Of all the trails on Hunter Mountain, the Spruceton Trail and Diamond Notch Trail are most suitable for mountain biking. It’s excellent to gaze at almost any time of the year. Palenville, NY Intermediate. The wary hiker will grasp the handrails and move cautiously upward. From this point, there are hundreds of lower peaks, too numerous to name. Here I am starting up the mountain, with trail-less high peak Rusk Mountain in the distance. Spruceton Trail Intermediate. Descending on Devils Path 0.2 miles past the Devils Acres lean-to is an old railroad bed. The Spruceton Trail follows the old jeep road that serviced the fire tower. This lean-to is newer and replaces the original which was directly off the trail. Parking / Timing. The tower begins to shudder as the wind blows on the steel skeleton. 2778 Spruceton Rd West Kill NY 12492. A loop route can be, and frequently is, made by following the Spruceton Trail to the junction with the yellow-blazed Hunter Mountain Trail, descending to Devil's Acre for the bushwhack to Southwest Hunter, then returning to the Spruceton trailhead via a combination of the western portion of the Devil's Path to West Kill Falls and then the Diamond Notch Trail. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail. Go over the bridge and turn right onto the wide Spruceton Trail to get back to your car. 1,712' Up If you require advice you should consult an appropriate professional. Lodging and dining opportunities, as well as gas, food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Hunter, Tannersville, and Woodstock. The fire tower stands proud and tall after its long overdue make-over. When the trees are bare you can get nice views of Hunter’s west ridge and Westkill Mountain rising way above you. The trail reaches a high pass between Hunter and East Rusk at 1.7-miles called Jones Gap. 2,245' Up An Adventure Projects staff member will review this and take an appropriate action, but we generally don't reply. 3.4 mi 5.4 km #1 Spruceton Trail. This trail is wide enough that it also makes for a nice easy ski back down or can be used to access other ski runs in the area. Far off to the west Bearpen and Vly can be seen. Read more here! 2,805' Up We wondered who won? Hunter is the second highest in the Catskills. Continuing on the Spruceton Trail with an occasional glimpse of the fire tower the hiker makes the last mile to the summit. At the hairpin turn is the usual bushwhack point for Rusk Mountain. Please note changes in access and rules for hiking and camping in the Adirondacks and Catskills during the COVID-19 outbreak. At approximately 4,040 feet (1,231 m) in elevation, it is the highest peak in the county and the second-highest peak in the Catskill Mountains. The authors of this site are not responsible any damage, personal injuries or death as a result of the use of any advice, gear or techniques discussed on this blog. After departing Jones Gap, the trail will be level for a bit and then the trail will become steeper and rougher. - Please see the NYSDEC website for COVID recommendations on safe hiking. Summer at the John Robb lean-to on Hunter Mountain Scott L. | copyright Challenged HikingThe views include part of the Spruceton Valley, Rusk, and Westkill Mountains. If you detour to the John Robb lean-to you’ll descend through the Cats Elbow (rock formation) and find a nice place to stop and rest and get some good views. • The trail here is a wide, flat roadbed, open to both hikers and horse riders. 684.37 m Up The Hunter Mountain Trail descends gently for 1.4 miles, making two sharp turns on the way. 855.43 m Down, 5.0 mi At 4,040’, Hunter Mountain is the second-highest peak in the Catskills and one of the 35 peaks in the Catskill 3500 Club. The Spruceton Trail is a very popular approach to Hunter’s summit and with a return on Devil’s Path makes a great circuit hike. You are now at the 3500-foot mark. Full Details. I looked at the weather forecast and picked the day that seemed to offer cool weather but some bright sun. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, bird watching, and horses and is best used from March until October. Look down and see animal tracks at all times during the year. At mile post 1.41 you will come to this 3-way Trail Junction. With gentle grades on the summit ridge, the trail moves through a spruce-fir forest. 9.9 km The Hunter Mountain Fire Tower is located on the summit of the eponymous mountain, second highest of the Catskill Mountains in the U.S. state of New York.It was the first of 23 fire lookout towers built by the state in the region, and the next-to-last of the five still standing to be abandoned.. Today it remains a popular attraction for hikers climbing the mountain. However, if you go there you will descend several hundred feet. All outdoor activities are carried out at your own risk. 718' Up At 2.1 miles the trail passes the John Robb lean-to. Look to your right as you ascend the trail after the hairpin for imposing views of West Kill. This is now the point you’ll find a herd-path to SW Hunter Mountain. Intermediate. On the other hand, walking out via the Devil’s Path and Southwest Hunter makes the hike long: 10 miles is 10 miles, and that route includes steeper trail sections. • Shared By: SpencerB BB. Looking south the jumble of the southern high peaks crowd together, the Burroughs Range, Giant Ledge and Panther. "Tom, Anna, Yong Ae and myself hiked the classic loop of SW Hunter, Hunter, Rusk East and Rusk starting on the Spruceton trail and finishing with a short road walk. This section is part of the old jeep trail used to build the Hunter Mountain Fire Tower. This section of the trail is very pleasant. The picture on the left show you what the trail looks like at the beginning of the trail up to West Kill Mountain. This was used by the Fenwick Lumber Company which established a mill in the Myrtle Brook Valley. 16.3 km You can hike an out-and-back on the Spruceton Trail or extend your day on Devil’s Path and make it a wonderful, but more challenging loop. This road continues down the other side of the mountain range, and comes out near the West side of Hunter Mountain Ski Bowl. Keep in mind, these towers stood tall even when in disrepair. The Spruceton Valley is far below. The Diamond Notch Trail goes out to the Diamond Notch parking area. Continuing on the footpath to a nice view from Geiger Point (left) looking over the steep headwall of the Spruceton Valley is found. The area can be accessed from NYS Route 214 and Greene County Route 6 (Spruceton Road). It burnt some years ago and was relocated to its current spot. Hunter Mountain: Spruceton Trail. Being a jerk / offensive? Go see what you came here for, the view! To the southwest are the mountains Spruce, Fir, Big Indian, Eagle, Haynes, Balsam, and Belleayre. 3 Reviews. This is arguably the best ledge view on the mountain. The cabin served as home to the summit observers when the tower was still being used for fire observation is now a respite for climbers as they sit on its front porch at the wooden table. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. This is a well-graded trail and has a few moderately steep sections. Follow the blue blazes from the trailhead to the summit of hunter mountain. The view from the tower is expansive. A friend of mine who eats mountains for breakfast described the ascent of Hunter as “relentless.” Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. - Use the links below to get the full reports for the Adirondacks and Catskills. As the wind forces increase some legs may become weak but finally, with mercy, there is a refuge in the observation deck out of the wind. Hunter Mountain from Spruceton On Wednesday, April 1st I wanted to do a 3500 foot peak and had decided early in the week it would be Hunter. The road initially climbs gradually using switchbacks then it slabs a ridge connecting to East Rusk. 684.75 m Down, 7.0 mi The ascent via the Spruceton trail is moderate 7 miles. 11.9 km This trail follows a wide dirt road which provides access to the fire tower at the top of the mountain. Go left on the Spruceton trail (blue) all the way up to the Hunter Mountain fire tower. • Moving farther east is North and South Mountain and the sandy beaches of North Lake. In front of the Black Dome Range is Onteora Mountain at a stumpy 3220 feet. A gentle three mile hike with an ascent of 1,300' from the south of … The picture on the right is another example of the trail up to West Kill Mountain summit. The wind starts to increase. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies, Great Hikes: Hunter Mountain Spruceton Trail, Rethink Your Hydration System to Lighten Pack Weight, Black Dome Mountain – Big Brother of the Blackhead Range, 5 Winter Hiking Tips for Your First Time Out &…, Best Hikes: Devil’s Path Backpacking Traverse, View Hunter-West Kill Wilderness/Rusk Mountain Wild Forest Map, here for an interactive version of the map, checking the forecast during your planning. Enjoy rewarding vistas from the top of Hunter Mountain. What to Think About Before Using a Lean-To or Back-Country Shelter, Why Trail Guides Should Make You Question Everything, 5 Winter Hiking Tips for Your First Time Out & So You’ll Want to go Back, Sunrise – Sunset Times Catskill Mountains, Catskill Lean-tos and Primitive Campsites, Places to Camp on the Catskill’s Escarpment Trail, Best Hikes: Wittenberg-Cornell-Slide Woodland Valley Loop, Best Hikes: The Catskill’s Escarpment Trail from Colgate Lake, Into The Neversink: An off-trail adventure in the wilds of the Catskill Mountains, Town of Lexington and Hunter, Greene County and the Town of Shandaken, Ulster County. 218.76 m Up The view encompasses most of the southern peaks and a close-up view of SW Hunter, Westkill, and Rusk. Add Your Trails. One hike during winter we saw rabbit and bobcat tracks that headed into the trees. Take the Devil's Path to Hunter Mountain route to complete a loop or just for more seclusion. It passes a short spur trail at the junction with the Becker Hollow Trail that leads to one of the finest views in the area. At 1 mile, the trail passes Diamond Notch Falls and the intersection with the Devils Path. • 521.88 m Up Soon, you will pass a trail register (please sign). At 2.4-miles you reach the Colonel’s Chair Trail which leads left (north) toward the top of the Hunter Mountain chair lift and a seasonally operated snack bar. The Spruceton Trail follows the old jeep road that serviced the fire tower. Hunter Mountain via Spruceton Horse Trail is a 9.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Hunter, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. 854.82 m Up The summit also has a privy on its eastern side in the trees. 521.76 m Down, 7.4 mi View of SW Hunter from Geiger Point Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking This is probably the most common route up to Hunter Mountain and back down. An unmarked path comes in from the north the trail to Hunter’s summit turns right (east southeast). This trail follows a wide dirt road which provides access to the fire tower at the top of the mountain. Check the DEC website for specifics on hunting dates. The Spruceton Trail is a very popular approach to Hunter’s summit and with a return on Devil’s Path makes a great circuit hike. The trail begins at 2,100', alongside Hunter Brook. We have also seen deer and bear tracks on this high elevation trail. Spruceton Trail is a 6.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Hunter, New York that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. Your FREE account works with all Adventure Projects sites. The Old Hunter Road (abandoned 1937) is straight, wide, and modest ascent. As you crest the hill on this part of the climb look back at the Westkill Valley and see Rusk and East Rusk Mountains and more. The Devil's Path continues up to the Devil's Acre lean-to and the path to Hunter Mountain. This trail was developed during the 1937 season primarily as a ski trail from the Stony Clove Road (Route 214) near Lanesville to the Spruceton Road near its junction with the old Spruceton-Hunter Road. On cold days when the sky is crystal clear one can see the Green Mountains of Vermont, Berkshires in Massachusetts, the lower hills of Connecticut, the Shawangunks near New Paltz, and finally seen in the distance the faint mountains of northern New Jersey. 2,165' Down Hunter Mountain Wild Forest encompasses almost 11,000 acres in the northeast portion of the Catskill Park. At 2.4 miles the trail passes the Colonel's Chair Trail that leads to the Hunter Mountain Ski Area. Catskill Mountain Guide by Appalachian Mountain Club Books, Catskill Day Hikes for All Seasons by Carol and David White, Views from on High: Fire Tower Trails in the Adirondacks and Catskills, AMC High Peaks Trail Guide Map Pack by Adirondack Mtn Club, Catskill Region Waterfall Guide by Black Dome Press, Good Fishing in the Catskills: A Complete Angler’s Guide (Third Edition), Hunter-West Kill Wilderness and Rusk Mountain Wild Forest, Trail Registers for Beginners – Anatomy and why to use them, The Complete Beginner’s Guide to the 10 Essentials. From the parking area, follow the blue-blazed Spruceton Trail northward. 2,166' Up 2,247' Down View of Westkill from Geiger Point Scott L. | copyright Challenged HikingContinue down the valley to Diamond Notch Falls and a walk beside a lively mountain stream will finish your return if you take the loop. If you have binoculars and the sun is high, you might see Kaaterskill Falls! On busy days you will need to wait for your turn. This bridge crosses the beautiful Hunters Brook, a great place to stop and splash around after a hot summer hike. Soon, you will pass a trail register (please sign). Looking west is Rusk and the rest of the Lexington Range. The DEC puts a six-person limit on how many people can be in the deck at once. Description If there's room, you can simply park at the trailhead and follow the road to the top. Hunter Mountain is in the towns of Hunter and Lexington, just south of the village of Hunter, in Greene County, New York, United States. 660.12 m Up To the southeast are the mountains of Eastern Devil’s Path, Plateau in the foreground with Sugarloaf, Twin, and Indian Head behind. Please act responsibly during this stressful period. Continuing east the view provides a good look at Cauterskill (Kaaterskill) High Peak and its lower companion Round Top. Find the blue-blazed Spruceton Trail which starts as a wide, gated road which follows Hunter Brook. • View a map of this area and more on Natural Atlas. Hunter Mountain elev 4040’ Spruceton Trail Distance: 6.7 miles (add 2 for Colonel's Chair) Time: 7 hours Vertical rise: 2,240 feet Hunter is a big mountain that is best hiked on the long, gradual trail from Spruceton. Land Manager: NY Dept of Environmental Conservation. Continue straight ahead at this junction, and in about 250 feet, you'll reach the Devil's Acre Lean-to, just to the right of the trail - … 8.8 km 8.1 km Contacts. • The Spruceton Trail (blue markers) begins at a DEC parking area near the end of Spruceton Road (Greene Co. Rt. Upon reaching the summit at 3.4-miles one is greeted with an attractive clearing surrounded by balsam fir. Spruceton Trail (3.4 miles, blue markers): The Spruceton Trail extends from the Spruceton Road Parking Lot to the summit of Hunter Mountain. The forest is located in Greene County in the towns of Hunter, Jewett, and Lexington. Something else? NOT OKAY! Colonel's Chair Trail (1.7 miles, yellow markers) The operation lasted for eleven years and used a 1.7-mile cable tramway and Railroad from a summit camp on Hunter to deliver the virgin cuttings to a mill in Diamond Notch and out of the Spruceton Valley. The Spruceton Trail extends from the Spruceton Road Parking Lot to the summit of Hunter Mountain. There's quite a bit of elevation gain, but it … This is the only flat section for the next 1200 feet of vertical climbing. 1,712' Down This is about an injury or accident To the right of Black Head is what is known as Arizona Peak and to its right is Stopple Point. The Trails: Spruceton Road. However, the best place to sit is in the tower’s observation deck. Create Recommended Route or The road is maintained to service the fire tower and ranger station at the summit, so it should be very easy to follow without too many obstacles. 2,807' Down Land Manager: NY Dept of Environmental Conservation, 6.2 mi The Spruceton Trail is 3.5 miles and an accent of 1,900 feet versus Mink Hollow Trail at 2.1 miles and 2,200 feet accent. Please explain. At 2.1 miles the trail passes the John Robb lean-to. 728' Down Taking other people's content (text, photos, etc) without permission is a copyright violation and Spam? This trail goes by Geiger Point, Hunter Mountain overlook, and Hunter Mountain. To the left and behind Caudal and Camel’s Hump is Windham High Peak. Hunter Mountain Trail (1.7 miles, ascent 530′ from Devil’s Path JNT to summit, yellow makers) The Hunter Mountain Trail leads to the Hunter Mountain summit from Devil’s Path not far from the Devil’s Acres Lean-to. If you decide to return via the Devil’s Path route you will be rewarded with an open rock ledge 0.1-miles west of the Becker Hollow Trail junction. • Hunter Mountain: Spruceton Trail hike up Hunter Mountain - See 455 traveler reviews, 213 candid photos, and great deals for Hunter, NY, at Tripadvisor. In this area you can cross the brook and head northwest to bushwhack Rusk Mt. Just east of north anchoring the scene is the rugged Black Dome Range of Caudal, Camel’s Hump, Thomas Cole, Black Dome, and Black Head Mountains. • 659.88 m Down. This is featured as a winter day trip with a steady ascent from the parking lot to a shelter on top of Hunter Mountain and back but you can also stay in the shelter overnight or even do this as a nice run. At about 0.4-miles the trail swings left (northwest) to cross a wooden bridge. • Diamond Notch Falls in Spring Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking, Click the map or here for an interactive version of the map, Becker Hollow Trail Catskill Fire Tower Project Devil's Path Diamond Notch Falls Diamond Notch Trail fire tower Geiger Point Hunter Mountain John Robb Lean-to Spruceton Trail. From the parking area, follow the blue-blazed Spruceton Trail northward. Map associated with Hunter Mtn.- NYNJTC Catskill Map Set, Trail Guide BookADK - Catskill Trails - 4th edition. After crossing a small bridge across the brook, you will come to a hairpin turn to the right. • The trail climbs to a good underground spring (2.2-miles) on the right and then on to the John Robb lean-to spur-trail at 2.3-miles (leads right off-trail). Rusk and the Spruceton Valley from the Lean-to Scott L. | copyright Challenged HikingYou’ll also get a glimpse of the fire tower. This is a well-graded trail and has a few moderately steep sections. Trail. As the hiker climbs the tower, the trip up is uneventful until the steps carry one above the trees. • The temperature was forecast to start out cold but rise to the high 30’s by early afternoon. 1,719' Up After about half a mile, the trail crosses Hunter Brook on a wide wooden bridge and then makes a sharp right turn. 222.01 m Down, 10.2 mi The trail starts at the northeast corner of the parking area marked with blue trail markers and walks at a level grade past the trail register (please sign it). A loop route can be, and frequently is, made by following the Spruceton Trail to the junction with the yellow-blazed Hunter Mountain Trail, descending to Devil's Acre for the bushwhack to Southwest Hunter, then returning to the Spruceton trailhead via a combination of the western portion of the Devil's Path to West Kill Falls and then the Diamond Notch Trail. Hunter is the most developed of the 3500′ high peaks in the Catskills. Please read the DEC info carefully. Palenville, NY 3 1.5 mi 2.4 km #2 Hunter Mountain Trail. 11.3 km The Spruceton Trail ends at 3.7-miles the Becker Hollow Trail junction. Intermediate. After about half a mile, the trail crosses Hunter Brook on a wide wooden bridge and then makes a sharp right turn. NOTE: You are responsible for bringing appropriate gear, supplies, clothing, first aid, and lights. On Monday, January 16th I wanted to do a 3500 foot peak and decided the night before to do Hunter from Spruceton. Trails in Hunter Mountain - 7. How Much Water Should You Drink on a Hike and Why? The trees close in on the trail. At 2.2 miles, the trail passes a lean-to and the diamond notch. With each step, it seems to intensify exponentially. The return trip can be made following the same route up or by making a nice loop down the Hunter Mountain Trail to connect with Devil’s Path and the Diamond Notch Trail returning to the Spruceton Valley with a short road walk back to your car. A summit observers cabin also sits in this place. I created this Hunter Mountain hiking trail yelp to distinguish it from Hunter Mountain and all the skiing/other activities there. To the south going west in the foreground is SW Hunter, Westkill, North Dome, and Sherrill. Spruceton Trail is a trail on West Kill and Hunter Brook in Hunter-West Kill Wilderness, Rusk Mountain Wild Forest, Catskill Park, NY. This is a difficult loop trail to Devil's Acre spring in Rusk Mountain Wild Forest. Shared By: At 2.4 miles the trail passes the Colonel's Chair Trail that leads to the Hunter Mountain Ski Area. • This was a special day for Anna and Yong Ae as they finished their single season Spring round of the Catskill 35 therefore awarded the first two Spring triangle patches from Hikers Anonymous. The thoroughfare from the north was part of an old wagon road used in the 1800s to provide a connection from Hunter to the Westkill Valley through Jones Gap. 523.43 m Down, 5.5 mi It is in better condition now since the tower has been reopened, so please use this instead of littering the summit with waste. The trail extends south from Spruceton Road through Diamond Notch, and descends down to connect with Diamond Notch Road. This was a solo sunrise hike with sunrise scheduled for 6:27 am. If there's room, you can simply park at the trailhead and follow the road to the top. Behind them is Doubletop, Graham, Balsam Lake. This lumber was used to help build the Ashokan Reservoir and provide materials for construction in Stony Clove and the Ulster & Delaware railroads. I like the trail and it is relatively easy which is what I wanted as I had not done a 3500 is some time. It ends at a junction with the red-blazed Devil's Path, also marked by a sign. 1,717' Down Spruceton Trail Shelter Out-and-Back RECOMMENDED ROUTE. 524.09 m Up 6), in the Town of Hunter. (see below) Popular hiking trails in the area include the Devil’s Path, Becker Hollow and the Colonel’s Chair. Virtual Tour of Spruceton Trail. Crossing the bridge the trail climbs a pitch up to a hairpin turn and swings back up the road (east). From the summit, the hiker has two options for the descent back to the Spruceton Valley. Jones Gap provide materials for construction in Stony Clove and the Ulster & Delaware railroads road ) and Rusk for... ) is straight, wide, flat roadbed, open to both hikers and horse.... 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