At the top of the climb you will be at a powerline right-of-way where the trail markers lead to the right and then left up the bank to the woods. At 5.8 miles you will be within sight of the Mine Kill and the trail makes a hard left and parallels the stream. The trail keeps climbing and at 6.7 miles passes the cutoff to the lower part of Mine Kill Falls. It is a quick walk to the parking area near the top of the falls. You will be at about 7 miles now and returning by reversing your route will make a 14 mile hike. To cut some mileage and make an easier walk continue out the entrance road to Route 30. Turn left and walk only about .4 miles on Route 30 to Stryker Road. It is another mile to the campgrounds on Stryker Road. Once you are back at the campground road, simply reverse the walk from earlier in the morning.

(The map at the right shows the parking area and the lollipop counterclockwise hiking route.)

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Mendon Ponds Park - East Esker Ridge TrailTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficulty 5.2 miles 660 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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Mendon Ponds Park's unique complex of glacial features helped to make it a National Natural Historic Landmark in 1969. There is a 550 acre nature preserve, and 30 miles of self guided trails full of wildlife. At the northwestern end of the line of other glacial ponds and lakes near the kettle hole called the "Devil's Bathtub" in the park, there is a sphagnum moss peat bog, and the buildup of moss has created a floating island in the middle of the lake. Due to the acidity buildup and lack of decay caused by the sphagnum moss, the bog is home to a number of carnivorous plants, including sundew and pitcher plants. Like much of New York State the topography here was shaped by several different ice sheets that covered the area in the past. The Finger Lakes are some of the most prominent features but everywhere you look there are glacial formations if you know what to look for. Mendon Ponds has several esker ridges formed when glacial streams deposited sediment. It has at least two kettle lakes formed when large blocks of ice dropped off receding glaciers, formed indentations in the soil, melted and left ponds and lakes behind. There are several kame hills formed when unsorted deposits lying on the glacier were deposited in a "heap" as the glacier melted.

A map of the park describes the marked trails and some of the features you will find. None of the trails are difficult but some can be muddy since part of the park is a wetland. In addition to the marked trails there are MANY "informal" trails which can be misleading but most reconnected to the marked trail system at some point. A good choice to see a variety of glacial features is the East Esker Ridge Trail marked at 4.7 miles in length on the map.

Once in the Rochester/Rush area find Rt 65 or Clover Street. The entrance to the park is just south of I-90 and is well marked. Turn into the park on Canfield Road and proceed to the first four corners. Turn right here onto Douglas Road. Look for the Canfield Woods or Stewart signs. Canfield Woods is the first BIG parking area on you right just across from the park office. This is the best place to park and, by the way, entrance and parking are FREE! Walk back up the entrance and across the road to a chain link fence which is the start of the green East Esker Ridge Trail. You may notice a blue marking on a tree since part of the trail is shared with the North Meadow Trail. Turn right and start your walk along the trail as it roughly parallels Douglas Road.

You will find that as you walk a familiar theme develops. At times you will walk up onto esker ridges and walk along the tops with a dropoff on either side. Other areas of the trail are sited between ridges or up and over kame hills. Along the way you will see several different ponds and walk through both hardwood and evergreen forests. The highest point in the park (820 ft.)) is on the trail in the last quarter of the hike. Walk along the trail for about .25 miles and you will come out of the forest into an opening. Straight ahead are some rolling kame hills. Reenter the forest trail and continue walking over the rolling topography. At about .7 miles you will walk down a hill and along Round Pond. To the left is a high hill you might want to climb. The trail doesn't offer much of a view of the pond but just as you start back into the trees there is and informal trail that ascends an esker ridge on the right. Walk along this trail if you like to get some limited views down onto the pond.

Back on the main trail, hike .35 miles east between several ridges until the trail abruptly turns west. After .6 miles you will descend to Douglas Road at the Calvary Shelter. If you actually get to the shelter you have gone too far, so turn around and take your first right to stay on the trail as it continues .45 miles south to Pond road and the other major trailhead for this trail. The trail at this point has just taken you through some open fields and it turns quickly left to head first north and west. The trail gains some elevation here as it first ascends, descends and then climbs several ridges. Be on the lookout for a small spur trail to the right which leads to a wooden bench along the way. This bench offers a spot to relax and look out over the surrounding hills and valleys. Also watch for a small blue marker labeled 23 on your left. This is the highest spot in the park at 820 ft!

After 1.2 miles of walking along the ridge, you will descend and then ascend once again. The trail continues north but then starts to turn left until you are walking due east. On your left will be a large water tank and the trail will lead around it after about .75 miles. The trail now turns into a wide road paved with crushed gravel and leads directly back to the trailhead where you started after .3 miles.

Another interesting place to visit is the kettle hole called the Devil's Bathtub. From the parking area turn right on Douglas Road and continue south until the intersection with Pond Road. Turn right on Pond Road and watch for the Devil's Bathtub Parking area on the right. Drive up and park. When you get out of the car, notice the view to Deep Pond on your right. Find the sign that says "Devil's Bathtub" and head down the wooden stairs to this kettle pond. There is a wooden walkway along the edge of the pond but no real view down onto the pond to take it all in. The trails here are NOT well marked but you can head around the pond on the aqua trail and informal trials until you meet the light blue Grasslands Trail. If you stay on the aqua trail, it turns to the right away from the Devil's Bathtub and takes you along the shore of Deep Pond. Either walk is worthwhile.

(The map above shows the parking area and the counterclockwise route.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative! Although this profile looks menacing, the elevation gains are seldom more than 50 ft!)


Middleburgh CliffsTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 4.8 mi. 1220 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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The area around Middleburgh is best known for Vroman's Nose and Thacher Park but the Middleburgh Cliffs also offer a nice view of the Schoharie Plain and Vroman's Nose itself.

In the village of Middleburgh turn south and east on Route 145 from Route 30. Within less than .5 miles watch for a school on your right. As long as school is not in session, you may park in the school lot. If school is in session, park legally on the street. Walk across Route 145 and slightly to the left look for Staub Lane. Turn left on Union Street and then right on Cliff Street. As you walk, you should notice the aqua blazes of the Long Path on telephone poles. Where Cliff Street ends the Long Path ascends a rather steep bank that is eroded. Climb up the bank and follow the Long Path as it makes a short but steep climb over the next .6 miles. After passing over and through some rocks, the trail descends some and then rises again. At about 2.2 miles the trail levels off at around 1600 feet. It follows the cliffs for some distance and you can walk as far as you like. All along the way there are views into and over the valley with some being better than others. Watch especially for views of Vroman's Nose. When you have had enough, turn around and retrace you path to the car.

(The map on the right shows the parking area and the out and back hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image below shows the profile of the loop hiking route. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Middleburgh to Treadlemire RoadTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 11.5 mi. 2370 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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Head north on Route 30 through Margaretville, Roxbury, Grand Gorge, North Blenheim and Middleburgh. We turned right and then left to follow Route 30 through Margaretville, Roxbury, Grand Gorge and North Blenheim. Turn into Rotary Park just before the Route 30 bridge in Middleburgh. Walk behind the building near Route 30 and cross the bridge. Turn right on Main Street (Route 145 east) and walked about .6 miles until Straub Lane appears on the left. Turn left on Straub Lane and continue to follow it until it becomes MT Path. Continued to follow the aqua blazes toward the ridge in front of you. The blazes lead behind the last house and up a faint road toward a shale pit and a steep bank. The trail continus up the steep bank and starts to climb to the top of the cliffs. The blazes are very clear and the trail is usually cleared. You will find a dirt trail that ascends to a rock outcrop. At this point there is a narrow passage between the rocks which requires a big first step and then some upper body strength to get through the upper part of the passage. There is a nice viewpoint at the top with views of Middleburgh and Vromnas Nose. Continue to walk along the cliffs on a nice wide woods road which continues to ascend. At about 2.2 miles turn west and then north again as the blazes continue to follow well-established wood roads. Other roads and paths cross at different points but the blazes are always clear. After reaching a high point at 3.2 miles turn from north to ESE onto a trail and off the woods road to descend to "The Gorge". Continue to descend eventually picking up another woods road and at 3.9 miles crossing "The Gorge". There is a pretty good sized ravine but the stream often has little or no water. At 4 miles make a right turn on woods road and start toward the northeast. Cross Durfee Road at 4.8 miles and begin a slight ascent. At 4.9 miles make another right turn and start to walk southeast. Just after the 5 mile point turn left on another woods road and watch for old well on the right side of the trail. This was constructed in the 1930's so that fire fighters could fill there "Indian tanks" from this water source. Around 5.5 miles turn onto a trail which parallels a streambed. Pass through some hemlocks and walk passed a house on the left before coming to Treadlemire Road at 5.9 miles. Turn left on Treadlemire Road and walk to the parking area about .5 miles up the road. Turn around here and walked back down Treadlemire Road. You may choose to return the same way you came or walk the roads back to the car. Continue down Treadlemire Road and turn right on Cotton Hill Road. You will now be on a long downhill walk back to Route 145 into Middleburgh. The road is paved and there are several short climbs. The trip to Route 145 is 3 miles of descent totaling almost 1200 feet! At Route 145 turn right and walked 1.1 miles back through Middleburgh to your car.

(The map at the right shows the parking area and the clockwise hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image below shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Mine Kill Falls to Creamery RoadTrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficulty 8.8 mi. 1467 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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Head north on Route 30 through Margaretville, Roxbury and Grand Gorge. In about 6 miles watch for the entrance to Mine Kill Falls. Turn right to park in the parking area. If you want to view the falls, walk down the wooden stairs to the overlook platform. You may also walk back up to the top of the stairs and turn left to walk to the base of the falls. This part of the trail is also part of the Long Path. This walk will be about .85 miles. When you are ready, walk back toward the parking area. The Long Path has been rerouted to cross the Mine Kill on the Route 30 bridge as the crossing downstream proved to be unreliable. Walk out the entrance road for the park to Route 30 and turn right to cross the bridge. Just after the bridge the Long Path descends a steep bank on the right. The trail begins to descend through some evergreens and parallels the Mine Kill for about .5 miles. After a low point, the trail then starts to turn ENE and away from the creek. It begins to ascend gaining about 250 feet over the next .4 miles. At the top you will break out of the woods at the main access road into Mine Kill State Park. The Long Path continues straight ahead along a path mowed in the grass and parallels Route 30. The markings are pretty easy to follow. The park seems to be well-used and has a disk golf course to complement the pool, ball fields and courts. At 1.2 miles the Long Path turns right and heads downhill a little toward the soccer fields and picnic grove. Bear to the left toward a break in the trees which is a woods road where you will turn left at 1.4 miles. The path is clearly labeled and blazed. Walking this path is easy on the feet and you will soon come out of the trees to an open field with a series of cedar trees. The trees have been planted and protected by fencing to allow the deer to forage but not destroy the trees. Walked slightly up hill through the field to the Visitor's Center for the Blenheim-Gilboa Power Project. At about 2.1 miles into the hike you will pass the solar array and windmill. Walk over to the flagpole for a beautiful view down the Schoharie Valley and into the lower reservoir. Water is pumped from the lower to the upper reservoir during off peak hours. During high demand hours the water is released and turns turbines to generate power. From the flagpole walk in back of the Visitor's Center and then head a little left to walk in front of Lansing Manor. As you leave Lansing Manor, the blazes became harder to spot but the idea is to walk around the edge of the "lawns" to a break in the woods. There are paint blazes but you have to really strain to see them. At 2.6 miles enter the woods and find that the trail changes. The Long Path begins to drop dramatically and it is obvious the trail is not much used or maintained. At 2.8 miles you may have to fight your way through weeds and briars to a microwave tower. Just passed this point there is a nice lookout to the dam on the reservoir. Continue the descent through the woods and at 3.45 miles you will come to the New York Power Authority North Access Road. There is a small parking area. Cross the road and head to the left. Watch for the blazes that indicate you should cross the road and head down another steep bank as the trail nears Schoharie Creek again. There is a jumble of weeds and vines but these are usually cut back. Walk about .4 miles on the trail sandwiched between the road and the creek. At 3.9 miles the Long Path climbs to the road on a set of stairs. Turn right at the top and walk outside the guardrail to Route 30. You may turn around and reverse your route or use the roads for part of the return trip. Turn left on Route 30and be prepared for an ascent from the North Access Road almost all the way to Lansing Manor. At Lansing Manor you may continue on Route 30 but cutting back down to the rail is a better option. Walk the woods road back to Mine Kill. At the park walk out passed the pool to the main entrance road and then to Route 30. Turn left on Route 30 and hike the last .7 miles back to the car.

(The map at the right shows the parking area and the lollipop counterclockwise hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image below shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Morgan Hill (Big Loop)Trails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 12.8 mi. 2580 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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Morgan Hill State Forest sits in the upper northeast corner of Cortland County the lower southeast corner of Onondaga County. It has many miles of trails and woods roads to explore and is crossed by the North Country Trail. The trails are used for both hiking and mountain biking. The area also has several ponds and streams. The streams have some small cascades and one named waterfall, Tinker Falls. The best viewpoint is from Jones Hill. The area also is adjacent to Labrador Pond Unique Area.

From the south take I81 to exit 11. Take Route 13 north for about 10 miles to Route 91 in Truxton. Turned left and drive about 3.6 miles to Shackham Road. Turn right on Shackham Road in Morgan Hill State Forest ,and drive about 2 miles to a pulloff on the right side of the road. DO NOT park at the larger parking area just before this! The North Country National Scenic Trail stretches approximately 4,600 miles from Crown Point on Lake Champlain in eastern New York to Lake Sakakawea State Park in central North Dakota in the United States. Walk to the "beginning" of the trail on your side of the road and head east on the blue-blazed NCT. After only a short distance you will be on the shores of Shackham Pond. The pond is pretty and surrounded by both hardwood and softwood trees. Headed back to the main trail and within a few hundred feet pass across the top of the dam that creates the pond. Hike north through mostly hardwood forest and at about .7 miles you will cross a well-maintained dirt road and entered an evergreen forest. Stop at the trail register and sign in before continuing on the trail. The trail parallels a small stream for some time and may be wet and muddy in places. In this area the trail is almost flat with only a few bumps. Pass by several woods roads and at 1.9 miles the trail will again cross a road before entering the woods. At this point we turn right on the dirt road which becomes Morgan Hill Road. After a slight uphill walk of about .3 miles at 2.2 miles into the hike there is a gate across the road to permit only "seasonal access". Continue straight ahead and be prepared for a rather long walk on this isolated road. At 4.2 miles Eaton Hill Road comes in from the left and it should now be only a half mile or so until the NCT appears on the right at about 4.8 miles. Turn right into the forest and head almost due east along a tributary of Shackham Brook. Sections of the trail here can be VERY muddy. At 5.2 miles walk down the trail into a beautiful ravine. The trail crosses the brook here but you can walk a few hundred feet upstream to a small waterfall. Walk back to where the trail crosses the stream and negotiate the steep bank.

The trail almost immediately meets a woods road and follows it for some distance until the trail heads to the right and down. The trail starts to parallel to the brook and you may notice several small waterfalls. Continue to walk on the trail parallel to the brook until 6.1 miles where there is another nice waterfall off the trail to the left. Continue on the trail toward Shackham Road. A nice footbridge crosses the stream and the streambed here was solid rock. On the other side of the bridge the trail can be VERY wet. Crossed Shackham Road about 6.6 miles into the hike. Your car is only about 1.5 miles up the road but the best part of the hike is yet to come! After crossing the road the trail begins to climb through hardwood forest almost immediately. Over the next .6 miles the trail climbs about 450 feet which is one of the steepest parts of the trail up to this point. At the top of the climb the trail levels a bit as it runs along the shoulder of a hill on the right. After a short walk on relatively flat ground, begin a descent to Tinker Falls. There is one major switchback on the descent and the trail at the bottom is not well marked. Cross the stream above the falls and walk to the edge of the gorge to see the falls below. there is no safe path down to the base of the falls from the top but you can park on Route 91 and walk the short "nature trail" to the falls after completing the loop hike!

Finding the NCT blazes here can be a little problem. The trail comes down some steps on the east side, crosses the stream, goes a little more that 100 feet and then hooks back almost 180 degrees to climb the hill on the other side. Head up the trail. Over the next mile from the top of the falls you will ascend about 430 feet. The trail is never steep but the ascent is continuous. You will cross a dirt road at some point and the trail turns onto it at another. Eventually the trail dips to the right into the woods and leads to the viewpoint on Jones Hill at about 9.6 miles into the hike. The view from this outlook is spectacular! There is a valley below with a few hills and mountain in the distance. Labrador Pond is visible below. You still have about 3 miles to hike and after a short distance, the trail turns right and crosses the top of Jones Hill on private property. Over the next 1.2 miles the trail rolls a little with no major ascents or descents until the walk down to Spruce Pond at around 11 miles. There is a NCT kiosk at the outlet end of the pond.

The last 1.7 miles is mostly downhill with one little bump near the end. The first part of this section of the trail parallels a stream and may be wet and muddy. The very last few feet of the trail before the road can be a muddy quagmire but at least you are now back at your car. If you want to visit the base of Tinker Falls drive back down Shackham road to Route 91. Turn right and drive 1.2 miles north to the parking area for Tinker Falls. Park on the left side of the road in the large parking area. Walk across the road to the trail to the falls which is wide and "paved" with crushed stone. There are several benches along the stream. When you get to the end of the trail, walk up the stone of the streambed to the base of the falls. The amount of water going over the falls varies greatly and it is best to visit after a rainfall. There is even a trail that allows you to walk behind the falls. The round trip walk is about .6 miles

(The map on the right shows the parking area and the out and back hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image below shows the profile of the loop hiking route. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Mount Greylock: Hopper TrailTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 8.5 mi. 2513 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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From Sate Route 7 in Massachusetts take route 43 eat for 2.3 miles. In New Hope turn right on Hopper Road. At 1.4 miles the road splits in a Y with Hopper Road going to the left. Stay left on Hopper Road and drive to the dead end. Park in the parking area at the end of Hopper Road.

The very first part of the trail is an old farm road . This part is flat and the Haley Farm trail leaves to the right and then the Money Brook Trail branches to the left. Stay on the Hopper Trail marked mostly by fading blue blazes. The first mile of the trail nearly parallels the contour lines but constantly and gradually gains elevation. The trail is rooted and rocky in places. Some very large blowdowns have simply been left in place and "steps" have been cut through them. Around 1 mile the trail turns more to the south and starts to gain elevation toward the Greylock ridge. Over the next mile there is a gain of over 900 vertical feet. There are no rock scrambles or anything really steep but the climb is relentless. At 2.0 miles the trail levels some and meets Sperry Road at 2.3 miles. Turn left to hike up Sperry Road passing the campground office. Turn left at 2.6 miles to get back on the Hopper Trail. This part of the trail started innocently enough but then begins to gain elevation again quickly. At about 3.3 miles the Overlook Trail branches to the left. Stay on the Hopper Trail which begins to roughly parallel Rockwell Road. At 3.8 miles cross Rockwell and North Adams Roads and stay on the trail which will now have white markings to indicate that the Appalachian Trail had joined the Hopper Trail. From here it is only about .3 miles to the summit. There were a few more short sections to climb and just before the radio tower is Gore Pond, the highest body of water in the state. After this the trail passes a radio tower and crosses the road. A large stone is inscribed with a quote from Thoreau. Cross the road where there is a metal sculpture that shows all of the Greylock Reservation and the hiking trails. Behind this on the very summit is the War Memorial Tower and to the right is Bascom Lodge. A new road allows people to drive to the summit so the area may be crowded. Walk passed the tower and to the viewpoints on the other side. There are nice views to the east and if you walk down the slope you can get better angles for pictures. The views from the back of Bascom Lodge are also nice. When you have exhausted you exploration of the summit, return the way you came.

(The map above shows the parking area and the out and back hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Mount Greylock: Jones NoseTrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 5.9 mi. 1332 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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Take Route 7 south toward Pittsfield from Williamstown. At 13.3 miles from Williamstown in Pittsfield turn left on North Main Street. In less than a mile turn right on Quarry Road and follow the signs for "State Reservation". In .4 miles turn left on Rockwell Road passing the Visitor's Center in another .6 miles. Drive passed the Center and up Rockwell Road. At 4.3 miles watch for a parking area on the right for Jones Nose.

Get on the blue Jones Trail and start to climb through open fields with stunning views to the south down the mountain into the valley and over the hills beyond. The trail soon enters some brush and then trees which obscure the view. In a little less than .5 miles the trail became less steep and at .6 miles the trail forks with the CCC Dynamite Trail heading left and the Jones Nose Trail going right. Bear right and start a steep climb up to the AT which runs across Saddleball Mountain. At about .8 miles a spur trail labeled "view of the Catskills" turns to the left. Walk out to a rock outcrop to take some pictures before returning to the main trail. Just passed 1 mile the Jones Nose Trail ends. Turned left on the AT and head north. The AT runs across the Saddleball Mountain Ridge although not always on top. After about 1.6 miles, you will be back at Rockwell Road. Walk the .9 miles down Rockwell Road to Sperry Road and pick up the CCC Dynamite Trail on the left to get back to Jones Nose. As you walk down Rockwell Road you will find several nice viewpoints to the west. The CCC Dynamite Trail stretches about 1.35 miles from Rockwell Road to Jones Nose and is slightly uphill all the way. This trail can be wet and has several stretches of functional puncheons and plentiful nettles. Turn right on the Jones Nose Trail and walk back to the car.

(The map on the right shows the parking area and the out and back hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image below shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Mount Greylock: LoopTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 12.8 mi. 4666 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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Turn south on Luce Road off Route 2 in Williamstown, MA. Luce Road makes a left and become Pattison Road. Park near the water treatment plant on either side of the road in pulloffs for AT hiking.

Pick up the white blazes of the Appalachian Trail as it heads south toward the Greylock Massif. Walking into the woods the trail is flat for a few hundred feet. After that, the it starts to ascend and gets steeper. In a mile and a half you will experience a vertical gain of 1450 feet and will be at a trail junction with a small viewpoint. The Appalachian Trail turns left here and heads almost due east to Mt. Williams. This trail junction can be tricky so pay attention to the blazes! The Appalachian Trail begins a descent toward the Wilbur Clearing Lean-to. Just short of the lean-to the trail turns to the left, crosses some elevated walkways and starts to ascend again. The first part to the crossing of Notch Road is gentle but the last section to the top of Mt. Williams is rocky and steeper. Along the way you may see some interesting outcrops of quartz. The viewpoint at the summit of Mt. Williams is pretty grown in and views are spotty at best. Continue to walk along the Appalachian Trail from Mt. Williams to Mt. Fitch. It is almost flat with a slight descent to a col and then the ascent up Mt. Fitch which has an elevation of 3100 feet. The distance is about 1 mile. The AT skirts the summit of Fitch so you may want to bushwhack to the top but there is no view from the summit. Back on the Appalachian Trail continue on toward Greylock on an almost flat with a slight incline. As you approach Mt. Greylock, you will pass the Bellows Pipe Trail and then the Thunderbolt Trail. This area was cleared for access to the old ski slopes and the trail is wide. The trail gets steeper and is strewn with rocks. Near the end a set of steps leads up to and across the road to the summit. After a short, steep section you arrive at the Thunderbolt Shelter which is for day use only. Continue on to the tower at the summit and walk over to the lookouts on the other side. Find the blue Hopper Trail and descend to Gore Pond. At Sperry Road turn right and head down the road and make a right turn to continue on the Hopper Trail. At the next junction take the cutoff trail that leads down to Money Brook and the Money Brook Trail. Cross Money Brook on a bridge and turn right toward Mt. Prospect on the Money Brook Trail. The Money Brook Trail begins to gain some elevation and crosses back and forth over the brook in several places. Just before the Mt. Prospect Trail junction the Money Brook Trail begins a steep ascent. To avoid climbing over Mt. Prospect, continue of the Money Brook Trail to the Wilbur Clearing Len-to and follow the Appalachian Trail back to the car. Turn left at the trail junction and take the Mt. Prospect Trail and head UP Mt. Prospect. After about .25 miles the trail starts a brutal ascent up the mountain. Eventually the trail turns due north and keeps a continuous ascent to the summit. Near the top the trail levels a little and then rises over one more bump to the top. There is one viewpoint along the way. After over 1100 feet of vertical gain in a mile you will arrive at the summit cairn. The trail now starts down the other side of Mt. Prospect but the descent is gentle, quite pleasant and quick. You will next arrive at the trail junction and viewpoint from earlier in the hike. Continue on the Appalachian Trail back to the car.

(The map above shows the parking area and the lollipop hiking route with a clockwise loop.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Mount Pisgah (PA)Trails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 6.6 mi. 1481 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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From Route 220 in Towanda turn west on Route 6. Drive 11 miles west to Route 3019 marked as Wallace or Bailey's Corners Road. Turn north and drive to the T in the road. Left will take you to the county park. Turn right to go to the state park. After a short distance, park in the lot next to Stephen Foster Lake. The lake is formed by a dam on Mill Creek. Start the hike by crossing the road and turning right toward the park. The Mill Creek Trail turns left off the road and starts up a hill for about .4 miles. Stay left on a snowmobile trail at a junction where the Mill Creek Trail turns right. You will soon arrive at the Ridge Trail where you should turn right. The trails are all marked with wooden signs and are well-maintained. After a short distance, the Ridge Trail begins to climb through a forest with one or two marked trails crossing the main trail. The trail continues through open places and then back into forest. It flattens in places and then climbs toward the summit. The trail finally dips a little and at 2.9 miles where it meets the road to the county park at the summit. There are several viewpoints on the way. As it flattens near the top there are some facilities and primitive campsites. Continue to the summit which has a pavilion and two communications towers. In the area facing west there is a nice viewpoint with some benches. A sign on the pavilion describes a lodge and observation tower that once stood on the summit. Retrace your route to the summit but stay on the Ridge Trail and walk out to the road. Cross to the other side and pick up the Oh! Susanna Trail that runs next to Stephen Foster Lake. Take this trail back to the parking area.

(The map above shows the parking area and the hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Ricketts GlenTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 7.3 mi. 1560 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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There are several different access points to this park depending on the activity you want. Even if you are hiking there are several different ways to approach the hike. One parking area is on Pennsylvania Route 118 west of Wilkes-Barre. The trail is on the north side of the road. Walk northeast on the trail and enjoy the wide, clear trail. Notice that there are many very large evergreen and hardwood trees still standing along the path. You will cross over the creek on small bridges until a larger bridge crossing at about .4 miles. At .85 miles the trail splits. The more difficult route goes down to follow the creek bed while the more moderate trail goes up and avoids the rough rocks. The trails meet at the first falls, Murray Reynolds at about 1.45 miles. There are three falls in quick succession before you arrive at Waters Meet at 1.7 miles. This is where the two glens, Ganoga Glen and Glen Leigh meet. You can go either way. Turn left and start up Ganoga Glen.

The trail starts to ascend now with many beautiful waterfalls occurring one after another. Each has its own character and is interesting in its own right. Take care as you walk on the trail. Springs in the hillsides make the trail muddy and slippery in many places. The trail passes close to the top of some of the falls and some of the drops are considerable. At 2.33 miles you will be at Ganoga Falls which is the highest in the park at just under 100 feet. After walking by these falls there will be several more before you reach the top of the glen. At 2.63 miles turn right onto the Highlands Trail to cut across to Glen Leigh. At 3.1 miles you will be at Midway Crevasse where the trail passes between several large outcroppings of sandstone. At 3.5 miles turn right to walk down the Glen Leigh Trail.

At 3.95 miles you will be at Huron falls which is the highest in Glen Leigh. This is followed by Ozone which is one of the nicest. Although the falls in Glen Leigh are not as high as the ones in Ganoga Glen, Glen Leigh gives you more of the feeling you are in a glen or gorge. The rock walls on either side seem to rise more sharply. At 4.35 miles you will be back at Waters Meet. From here you can retrace your steps until you are back at the road at 5.9 miles. Cross Route 118 and find a path to the right of the parking lot. Follow this path, the Evergreen Trail down to Adams Falls which has cut extensively through the bedrock. At this point you can return to your car to complete the 6.5 mile hike. You can also complete the Evergreen Trail which is only about a mile long. One this trail you will find some trees that were growing when Columbus discovered America.

(The map above shows the parking area and the clockwise hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Rock Rift Fire TowerTrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 3.9 mi. 1300 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map Take exit 87A on the Quickway, State Route 17, and watch for signs for Route 268 North. Drive to the end of Route 268 where it meets Route 10 and turn right. Drive about 1.2 miles and park in the boat launch on the south side of the road across from Fish Brook Road. If you are coming from the west on Route 10 watch for the signs for Route 268 and then follow these directions. From the east on Route 10 drive about 10 miles from Walton passing the parking area on the south side of the road. Continue to the boat launch area and park there. Walk west on Route 10 for about .2 miles crossing over Fish Brook. Watch for a woods road on the north side of the road that heads up the hill. The road is the old access road to the tower and sits on a narrow strip of land purchased by the Conservation Department for that purpose. This land is now part of the Cannonsville Watershed and is owned by New York City. It was recently opened to hikers and the Finger Lakes Trail Conference has done a nice job of moving the trail from road walks to woods walks wherever possible. Be sure to avoid private property! Walk from the parking area west about .25 miles and watch for a woods road on the right. This trail is considered a spur trail and is marked in blue but there are presently no signs on Route 10. The blue trail leads up through a meadow and, after a short distance, meets the main trail which is blazed in white. Continue to follow the white blazes straight ahead. The first 1.25 miles and the last .2 miles of this route are gently sloped. The half mile in between averages a 25% grade with some spots being even steeper! From the tower reverse your steps back to the car.


(The map on the right shows the parking area and the hiking route in an out and back and anticlockwise direction.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Ryan Road to Old Stage RoadTrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficulty 5.5 mi. 480 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

Follow Route 30 into Middleburgh and turn right to head east on Route 145 to Cotton Hill Road just outside of town. Turn left on Cotton Hill Road and drive 8.3 miles to Route 443, the Helderburg Trail. Make a right and drive about 6 miles to East Berne and make a left onto Route 157A. Turn left on Cotton Hill Road and drive 8.3 miles to Route 443, the Helderburg Trail. Make a right and drive about 6 miles to East Berne and made a left on Route 157A. At 2.5 miles continue straight ahead on Route 157 where Beaver Dam Road turns right. Drive about 1.25 miles to Ketcham Road on the left. Turn left on Ketcham and then make a quick right on Ryan Road. Ryan Roadis paved and then turns to a gravel road. After .8 miles it ends in a small parking area. There are two yellow trails out of the parking lot. Take the one on the right that heads east toward the junction with the Long Path. The trail begins by passing through a hardwood forest but then opens up to a grassy lane bordered by bushes. Head east and descend a little for the first .25 miles until making a 90 degree left turn before ascending slightly to the Long Path at .35 miles. The trail continues north along the escarpment for the next .6 miles ascending slightly. At about 1 mile there is a short but steep descent to a road used by hang gliding enthusiasts. Eventually the trail turns right off the road and crosses oné of the many stone walls that crisscross the area. Watch for fissures in the woods and on the trail. The ones in this area are even wider and deeper than a little farther south! Continue along the escarpment ascending slightly until the trail makes a sharp left at 2.2 miles. A trail to the right leads to the High Point lookout. Turn right and walk over to the viewpoint. Be careful as the path is right on the edge of the cliff! There are also cracks in the rock that made negotiating this area tricky. In the distance you may be able to Albany with various mountain peaks to the north and east including Mount Greylock and Vermont's Green Mountains. After the viewpoint, walk back to the main trail and through mostly hardwoods on a mix of trail and woods road. Continue to walk west all the while descending slightly. The trail starts to follow the edge of some fields and at one point crosses one. The crossing is easy as the trail is well used. Eventually you will turn left on a woods road and walked west toward Old Stage Road. At 3.4 miles you will be at the end of the official Long Path and ready to head back. You may retrace your steps but following the yellow Perimeter Trail is shorter and adds some variety. Turn around and watch for the Perimeter Trail on the right just out of the parking area. Turn right and follow the trail along the edge of a field and then into the woods. The trail begins an ascent to the highest point of the hike and then, at 4.1 miles, crosses Carrick Road at a parking area. The trail now begins to follow a gravel woods road. Eventually the gravel ends and the road continues passing over bedrock. The bedrock is almost perfectly level and smooth and continues for about half a mile! Soon you will come to the hang glider road on the left. At this intersection continue straight ahead on the trail which is a long and grassy woods road. At 5.2 miles came to a pond on the left. The trail becomes more of a woods road and leads directly back to the parking area.

(The map above shows the parking area and the clockwise hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Shenandoah NP: Rocky MountTrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 10.2 mi. 3300 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map Shenandoah National Park is packed with hikes of all difficulties all of which have their own charm and interesting points. Many of these start on Skyline Drive and, therefore, the first and last parts of the hike are down and up respectively. Some water crossings can be challenging since they are meant for horses and have no bridges. The heat in the late spring, summer and early fall can be oppressive. Always be prepared.

The parking area for Rocky Mount is on the west side of Skyline Drive approximately 20 miles from the southern terminus. Headed north there is a ninety degree turn in the road just after this parking area. Park in the roadside pulloff and walk north until the trail signs appear on the left. The first 1.1 miles descend down from Skyline Drive and then there is a brief ascent of .3 miles to the top of a small hill. After this, the trail descends another .85 miles to the trail junction for the loop. Going left will take you up the front of the mountain first. Heading right takes you to the "back" of the mountain with several crossings of Gap Run. After turning right the trail crosses Gap Run at least five times without the benefit of any bridges. When the water is high it may be necessary to get wet, through some stone in the run or find a convenient downed tree across the water. From the junction the trail goes another 2.4 miles to the lowest point at the last crossing of Gap Run. From Skyline Drive the ascent has been 1535 feet! The ascent up to the summit of Rocky Mount now begins. It is steep in some places but there are switchbacks to help lessen the gradient. There may be some seasonal stream crossing but all are manageable. The hike up the back side of the mountain has several talus fields and offers some views of surrounding mountains. Savor these views as there are none from the summit. The ascent to the summit is 2 miles and almost 1500 feet. Over the top of the summit there are some limited views. The descent to the trail junction is about 1.25 miles but you are not done yet. There is still the 2.25 mile and 850 foot climb back to the car.

(The map on the right shows the parking area and the through hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image below shows the profile of the "lollipop" hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Snow Ridge Drive to MiddleburghTrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 11.7 mi. 2360 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map

Head north on Route 30 through Margaretville, Roxbury and Grand Gorge. After passing through North Blenheim, watch for West Fulton Road on the left. Turn left on West Fulton Road and drive about 3 miles to the four corners in West Fulton. Turn right on Patria Road and drive the length of the road to the intersection with Greenbush Hill Road. Turn right and drive about .7 miles and turn right on Snow Ridge Drive. The "Private Property" signs on this road refer to the land and not the road since there is a state right-of-way. Where the road splits, stay right on the unnamed access road. The road is barely wide enough for one car! Within a short distance watch for a small, grassy parking area on the left. Head out the back of the parking area on the red trail. Within a few hundred feet you will come to the Long Path. Turn left and walk along a stone wall and immediately start to descend. Continue to hike downhill from an elevation of over 2000 feet and to Route 30 with an elevation of under 700 feet. This means that you lose over 1400 feet on the way out and have to regain the same elevation at the end of the hike. At about .5 miles turn right onto Hardscrabble Road which was abandoned many years ago.It is now overgrown and is not as well-defined as some other woods roads. As you continue to hike the blazes may become older, fewer and farther between. At about 1.8 miles exit the woods and start to walk down through a field watching for views of Vroman's Nose on the left. Continue straight ahead down the hill where some paths cross. At the road turn left to walk down to Route 30. Turn left on Route 30 to hike east toward Middleburgh. The traffic on Route 30 can be heavy but there is a nice wide shoulder. At 3.75 miles watch for the red trail on the left side of the road at the base of Vroman's Nose. The red trail is by far the steepest access to Vroman's Nose gaining over 400 feet in just the first .2 miles and averaging over a 30% grade. In places there really isn't much of a trail and the footing is unstable. It would be foolish to attempt this ascent without hiking boots and poles! The trip from the road to where the trail levels out is about .5 miles and the vertical gain is over 500 feet. As you begin to walk along the edge, various lookouts came into view but the best views are from the top. The views include the broad fields down below and the hills beyond with views stretching south to the Catskills. As you reach the end of the flat portion and begin your descent follow the aqua blazes down the very eroded trail. Vroman's Nose is a victim of its own success. A great many people visit this remarkable attraction but little has been done to improve or maintain the trails. Near the bottom continue to follow the aqua blazes to the right rather than the other trails that lead back to the parking area. At around 5 miles you will come out onto Church Street. Turn right to walk out to Route 30 where you should turn left. If you are attempting to hike this section, I suggest you do NOT follow the various trail descriptions or the routethat I describe below! Turn left on Route 30 at the end of Church Street and stay on Route 30 into Middlebuurgh. There are problems with the trail that make hiking the actual route very frustrating. They are another example of the miscommunication between those marking the trails and those who write the descriptions. If you choose to try to follow the exact route of the Long Path, immediately turn right onto Mulberry Lane. Walk down this short and straight street for about .2 miles where it abruptly ends at a sign that says "Bridge Closed". There is no "new snowmobile bridge" across Line Creek. It seems to have been washed out some time ago. There was a short span on the other side and it is easy to cross Line Creek when the water is low. Walk over the span on the other side and turn right to walk along the edge of the field. This may be easier when the field does not have corn stalks 7 feet high! It is impossible to walk in the "woods" between the field and the creek. As you near Schoharie Creek, there are still no blazes and the situation is the same. Around 6 miles into the hike you will finally break out into an open area along the field and walk through some weeds to the Rotary Park. Continue through the park to the road bridge across Schoharie Creek on Route 30. Turn right and walk over the bridge to the intersection with Route 145 and then turned around to start back. You may retrace your exact path but this will require another trip back along the field and another ascent and descent of Vroman's Nose. An alternative is to follow Route 30 all the way back to Hardscrabble Road which also cuts a little mileage leaving you fresh for the 2 mile uphill trek at the end. At 9.5 miles into the hike you will be back at Hardscarbble Road. Turn right and walk a little way up the road then turn right again onto the path through the field. The final climb from Route 30 is 1440 feet over 2.1 miles

(The map at the right shows the parking area and the lollipop counterclockwise hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image below shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


South Mountain Road to ConesvilleTrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficulty 7.4 mi. 750 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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Head north on Route 30 through Margaretville, Roxbury and Grand Gorge. In about 5 miles after Grand Gorge turn right on Route 990V. Pass the Schoharie Reservoir heading east towards Conesville. After passing the turnoff for the Prattsville Road near Manor Kill Falls, drive another 3.8 miles through Conesville and turned right on South Mountain Road. Drive three miles to Cook Road on the right and a CCC or woods road directly across from it. Park on the woods road as far to one side as you can or park on the shoulder of Cook Road. Start walking back toward Potter Mountain Road on South Mountain Road. The trip out is mostly downhill making the return trip an uphill climb. There are a few interesting "attractions" along then road. Within the first half mile there is a cemetery on the right which seems to show more care than some of the others on the trail. Some houses along the road are obviously occupied while others seem to be second homes or deserted. Some of the houses are new and well-kept while others are older and run down. One house has a wrought iron fence around it and what were once tennis courts on the other side of the road. Everything is slowly decaying but there is no "For Sale" sign on the property. There is even one farm along the road. From Haner Road the South Mountain Road descends more steeply. It is almost exactly 3 miles to the intersection of South Mountain Road with Potter Mountain Road, the extension of Route 990V in this area. Turn left on Potter Mountain Road and walk .7 miles into Conesville to Champlin Road on the left. Since there are some opportunities to park in the area, this is a good place to turn around and walk back to the car. It also leaves a reasonable hike from Conesville to Manorkill Falls and back.

(The map at the right shows the parking area and the out and back hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image below shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Stage Road to Beaver Dam RoadTrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficulty 7.3 mi. 640 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

Follow Route 30 into Middleburgh and turn right to head east on Route 145 to Cotton Hill Road just outside of town. Turn left on Cotton Hill Road and drive 8.3 miles to Route 443, the Helderburg Trail. Make a right and drive about 8 miles through East Berne to Stage Road on the left. Turn left and parked on the right shoulder well off the pavement. Walk down Stage Road to Route 443 and turn righ. Continue to walk slightly downhill for .2 miles and turn right to walk up a driveway toward the trail. The trail here is a grassy lane which passes between two fields and then passes a house on the left. Arrive back on Stage Road at .3 miles. Continue up the road passed a tree with a blaze until you see a telephone pole on the left side of the road indicating left turn at about .6 miles. Walk along the west side of the hedgerow on the edge of the field. You may see an aqua blaze or two. To the left is a nice view into the Schoharie Valley. Continue to hike along the edge of the field passing a break in the hedgerow and continuing north until the blazes indicate a right turn into the woods. Follow the blazes through a wet and weedy area to a trail that leads out to Sawmill Road at 1.3 miles. The rest of the hike is on the roads. Turn left on Sawmill Road and walk a short distance to Long Road. Turn right at 1.6 miles and walk along Long Road for a little over a mile to the intersection with Elm Drive at 2.65 miles. There are some nice views from this intersection. Turn left on Elm Drive and hike .75 miles to Bush Drive. These roads have a few hills along the way but they are very gentle. Continue out to Beaver Dam Road and turn right. It is only .3 miles to the parking area on the left side of the road. Reached the parking area at about 3.8 miles into the hike. Turn around and head back the way you came. At 6.4 miles you will be back at the point where the trail turns off Sawmill Road into the woods. Continue on the road and walk a half mile out to Stage Road. Turn right and stay on Stage Road all the way back to the car.

(The map above shows the parking area and the out and back hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Sullivan Branch: Waterfall BushwhackTrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 1.6 mi. 350 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map

From Route 118 turn north onto Central Road. In Center take a right onto Jamison City Road. In Jamison City turn right onto Sullivan Falls Road to State Game Lands #13. Park in the parking area on the left side of the road about 2.5 miles up the road before a big right hand bend. This road starts as a reasonably paved back road and rapidly deteriorates to a one lane road with many eroded areas near the end.

From the parking area walk down to Sullivan Branch. The trail goes to the top of the falls where the stream has cut an impressive channel and flume through the bedrock. Looking down over the falls you can see the deep green of the plunge pool below. Walk back out the path but this time toward the base of the falls and the pool. The path is obvious but quite steep. Head back up the bank and walk the stream and the bank up to Pigeon Run where there is another falls. As with all of these bushwhacks, high water can make the falls much more enjoyable but the trip almost impossible. Low water conditions make the walking easier but the falls uninteresting. The Sullivan Branch can be clogged by blowdown for a good part of its length requiring you to move to the banks which may also be covered with downed trees and brush. Once you are passed Big Run the conditions should improve some and it is only .6 miles to Pigeon Run. The falls are actually on Pigeon Run in a narrow slot and so are different than most of the other falls on the main streams. Walk back downstream and up the steep left bank to an old haul road. The road is easy to follow and in pretty good shape. Follow it all the way back to the Sullivan Branch Road to within a few hundred feet of your car.

(The map on the right shows the parking area and the hiking route in a counterclockwise direction.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Taconic: Bash Bish Mountain and Alander MountainTrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 5.8 mi. 2030 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map The parking area for this hike is on Falls Road (Route 344) which you can pick up in Copake Falls off Route 22 or by following the signs from Route 41 to Bash Bish Falls. Park in the lot. To get to the falls go to the trail to the right near the kiosk and descend to the fire road that leads to the observation point above the falls. Several different stream of water make up the falls depending on the volume of water. Continue down the steps to the base of the falls. The water falls into a pool at the base of the falls which then drains into the gorge formed by the creek over many years. The gorge is deep and well-cut attesting to the power of the stream when there is a large volume of water. Go back up the stairs and turn right to follow the blue marked trail on a loop back to the car.

Near the parking area is a LARGE outcropping of rock that overlooks the falls and the gorge. The climb up onto this outcropping can be interesting but is well worth the time and effort. The views down the gorge and out to the surrounding area are beautiful. You can follow the guide rails and cables around to look down into the gorge to the stream below. Some foolish people have obviously gone beyond the fencing but you will stay where it is safe. After taking in the views, return to the parking area to begin the hike to Slander Mountain.

From the parking area take the fire road that is at the opposite end of the lot from the Falls Trail. This is the Bash Bish Gorge Trail and is marked with blue paint. You will have to bear right at the end of the road and then find a way to cross over the stream. Depending on the water level, this may be easy or dangerous. The trail markings on both sides are not very clear. Once on the other side ascend the STEEP trail out of the gorge. You may need to use the available tree roots and branches combined with the guide rails and cables. Stop at several points to take in the view including the one down the gorge and the one directly down into the gorge. Continue on the trail but pay attention to where you are going. There are MANY blowdowns along the way which obscure the trail and hikers have taken several different routes around them. Very shortly signs will indicate that you may turn left or right onto the South Taconic Trail. Make sure you turn left and ascend! The trail makes a steep but short ascent to the Alander Mountain Ridge. From here the trail undulates some but most of the climbing is done.

Once you are on the ridge the summit of Alander is about two miles away. The trail passes through hardwood forest. At some spots there is a canopy of mountain laurel and in others you are surrounded by dwarf pines. As you walk it is obvious that the trail drops off on either side. At points the parallel ridges on either side are visible. In the fall, when the leaves are off the trees, views down into the valleys and across the hills are available. Take a quick peek but don't waste too much time since the best views are yet to come. As you approach Alander the trail starts a very moderate climb and begins to open up to low bushes. Views from here are available In all directions except to the south since this direction is still blocked by the mountain. As you ascend the views just keep getting better. Near the top a rock cairn and signs show the various trail options including the Alander Mountain Trail to the Mount Washington State Forest Headquarters. This trail is the shorter, easier way to get to the top!. At the summit are the cement pilings that once anchored a long gone tower.

Continue on the trail and look south to see wonderful views of Mount Ashley, Brace Mountain and Mount Frissell. There are also views to both the east and west. Just down the trail you will see another rocky outcropping. Head down the trail making this outcropping your goal. There is slight descent and then ascent to this area. Along the way you can walk back and forth on the mountain to make sure you get every view possible. From the outcropping the mountain drops away making the views even better. Just below this area there is a small granite marker on the trail. This marks the New York-Massachusetts boundary. When you are on the other side of the marker, you are at the highest point in Columbia County, New York. Head back to the summit. You can now simply return to the car or take a side trip.

Turn right onto the Alander Mountain Trail. Within several hundred feet you will see a small cabin. This is an Appalachian Mountain Club cabin which can be used on a first come first served basis. It has a wood stove and several bunk beds. Once you have seen the cabin follow the trail back up to the South Taconic Trail. Follow the South Taconic Trail back to the Bash Bish Gorge Trail across the stream and back to the parking area.

(The map above shows the parking area and the hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Taconic: Berlin Mountain and the Snow HoleTrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 11.4 mi. 2466 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map The parking area for this hike is on Route 2 at the Petersburg Pass just outside Petersburg, NY and on very near the Massachusetts and Vermont borders.

The parking area is very large and on the right side of the road as you head toward Massachusetts. Sign in at the trail register at the back right of the parking area and head out on the Taconic Crest Trail. The first part of the trail is overgrown with weeds but it soon gives way to a wider trail and woods road. Start a short but steep ascent part way up Raimer Mountain. Once on the crest of the ridge the trail flattens a little before rising to around 2450 feet. The trail then descends toward Berlin Pass. Just before the descent, views of Berlin Mountain can be seen through the trees. The trail drops more than 200 feet to 2230 feet at Berlin Pass before starting up Berlin Mountain. The 1.2 mile climb gains almost 600 feet. When you arrive at the flat, open top of Berlin Mountain, you will be about 2.75 miles into the hike. There will be some good views but how good they are depends on the amount of haze. To the west it is easy to spot Mount Greylock with its two towers. There are profile views of Mount Williams and Mount Fitch to the north of Greylock. Views in the other directions are at least partly blocked by the trees. Return the way you came to the parking area which is about 5.5 miles of hiking.

Cross the road to find the trail on the other side. The first few hundred feet of the hike north are very steep with some steps to make the climb easier. Near the top of the climb there is a trail register and a sign explaining that the area is part of the 2500 acre Hopkins Forest which is owned and maintained by Williams College. There are usually extra trail maps in the bin by the sign! As you start up the trail, another spur trail leads off to the left. Take this trail to get some more views down an old ski slope. There are great views back to Raimer Mountain and to the east and south. Return to the Taconic Crest Trail which is very well maintained in this area. At about .6 miles from the Pass or 6.3 miles into the hike, the Shepard's Well Trail comes in from the right. The main trail continues to rise although gently in most cases. In another .6 miles the Birch Brook Trail joins from the right. After this the trail ascends and there are some excellent views to the west. In another .5 miles the trail briefly crosses into Vermont and then heads back into New York. At 2.5 miles from the Pass or 8 miles into the hike the trail starts to descend. In another .25 miles a red spur trail turns off to the right. This trail leads to the Snow Hole after a short descent. The Snow Hole is a deep cleft in the rock which is supposed to have snow and ice in it until mid-July. Even when there is no snow, the Hole is cool and damp and dark. Retrace your path back to the Taconic Crest Trail and turn left to get back to the car,

(The map on the right shows the parking area and the hiking route.)

link to topo profile


(The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Taconic: Mount Everett and Mount RaceTrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 8.7 mi. 3156 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map As with most hikes there are several approaches to these mountains. It is even possible to drive with about a mile of the summit of Everett and then hike about 700 feet in elevation to the top. This is the northern approach and misses the beautiful Race Brook Falls! The route from the south through Sage's Ravine is much longer. The approach from the east between the two mountains takes in the falls and both mountains. It is challenging but not too difficult.

The trailhead for this hike is on Massachusetts State Route 41 about 1.5 miles south of the Berkshire School. Park at the trailhead and go into the woods passed the kiosk and onto the blue marked Race Brook Falls Trail. The trail starts out moderately through some hardwood forests which alternate with evergreens along the way. The first brook crossing might be tricky in high water but otherwise is no problem. After only half a mile of moderate incline a side trail leads off to the left. This trail leads to the lower tier of Race Brook Falls. It is well worth the detour and places you at the foot of a 90 foot cataract. The trail is steep in places and blocked by some blowdown which has been there for a while. You can stand at the bottom of the falls and admire both the power and the beauty of the falling water. When you are done, retrace your steps back to the main trail and continue on.

The trail begins to ascend more steeply now through evergreen forest and leads to the upper tier of Race Brook Falls. After only about a quarter mile you are there. This tier is similar to the lower one. It is not quite as high but perhaps more delicate. The trail crosses at the base of the falls. This is no problem in times of low water but can be dangerous or impossible when the water is high. The trail now ascends more sharply up to a more level area. Glimpses of the surrounding hills suggest the views that will be much clearer from the summits! In less than a mile, the platforms of race Brook Primitive Campsite appear. There is one stream crossing that is no problem but does have a two-log bridge! Walk through the campsite and up a set of stone steps. You will soon be at the junction with the white marked South Taconic Trail which is also part of the Appalachian Trail. Turning left leads to Mount Race and right to Mount Everett. The trail is POORLY MARKED in places so be careful to watch where you are going.

Turn right toward Mount Everett. As you walk along the relatively flat trail the first views of Mount Everett appear and although the mountain is not very high it does seem imposing. After only a quarter mile the climb up Everett begins. This is a no-nonsense approach that heads straight up the mountain with few switchbacks to moderate the climb. The trail passes over some open rock outcroppings which can be slippery although it is possible in some cases to pass to one side or the other. None of these areas could be classified as difficult or approaching a rock scramble but they are not easy either. Near the top the trail begins to level out and pass through some interesting ecosystems. Dwarf pines alternate with scrub oak and warm climate species like sassafras can be seen. You will suddenly realize that you are out of the forest and the open views of the surrounding mountains and valley will take your breath away. Immediately behind you on the climb is Mount Race as well as several other mountains and hills.

Near the summit of Everett are the remains of the Mount Washington Observation Tower. All that is left are the cement pylons that anchored the base. You can turn around at this point and retrace your path but walking to the other side if the summit is well worth it. As you walk down the trail a large rock outcropping on the left affords another set of breathtaking views. The trail continues down the north side of the mountain and intersects a fire road. Both the fire road and the trail descend to Guilder Pond. The descent is about 600 feet but only about three quarters of a mile. The pond is very pretty with a loop trail. After a visit to the pond use the trail or the road to climb back to the summit. Follow the trail back down the other side to the junction with the blue trail. Continue straight ahead on the South Taconic Trail that leads to the summit of Mount Race. The initial part of this trail has several steep but short spots. It then ascends continuously to the ridge line that leads to the summit of the mountain. From the trail junction to the summit is a little less than a mile.

As you near the summit the trail opens up and the first thing you notice is Mount Everett directly behind you! Other hills and valleys are also laid out below. After the summit continue southward on the trail. There is a slight descent and a large rock cairn will come into view. At the same time you see the cairn you will notice that there are open views to the south. Walk around this area before returning to the summit. Follow the trail back to the Race Brook Trail where you will make a right and walk back to your car.

(The map above shows the parking area and the hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Taconic: South Brace Mountain and Brace MountainTrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 3.3 mi. 1500 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map These two mountains are actually in New York state and are part of the Taconic State Park. The best way to access the parking area is to go south from Copake Falls or north from Millerton on Route 22. Look for Whitehouse Rd. on the east side of Route 22. Turn onto White house Road and follow it a short distance to where it ends on Route 63 also called Undermountain Road. Take the next right onto Deer Run Road. After a very short drive up a hill, Deer Run goes straight ahead and comes to a dead end. Take the left onto Quarry Hill Road and watch for the small parking area on the left with a sign that says Taconic State Park. Park here to get on the trail. DO NOT walk up the wide woods road next to the parking area. It is private property and does not lead to the trail.

The white marked South Taconic Trail starts out through a field and then enters a hardwood forest. The initial, gentle hiking belies what is to come! Within a quarter mile the trail begins to parallel a stream. The sights and sounds of the stream are relaxing but the trail begins to climb steeply along the banks of the gully cut by the stream. The trail is poorly marked and you should pay careful attention to where you are going. Other hikers have taken various routes so the actual path of the trail can be obscured. Some of these detours do make the climb easier but some do not. As you near the half mile point the trail gets even more serious with a climb up over sheer rock faces with some tough "ups" particularly for those who are "vertically challenged"! Fortunately, this does not last for long and you are on a much flatter area of the trail. On the way up be sure to carefully look over your shoulder. The views that are revealed of the valley below hint at what can be seen from the top of the mountains.

As the trail levels off there are several areas where you can safely enjoy the views before moving on. The trail from this point on is much flatter with a slight incline as you climb toward South Brace Mountain. Watch the trail markings since it is easy to head the wrong way. The trail does pass over some rocky spines and outcroppings but the incline is not steep enough to be much of a problem. As you ascend South Brace the views become even more magnificent. As you turn around Riga Lake and South Pond will be in front of you on the right. They form an interesting break in the hill and valley terrain that is so common. The summit of South Brace is just ahead at about 1.2 miles.

Continue on the trail for less than half a mile to the summit of Brace. There is a short descent into a col between the two mountains but you will hardly notice it. As you climb up to the top of Brace the most prominent feature on the mountain is a LARGE pile of stones with a permanent windsock attached. Brace Mountain is one of the primary launch points for the Connecticut Hang Gliding Association and other enthusiasts. You may expect to see launches any time you are on the summit. The view to the east, west and north are wonderful so take them in before you start back to the car.

Simply turn around and follow the trail back the way you came up the mountain. Be careful since the descent can be dangerous especially when there are leaves, water, ice or snow on the trail.

(The map above shows the parking area and the hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Taughannock Falls State Park (NY)Trails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 5.8 mi. 1680 ft. MSR Maps GPSIES

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From the junction of Routes 96 and 89 in Ithaca, NY, head north on Route 89. Drive for about 9 miles and watch for signs for Taughannock Falls State Park. Park in the parking area on the west side of the Taughannock Falls State Park.

Walk into the gorge on the Gorge Trail and watch for several small falls along the way. The canyon that has been cut over the years is impressive. A layer of rock acts as the stream bed in many places and shows "waves". In many areas the different hardness of the rock layers is evident in the erosional patterns. You will arrive at the bridge over the stream at the base of the falls. The main falls are certainly high and are listed at 215 feet in mist books. Walk back to the beginning of the Gorge Trail, and start UP to the South Rim Trail. Getting up to the rim requires quite a climb but there were MANY stone steps along the way. Once you are up on the rim, the trail levels out and passes through shaded groves of the hardwood and some evergreen trees. Along the way a few lookouts give interesting views of the canyon below and, eventually, of the falls itself. Soon you will be near the upper reaches of the gorge and a new falls comes into view. Here the gorge widens considerably and the different layers of rock are even more obvious. Soon a bridge comes into view to cross over the stream. The bridge is a little old and has seen better days. From the bridge another falls, as impressive as the main falls in many ways, appears on the left to the southwest of the bridge. The water here also falls a long distance and the volume appears to be as great as the main falls. A little further upstream is another bridge that routes traffic over the stream. Continue on the trail but take the short side trip to the road bridge and back before continuing on the main trail. As you walk along the main trail an occasional view of the gorge will appear. The trail winds along the gorge and even joins the road for a brief time. At the upper access to the park and the gorge is a flight of stone steps to a view of the falls from some stone "benches". Start back down the North Rim Trail to the car. Try to find a view down the gorge and out to Cayuga Lake. Many of the viewpoints are overgrown and the views are obscured by trees and bushes. Continue down the trail looking for viewpoints before descending the steps to the road a little north of the parking area. Walked the road back to the car.

(The map above shows the parking area and the hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the loop hiking route. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Tors: Little Tor and High TorTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 8.5 mi. 1492 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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Take the Palisades Parkway to Exit 13 and turn onto Route 202 East. At the first traffic light turn south on Route 45. Just up the hill is a parking lot on the right or east side of the road. Park here. Note the signs warning about ticks and Lyme Disease and be sure to take appropriate precautions. The hike is a relatively straight forward out and back route that follows the Long Path for its entire length. The trail meanders up and down some and back and forth only slightly as it follows the ridge line the entire way. You may cut off the first part of the hike by parking on Route 33 where the Long Path crosses the road. There is room for several cars. Little Tor and High Tor are both east of this parking area and the "trail" is over wide woods roads for the mots part.

From the Route 45 parking area walk east on the Long Path following the aqua blazes. Walk off the trail to the left or right occasionally to enjoy the view. North or left is heavily populated while south or right seems more wild. After 1.75 miles, you will descend to Route 33. Be careful when crossing since both north and south have blind curves and the drivers are always going too fast. At this point the trail becomes a wide road which is often covered with stone chips. The walking is easy and your pace can increase. After only .3 miles a power line crosses the trail and a path leads up and to the left. This is a good lookout to the north but nothing like what is to come. In a little more than 1 mile from Route 33 a wide path turns to the left away from the main trail and leads to Little Tor.

As you walk up the path stop on the edge of the cliff and look at the views laid out below. Now turn back to the path and follow it to the top of Little Tor for the really remarkable 360 degree panorama. The Hudson River is to the east and the jutting rock formation is part of High Tor. When you have taken in all you can, retrace your route to the main trail and walk another 1.25 miles to High Tor. The trail breaks up a little and may be wet in places but this is not really a problem. As you approach High Tor you may wonder how you can climb such a massive piece of rock. Do not fear! The Long Path bends to the right hear and then turns sharply left up the "back" of the tor. This part of the trail is steep in places with some rock scrambling but it is also short and well worth the effort.

After the brief climb, the trail levels some and then ascends to the top of the tor. To the left is a large, flat, open rock outcropping which offers unhindered views of the populated area below. There are also views of the Hudson River and the more forested areas west and south. Immediately to the east rises another prominent rock outcropping which is the top of the tor. Head for this area and ascend over the bare rock face which can be slippery when wet. Near the top you will see four anchors which are all that remain of a tower which housed and airplane beacon. You will now have an unhindered 360 degree view of all that is near and far. On a clear day the view is one of the nicest in the lower Hudson Valley. After getting a drink and a snack, take some pictures and then retrace your route back to the car.

(The map above shows the parking area and the out and back hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Treadlemire Road to Albany County LineTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 10.8 mi. 2363 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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Head north on Route 30 through Margaretville, Roxbury, Grand Gorge, North Blenheim and Middleburgh. Just over the Route 30 bridge in Middleburgh, turn right on Route 145 and follow it to the other side of town. Turn left on Cotton Hill Road and after about 3 miles, make a left on Treadlemire Road. Drive just less than a mile to the parking area on the right. Walk out the back of the parking area on a woods road. After a very short distance, turn left and walk up a trail between two rocks with very interesting sedimentary layers. Within .3 miles walk up a steep but short hill and arrive at the Cotton Hill lean-to. Despite some trail descriptions there are no views from here. After the lean-to ,stard a descenton a nice combination of trail and woods roads. Watch the blazes carefully as there area numerous other paths and roads that cross the trail. At 1.2 miles you will reach a DEC access road which will lead out to Cotton Hill Road. The trail crosses the road and continues to descend briefly to a bridge across a stream. You will now have descended over 700 feet from the starting point and have covered about 2 miles. Head south and climb a woods road. Near the top of the hill at about 2.4 miles the trail turns off the road to the right and begins an even steeper climb. It soon levels off and then begins to descend. At 2.7 miles the woods road makes a sharp left before breaking out into an open area. Watch for the PortaJon on the left sitting out in the middle of nowhere! Even through this area the blazes are clear. Continue to walk on the woods road along the western side of Canady Hill until about 3.5 miles where the trail turns sharply left and begins a steep ascent. There may be active logging in the area. The trail "climbs over the hill" but never crosses over the summit. You will soon crest the hill and start down the other side. Some trail description talk about a "spectacular view" but there is no view. You are on private land at this point so be sure to only stay on the trail. The trail levels out and for a short distance the area is "very wet". Find some high ground and watch the aqua blazes and you will soon be at Canady Hill Road. Turn right on Canady Hill Road and then made a quick left on Lawton Hollow Road. The road immediately descends and then starts to ascend again. Some trail descriptions mentioned "views" to both the north and south but there are no views. At 5.4 miles there is a gravel pit on the left with a few spaces for parking and just passed this a sign for the Albany County Line. Turn around and retrace your route back to the car. The ascent up Cotton Hill at the end may be steep at times but the steep parts are short!

(The map at the right shows the parking area and the lollipop counterclockwise hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image below shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Vroman's NoseTrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficulty 1.5 mi. 585 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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The area around Middleburgh is best known for this hike up Vroman's Nose. This high, rocky prominence stands some 600 ft. above the flat Schoharie plain. The creek shows meanders below. Also in the area are Thacher Park and the Middleburgh Cliffs which also offer a nice view of the Schoharie Plain and Vroman's Nose itself.

From Route 30 through Middleburgh, turn west on West Middleburgh Road. Drive for about .6 miles and park in the lot on the left. Walk up through the field and at the base of the "Nose" make your choice of left or right. The trail makes a large circle over the "Nose" and neither direction is more difficult or easier. You will climb to the top of the rock outcrop with no views other than the trees. Once on the top the views appear one after the other and they are spectacular. When you have taken in all that you can, continue your loop back to the parking area.

(The map on the right shows the parking area and the hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image below shows the profile of the loop hiking route. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


West Fulton to Old Cemetery RoadTrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 8.2 mi. 1388 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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Head north on Route 30 through Margaretville, Roxbury and Grand Gorge. After passing through North Blenheim, watch for West Fulton Road on the left. Turn left on West Fulton Road and drive about 3 miles to the four corners in West Fulton. There is a small picnic area and playground on the right just before the STOP sign. You may park here or turn right at the STOP sign onto Patria Road. After crossing a bridge, park on the left side of the road where the Long Path turns left to go through a field. Walk back to the four corners and continue straight ahead on Sawyer Hollow Road gaining some elevation. At about 1.3 miles we pass a fishing access for Panther Creek and at 1.4 miles the Long Path turns left to descend through a field to Panther Creek. The grass had been mowed to form a wide path down to the creek. Near the creek the trail turns to the right follows the stream for about .1 miles where there is a bridge. The bridge is old but sturdy and built high enough above the creek that it must have withstood many storms. You will be walking through hardwood forest and soon the trail begins to climb and then climb steeply. The trail runs close to a small creek. Over the next .7 miles the trail gains 710 feet with the trail grade average over 17%. When there is a good volume of water in the creek, you can hear that the water flowing over the rocks. If you walk over to the edge of the stream, you can see several cascades and waterfalls. Continued walking up the trail and you will and many of these waterfalls with each one seeming to be nicer than the previous. Any description you read does not do these falls justice as you must seem them yourself. Near the top of the climb is the last water fall and you should notice a stone structure in the streambed. A waterwheel was been mounted here to power a gristmill. As you continue on the trail, it crosses Rossman Hill Road at 2.4 miles. On the other side of the road the trail may be wet in places and you will soon see a pond up ahead. The trail is a little indistinct but leads to the shore of Looking Glass Pond. Make a hard left and enter an evergreen forest. A sign at Rossman Hill Road indicates that the lean-to is about a mile from the road. Shortly after the pond the trail crosses Morey Road which is marked on some maps as Old Cemetery Road. The trail continues almost straight ahead but you may turn left to investigate the Rossman Hill Cemetery. The cemetery is overgrown with high grass and many of the stones are too worn to read. Other markers are legible and show that no one has been buried in the cemetery since the late 1800's. The site of the Methodist Church was just down the road from the cemetery and was disbanded in 1930. No trace of the church remains. Walk back to the Long Path to continue your hike. Shortly you will round a turn in the trail to find the Rossman Hill lean-to. It is in good shape but has no privy. The spring is further down the trail. After the lean-to the trail begins to head south and seems to follow some of the woods roads in the state forest. It veers off the road to the right to traverse some ground which is often wet. You will pass through or walked along a number of stone walls some of which are quite high. At 3.8 miles the trail finally turns east and starts to descend a little more steeply to a stream where there is no bridge. When the water level is low, crossing is no problem. Climb the far bank and you may be able to see a road through the trees. Continue to descend and approach the road where there is another cemetery. This one is smaller and probably older than the one on Rossman Hill. Walk down to the road and turned left to walk to where the trail enters the woods. At this point turn around and retrace your route back to the car as none of the roads in the area offer a shorter route. It should take less time on the way back since the trip is mostly downhill.

(The map at the right shows the parking area and the lollipop counterclockwise hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image below shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


West Fulton to Snow Ridge DriveTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 12.9 mi. 2662 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

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Head north on Route 30 through Margaretville, Roxbury and Grand Gorge. After passing through North Blenheim, watch for West Fulton Road on the left. Turn left on West Fulton Road and drive about 3 miles to the four corners in West Fulton. Turn right on Patria Road and cross a small bridge. Turn around and park on the side of the road where the Long Path turns left to go through a field. Enter the field and hike to a white pine tree with a white blaze. Several more blazes on pine trees lead to a pine forest and an immediate climb to a ridge. Within a little less than a mile the trail gains over 600 feet. The trail in this area is well-marked and easy to find as it follows old woods roads. At about .8 miles you will come out onto a woods road that is obviously being used for some purpose as it has recently been cleared. Turn left to walk uphill and then re-entered the forest on the right. The trail takes a dip at .9 miles and signs that say "State Forest" appear. This is Patria State Forest. Ascended again to about 1.7 miles and then descend a little to cross Patria Road at 2.15 miles. There are quite a few woods roads in the area which cross the trail and other places where the trail continues to follow a woods road. It is important to watch the blazes as the land up to the state forest is private. After crossing Patria Road head downhill where the trail begins to look a little less traveled and the blazes a little older. The trail heads east or northeast near a small seasonal stream through hemlocks. Cross the stream and begin to climb to the ridge again where the trail levels off briefly and crosses Mallon Road at 2.95 miles. Where you cross Mallon Road, there is a small parking area on the other side with a signboard which has seen better days. Entered another reforestation area on a woods road and start to head almost due north until 3.8 miles. The trail starts to descend to Pleasant Valley at 3.4 miles and at 3.8 miles turns east and continus to descend to 3.9 miles. The trail turns right or south and travels along the lip of a steep drop. Pass several roads going down the slope until the trail finally turns onto one of these just short of 4 miles. The road descends to a stream but the trail turns to the left just as the road makes a sharp right to go down to the stream. DO NOT follow the blazes down to the stream as this is the old route. No one has bothered to paint over these blazes and even "official" descriptions may not be updated. Turn left and follow the new blazes as they head upstream to the northwest and in about .25 miles follow them down to a new bridge across the stream. Just after you cross the bridge the trail turns southeast to head back downstream along whatmay be the old Pleasant Valley Road. Continue to the southeast until about 4.5 miles where the trail turns to the northeast off the "road" to continue on another woods road. The road leads to another new bridge across a large stream at 4.75 miles. After crossing the bridge, start an ascent along a nice woods road through pine forests heading northeast. At 5.2 miles the trail turns southeast but continues to ascend to 5.6 miles. The blazes in this area along this road are VERY few and VERY far between. At the top of the hill, the woods road and snowmobile trail continue straight ahead but the trail turns to the right. When you turn to the right it may be hard to follow the blazes and the trail since it seems to be little used. You will start to descend through a pine forest and may see a stone foundation on your left. Continue ahead until the trail turns to the right. Watch for a red blazed trail on the left which leads to a small parking area on a gravel road that acts as an access road to state land. At this point you may turn around and retrace your route. It may be quicker and more interesting to walk some of the roads. The route is a little longer but the walking is easier. From the parking area turn right on the access road and walk of to Snow Ridge Drive. Continue on this gravel road until it meets Greenbush Hill Road at 6.8 miles. Turn left and walk downhill along the road for about .7 miles where you should turn left onto Patria Road. This road is paved for a short distance but then turns back to gravel when it enters the state forest. The road is not all downhill but continues to ascend and descend hills along its length. For a mile from the intersection the road is completely straight and heads southwest. At 8.6 miles it turns to the south but continues to roll until it heads downhill to meet Mallon Road at 10 miles. The road is paved at this point as you continue downhill to 10.7 miles where the trail crosses. You may continue on Patria Road back to the car or turn right onto the trail. The distance on the road is somewhat longer but may be an easier walk. Turn right onto the trail and start a slight ascent. The trail levels some and then at 11.2 miles begins a long descent back to the car. You may be able to get a nice view as you turn onto the well-developed woods road. From here continue to follow your route from earlier in the day. The descent from the hemlock forest to the field may seem steeper than the ascent did earlier in the day.

(The map at the right shows the parking area and the lollipop counterclockwise hiking route.)

link to topo profile (The image below shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


West Rim Trail: Grand Canyon of PATrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 7.3 mi. 1360 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map Pine Creek Gorge is sometimes known as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. The gorge was cut at the end of the last ice age when the receding glacier blocked drainage to the north. The glacial met waters drained southward cutting a deep gorge as several side canyons. Pine Creek is now considerably smaller but the gorge remains. It stretches almost 40 miles from Ansonia in the north to Blackwell in the south. Hikers often hike the West Rim Trail in whole or in part. The trail can be accessed from the northern or southern trailheads or from points along Colton, Painter-Leetonia, and West Rim Roads. Car shuttles are popular as they allow hikers to cover more of the trail. The main trail parallels the gorge and has many viewpoints that allow hikers to look down into the gorge, across to the opposite rim and up and down the gorge. The trail moves away from the rim where tributaries have cut deep side canyons. There are few steep ascents and descent. A rail trail is now in place on the floor of the gorge where the Penn Central tracks used to be. This trail is covered with fine crushed rock and is appropriate for hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing or cross country skiing. Colton Point State Park occupies the northwest rim and is relatively "wild". Leonard Harrison State Park is found across the gorge on the northeast rim.

This hike covers about 7.5 miles of the West Rim Trail from Bradley Wales Picnic Area in the south to a hairpin turn on Painter-Leetonia Road in the north. Find Ansonia, Pennsylvania on Route 6 and turn south on Colton/Forest Road. As you drive on the road watch for a parking area on the right side of the road and a lookout on the left. This allows you a first look into the gorge. Continue south for 6.5 miles and turn left on Painter-Leetonia Road. At 8.3 miles make another left on Painter-Leetonia Road. Park your car at the hairpin turn at 9.1 miles on Painter-Leetonia Road at the trailhead for the Refuge Trail. Continue south for another 5 miles and watch for a slight turn to the left on Bradley Wales Road. At the end of the road park your car in the parking area.

The West Rim Trail is marked by bright orange paint blazes and starts to the right of the parking area. Walk up the road and watch for a SHARP left turn into the woods. There is a viewpoint almost immediately. Continue to walk on the trail which turns briefly away from the rim to cross an unnamed tributary. Further along at 1.4 miles is a large detour around Ice Break Run. A "blue" trail meets the main trail at the head of the run. These trails lead directly to the park roads and allow quick access to these areas. Just after Ice Break there is another nice lookout. The trail then travels the rim briefly before turning up Little Slate Run at 2.0 miles. This is by far the longest detour as the canyon is the steepest and deepest. Walk to the head of the run, cross the run and hike back down the other side to the gorge rim. Another lookout greets you at this point.

After Little Slate are Tumbling Run, Horse Run and Burdic Run and various viewpoints along the way. After Burdic Run there is a rather long section of trail without any lookouts. The trail travels through some nice pine groves and is mostly flat. Watch for the orange blazes to turn abruptly left and go up and over a hill. DO NOT take this trail. Continue straight ahead on the blue blazed Refuge Trail which is less than .5 miles from the trail junction.

(The map above shows the parking area and the hiking route in an out and back and clockwise direction.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


Willsie Road to East BerneTrails IndexTop of page

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Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficultyTrail difficulty 9.6 mi. 1180 ft. MSR Maps GPSies

Follow Route 30 into Middleburgh and turn right to head east on Route 145 to Cotton Hill Road just outside of town. Turn left on Cotton Hill Road and drive 8.3 miles to Route 443, the Helderburg Trail. Make a left and drive 1.3 miles to Switz Kill Road (CR-1). Turn right and follow it 4.6 miles to Willise Road. Turn left and drive about 2.5 miles to where the Long Path crosses the road. Watch carefully as the markings on both sides are not very prominent. Park on the grassy shoulder of the road and begin your hike by walking northeast through some hardwoods and then enter a pine forest that seems to have been planted. To your left is a beaver meadow but there are no paths down to it. At .6 miles the trail turns left and crosses a bridge between the wetlands on the left and a beaver pond on the right. At .9 miles reach Cole Hill Road where there is room to park several cars by a signboard. Turn right on Cole Hill Road. For the next .3 miles walk uphill and southeast until the road levels off. Ahead and to the right is a spectacular view of Mt. Pisgah, Richmond, Ashland Pinnacle and Huntersfield. Walk to Woodstock Road and turn left at 1.8 miles. The initial part of the road is uphill but then there is a short downhill and some level ground. On the right is a large private campgrounds with some "campers" that look more like permanent residences. A little further down the road is Woodstock Lake which has a prominent "Private" sign at the entrance. Continue to walk to where Woodstock Road turns right. Continue straight ahead on a paved road that leads to the Albany Region Doppler RADAR tower for the National Weather Service. Start to descend from Stafford Hill. The road is eroded in most places with exposed bedrock. Near the bottom is a high rock ledge on the left. Enter a wet area which may be a problem when there has been some rainfall. Turn due north at 3.8 miles and continue to descend. At 4.3 miles turn right onto a gravel road which leads into a field. Follow the road across the field to Joslyn Schoolhouse Road. Turn left on the road and then turn off it to the right. It may seem that the trail follows an ATV track along the edge of a field but the blazes lead into the woods and through a pine plantation. This part of the hike sidehills on a descent and can be slippery ground. Near the bottom of the hill the ground becames wet and muddy. Begin to follow a stone wall and cross over it several times heading to the north. At 4.9 miles cross Fox Creek on a somewhat shabby bridge. At this point you will be at the edge of a field with no blazes to guide you. Walk to the left and around the edge of the field and up the hill toward Route 443. When you get near the road, turn right and follow the hedgerow until a space opens up. Walk out to the road and turn left. Of course, you can turn around here and follow your route back to the car. An alternative is to walk some roads back to the car. Walk northwest along Route 443 for about 2.5 miles. It is slightly downhill. At 7.6 miles turn left on Cole Hill Road and find a long stretch of flat and straight road. In the distance you can see that the road climbs steeply as its name implies. The walk to the base of the hill is only .7 miles. The walk up the hill is .5 miles and the vertical gain is a little over 300 feet. At the top of the hill turn right on Willsie Road to walk the .7 miles back to the car.

(The map above shows the parking area and the hiking route in an anticlockwise direction.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


York River State Park Virginia: Pumunkey TowerTrails IndexTop of page

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Trail difficulty 5.4 mi 330 ft MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map York River State Park in Virginia is on the York River which is a tidal estuary at that point. It is 11 miles west of Williamsburg, Virginia. There are many small creeks and salt marshes in the park. All of these offer habitats for varying kinds of wildlife including eagles and ospreys. The park also has historical significance as it was part of the Taskinas Plantation going as far back as the 13 colonies. It was a place where growers would gather their products, especially tobacco, for shipment back to England. The park is quite flat with only a few hills. It has an extensive trail network for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Some trails are designated for more than one use while some are reserved for only one. The entire park covers 2550 acres and has over 25 miles of trails, a visitor's center and picnic shelters.

To get to the park take I-64 and get off at exit 231B for Croaker. Go north on Route 607 (Croaker Rd.) for one mile, then right on Route 606 (Riverview Rd.) about one and a half miles to the park entrance. Take a left turn into the park. DO make the turn onto Riverview Road. Going straight ahead will take you to the boat launching area. DO NOT give up when it seems like Riverview is the wrong way. You will get to the park entrance. The day that I was at the park was technically late winter but looked more like early spring. The skies were overcast and threatening rain with temperatures in the high 40's to mid 50's. Stop at the entrance to pay the use fee to the attendant or place it in an envelope and deposit in the "off" season. The maps available are barely adequate if you have not been here before but make more sense after you walk around for a while.

Park the car near the visor's center and walk to the right of the building toward the kiosk. Start out on the Woodstock Pond Trail. After a few hundred feet, turn left and walk down the stairs to the shore of the river. The beach here is sandy and there are nice views up and down the shire and across the river. Walk back up to the main trail, turn left and walk past Woodstock Pond on the right. Stop at the pond for a moment if you want and then take your next left on The Mattaponi Trail that leads down to a bridge across a salt marsh. The trail leads to a wooden lookout deck which gives nice views of the river but better views are available from just off the deck. Take the side trail marked Fossil Beach which leads down to the river edge. This is definitely worth the short side trip. Walking on the beach you may find a fossil but you will surely enjoy the views of the high, sandy bluffs and the river. Go back up the side trail and out to the Mattaponi Trail and turn left to walk out to the Woodstock Pond Trail. At the trail junction walk over to the old brick foundation of the summer home of a prominent Williamsburg doctor. Walk out to the Backbone Trail and turn left.

Walk generally south following the Backbone Trail for about .85 miles ignoring all the crossing trails until you get to the Pumunkey Trail on the left. This trail is about .85 miles long and will take you down to an observation 'tower' at the edge of the river. The 'tower' is an elevated platform perhaps 10 feet high so don't get too exited. When you have finished "observing", walk back out the Pumunkey Trail to the Backbone Trail and turn right. Follow the Backbone Trail for 1.4 miles back to the car. There are many other options that would include more trails and point of interest along the way. Consult the map from the park entrance booth and read the description of the hike below.

(The map above shows the parking area and the hiking route as an out-and-back hike.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the looping hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)


York River State Park Virginia: Taskinas LoopTrails IndexTop of page

Quick Look
Difficulty Round trip Total climb Internet Maps
Trail difficultyTrail difficulty 10.7 mi 704 ft MSR Maps GPSies

link to topo map York River State Park in Virginia is on the York River which is a tidal estuary at that point. It is 11 miles west of Williamsburg, Virginia. There are many small creeks and salt marshes in the park. All of these offer habitats for varying kinds of wildlife including eagles and ospreys. The park also has historical significance as it was part of the Taskinas Plantation going as far back as the 13 colonies. It was a place where growers would gather their products, especially tobacco, for shipment back to England. The park is quite flat with only a few hills. It has an extensive trail network for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Some trails are designated for more than one use while some are reserved for only one. The entire park covers 2550 acres and has over 25 miles of trails, a visitor's center and picnic shelters.

To get to the park take I-64 and get off at exit 231B for Croaker. Go north on Route 607 (Croaker Rd.) for one mile, then right on Route 606 (Riverview Rd.) about one and a half miles to the park entrance. Take a left turn into the park. DO make the turn onto Riverview Road. Going straight ahead will take you to the boat launching area. DO NOT give up when it seems like Riverview is the wrong way. You will get to the park entrance. The day that I was at the park was technically late winter but looked more like early spring. The skies were overcast and threatening rain with temperatures in the high 40's to mid 50's. Stop at the entrance to pay the use fee to the attendant or place it in an envelope and deposit in the "off" season. The maps available are barely adequate if you have not been here before but make more sense after you walk around for a while.

The Taskinas Creek Trail was marked 'Closed due to storm damage.' but is fairly easy to hike although missing some bridges. The trail parallels the creek for a distance and has wooden platforms with benches to observe the wildlife. About a mile into the hike a bridge crosses the creek and is twisted but sound. From this point on the trail heads through the forest and over some hills to an area about 1.74 miles from the beginning where you can go straight ahead head back to the parking area to find another trail. You may also choose to turn right and walk the ?new" trails that cover some of the same ground you already walk through. Be prepared to bushwhack at some point until the trails are completed. Once back at the trail junction go straight ahead out to the road and walk back toward the parking area. Just short of the parking area make a right onto the Backbone Trail, a multi-use trail that runs the length of the park. In a few hundred feet make and immediate left onto the Beaver Trail and at the end another left onto the Woodstock Pond Trail. Walk passed Woodstock Pond and take a right down some steps to the shore of the river. Spend some time on the sandy beach before heading back the way you came passing Woodstock Pond. Take the next left onto the Mattaponi Trail that leads down to a bridge across a salt marsh. The trail leads to a wooden lookout deck which gives nice views of the river but better views are available from just off the deck. Take the side trail marked Fossil Beach which leads down to the river edge. This is definitely worth the short side trip. Walking on the beach you may find a fossil but you will surely enjoy the views of the high, sandy bluffs and the river. Go back up the side trail and out to the Mattaponi Trail and turn left to walk out to the Woodstock Pond Trail. At the trail junction walk over to the old brick foundation of the summer home of a prominent Williamsburg doctor. Walk out to the Backbone Trail. You will have walked 6 miles and turning right will bring you back to the parking area. Turn left on the Backbone Trail.

Walk generally south following the Backbone Trail for about .85 miles ignoring all the crossing trails until you get to the Pumunkey Trail on the left. Turn left here walk .1 miles and turn right on the Spurr Trail. Walk .15 miles and turn left on the Majestic Oak Trail. About .6 miles down this trail, as you head for the river, will be a large oak tree with a plaque explaining its significance. Continue on the trail and walk over a wooden causeway across another salt marsh. The trail continues to loop around and heads away from the river. DO NOT turn left unless you want to lengthen the 10 mile hike! Take the first right which will be the Powhatan Forks Trail. At the next right will be a gate and the foundations of the Taskinas Plantation. All that remains are shallow impressions and some bricks. DO NOT turn here but continue straight ahead to the Backbone Trail. Turn right and stay on this trail all the way back to the park road and your car about 1.5 miles away.

(The map above shows the parking area and the hiking route as an out-and-back hike.)

link to topo profile (The image at the left shows the profile of the looping hike. Remember that all vertical profiles are relative!)