Schunemunk Mountain, standing at almost 1,700 feet, has a long, impressive ridge line and countless stunted pitch pines anchored in bare rock. The mountain itself has an interesting history. The name “Schunemunk” means “excellent fireplace” in Lenape, the ancient language of the Lenni Lenape Indians, who lived in a village on the northern tip of the mountain before the arrival of the Europeans. Also, during the American Revolution, the mountain was often the site of skirmishing between Tory and Patriot irregulars.
Starting with a steep uphill climb amidst unique rock types and formations, enjoy exceptional views of the Hudson River Valley and the Catskills as we undulate over the mountain peaks. Over the course of the day, we'll cover a moderate to challenging 10 miles. We'll stop for lunch at the Megaliths, a group of huge blocks that have split off from the bedrock. (This is a great place to explore and I spent a good amount of time here just climbing the rocks and hanging out..)
Most of this hike is on an open double ridge with 360 degree views and tons of blueberries on the trail! Expect to cover 10 miles, with an elevation difference of 1300 feet. With all the ups and downs the total ascent is around 2500 feet. The hike should take 6-7 hours and could be more or less depending on our pace. We'll be sticking together as a group and I'll be going at an average pace taking pictures along the way. There are way too many views here not to appreciate whats around you.
From the parking lot on Otterkill Road, we will follow the White Trestle Trail to the Red Trail and onto the Long Path. We'll hike along the ridge on the Long Path until we reach the Red Trail. We'll follow Red for about 0.1 mi to the Blue Trail and climb another 300 feet to the Yellow (Highlands) Trail. We'll have lunch at the Megaliths, then we'll follow Yellow to White, and back to where we started.
Trailhead Coordinates: N41°[masked] W074°[masked] (Remember to input in the correct format!)
Take the New York State Thruway to Exit 16 (Harriman). Proceed west on N.Y. Route 17 to Exit 130, and continue north on N.Y. Route 208 for 2.7 miles. Just past the Blooming Grove Plaza shopping center, bear right at the fork onto Clove Road (County Route 27). In 4.4 miles, turn right onto Otterkill Road and proceed for 0.7 mile to a trail head parking area on the side of the road. You will see white blazes on poles indicating the start of the trailhead on the road.
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