Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Catskills' Hunter Mountain

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Catskills' Hunter Mountain

Article excerpt

FEATURES: This loop hike climbs to the second-highest peak in the Catskills, with outstanding views.

LENGTH: About 8 miles


TIME: About 6 hours

DOGS: Permitted off leash

MAP: New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Catskill Trails Map #141

HOW TO GET THERE: Take the New York State Thruway to Exit 19 (Kingston) and proceed west on N.Y. Route 28 for about 28 miles to its junction with N.Y. Route 42 in Shandaken. Proceed north on Route 42 for 7.4 miles to the hamlet of West Kill, then turn right and follow Spruceton Road (County Route 6) for 6.7 miles, past a "dead- end" sign, to a large parking area for Hunter Mountain on the left side of the road.

From the parking area, follow the blue-blazed Spruceton Trail northward. This trail follows a wide dirt road that provides access to the fire tower at the top of the mountain. Soon, you will pass a trail register (please sign). After about half a mile, the trail crosses Hunter Brook on a wide wooden bridge and makes a sharp right turn. The trail now ascends gradually, following the road up a shoulder of Hunter Mountain.

After 1.7 miles of gentle uphill walking, the trail reaches a junction at a height of land, marked by a sign. The wide dirt road continues ahead, but you should turn right and follow the blue blazes, which ascend more steeply on a rougher road. This is the steepest part of the hike. In another half a mile, there is a spring on the right side of the trail (the water should be purified). A short distance beyond, you'll reach a sign that points to a lean- to. A side trail leads in about 500 feet to the John Robb Lean-to and a panoramic viewpoint just beyond.

Continue uphill on the blue-blazed trail. Soon, you'll reach a junction with the yellow-blazed Colonel's Chair Trail, which leaves to the left. You should continue ahead, following the blue blazes. The trail now levels off for a while and then ascends moderately, finally reaching a large clearing at the summit of the mountain, with the fire tower and a fire observer's cabin. You've hiked 3.4 miles and climbed nearly 2,000 vertical feet to reach this point. …

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