Catskills All Trails (CATs) Series: This hike covers 1.1m of the Black Dome Range Trail, 6.3m of the Escarpment Trail and the entire Dutcher Notch Trail.
Join Tom Martone for a 9.3 mile thru hike on a beautiful section of the Escarpment Trail which will include a Catskill 3500 Peak, Blackhead Mountain (3,940’) and a Catskill 100 Highest Peak, Acra Point (3,100’). This hike has a multitude of views along the way and includes a strenuous and dramatic scramble to the summit of Blackhead Mountain. After catching our breath on top of Blackhead, we will continue a short distance along the Escarpment to an area called Camp Steel which has nice open rocks to sit on and enjoy lunch, views to the Hudson Valley and hopefully, some cool breezes. After lunch we continue on the Escarpment Trail through interesting forests passing many blueberry bushes and a height of land called Arizona. Later as the Escarpment Trail descends into Dutcher Notch we will have some steep sections and scrambles to negotiate. Finally we’ll follow the entire length of the Dutcher Notch Trail to the cars waiting at the finishing trailhead.
The hike is the most difficult of the CATs Series thus far due to its length (9.3 miles) and several steep areas with scrambles on both sides of Blackhead. Luckily we’ve arranged the hike so that our starting trailhead is over 1,000′ above the finishing trailhead. We’ll be on marked trails throughout the day, but terrain can be uneven and rocky. Hiking poles can be helpful. We will hike at a moderate pace, staying together as a group and making sure all hikers are comfortable.
The weather in June in the Catskills can vary widely. Dress for comfort in moisture wicking clothing and layers. A wind-resistant, water-resistant shell with hood can come in handy even if the weather is generally warm.
Bring snacks, lunch and plenty of water (at least two liters).
As with almost any hike in the Catskills, good hiking boots are a must. A hat, sunscreen and bug repellent may make the day more enjoyable.
Well behaved dogs with hiking experience are welcome. Please notify the leader in advance.
Pre-registration is required. Group size is limited. Pre-register by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday June 11, 2015. In your email, let me know the number of seats in your vehicle and where you are traveling from so we can work out the best way to shuttle vehicles from the two trailheads.
This hike requires a car shuttle and the two trailheads for the hike are:
Starting at Big Hollow Road Road Parking Area
At the end of Big Hollow Road (County Route 56) in Maplecrest, NY.
From State Route 23 at the east end of Windham, NY take NY-296 S for 1.5 miles which turns into Maplecrest Road. Turn right onto County Road 40 and proceed for 1.8 miles and turn left on Big Hollow Road (Route 56). Proceed on Big Hollow Road for 4.2 miles. The parking area is on the right at the end of Big Hollow Road.
Finishing at Dutcher Notch Parking Area
On Stork’s Nest Road near Round Top, NY.
Access is via Heart’s Content Road (CR 31), the road to Round Top and Purling, which can be accessed from State Route 23 or State Route 32. Follow Heart’s Content Road to Maple Lawn Road. Turn onto Maple Lawn Road and travel 1.1 mi to Floyd Hawver Rd. Turn left and then make a quick right at the DEC sign at Stork’s Nest Road. Travel 0.4 mi along Stork’s Nest Road to a small parking area on the left side of the road. Avoid entering the private property further down Stork’s Nest Road.