Ashokan High Point: 8 mile hike
Time: 5 hours (Sat. afternoon and Sunday morning)
Vertical rise: 1,980 feet
The trail to Ashokan High Point's summit is an old settlement road. Old stone walls and ditch construction protect it from the advancing forest. Only the overhanging boughs that occasionally you will duck under betray any need for trail or trail maintenance. The trail to Ashokan High Point shows up on the NY-NJTC map as a dotted line, keyed as an unmarked trail. The map is accurate to a point.
The moderate-difficulty trail is self-guiding in its entirety.
Directions: From Exit 19 off I-87, take NY 28 west through the towns of West Hurley, Boiceville and Shokan. Make a slight left onto NY 28-A in West Shokan for 3 miles before making a slight right onto County Road 42 (W. Shokan / Peekamoose / Sundown/ Watson Holow Road), following Bush Kill. After 3.9 miles, you will see the parking area on the left. State and Forest Preserve signs are posted nearby. Cross Kanape Brook to the trail, or jeep road, to park.
GPS coordinates: 41.935912,-74.327753
This is a pleasant hike up a small mountain that overlooks NYC's first and largest reservoir. The trail (marked with red disks) follows an old carriage road along the Kanape Brook. Notice the stone walls and foundations along the way. After 2.5 miles, you reach the low point on the ridge connecting High Point and Mombaccus Mountain. Turn left here (a sign points the way). You will soon see the returning loop trail on the left - continue straight. Over the next mile, the route is much steeper - climbing almost 1,000 feet. At the summit, there are anchor bolts in the rock where an old tower once stood. Nearby in bushwacked accessible fields are wild blueberry patches and vistas of the Shawangunks range to the south. Continue on the red trail.
There is a designated campground site with a firepit and field clearing at 1,600 feet that we will hit on the return loop since the hike is a lollipop loop.
- 3 Season Tent
- Sleeping bag (20 degree or higher in rating)
- Sleeping mat / pad
- Trekking poles (optional/recommended)
- Polyester/synthetic hiking clothing (layers are advisable)
- Rain jacket / shell
- Hiking Boots, wool socks
- 2 1-liter bottles or 2-3 liter camel bag for water
- Water purifying tablets or a water filter
- Food for 2 days/1 night
- Stove, pots, utensils
Since the main trail straddles a brook, we will monitor the weather up until a few days before the hike to make sure the mud is not an issue; if there's a string of wet days, we may postpone the outing until June/early July.
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