View Full Version : Devil's Pulpit (Catskills)

Jay H
03-24-2004, 06:22 PM
Just wondering if anybody knows any history or where the Devil's Pulpit is in the Catskills? I'm reading Alf Evers book The Catskills: from Wilderness to Woodstock and I jumped to read the section of the history of the Devil's Path (Figure I'll learn a little history before tackling the thing as a dayhike)... Anyway, it mentions that the whole entire Devil's theme in the catskills centered around Stony Clove or what is now basically Rt 214 that runs north south through the notch... Anyway, the book mentions that the only thing that really remains as a landmark is the Devil's Tombstone which is also a NY DEC Campground.

It mentions the Devil's Kitchen too as being in the head of plattekill clove and I remember there is a Devil's Kitchen leanto but does anybody know anything about the Devil's Pulpit?

BTW, I haven't started to read the book but I've just been flipping pages and it looks to be an awesome book... I read the chapter on the Devil's Path and could not put the book down on this short chapter...

[edit ] Found this link:


Perhaps this Devil's Pulpit seems to be a the top of the climb from 214 heading towards Hunter... Somewhere near the Devil's Acre leanto.


This devil guy really gets around! I wonder if he's a 3500'er?

03-24-2004, 08:19 PM
Acording to the Catskill Guide by the ADK. The Devils Puplpit is actually along the Devils Path. If you head up on the DP towards Hunter you will climb a steep section consisiting of ledges or a wall. This is what they call the Devils Portal. It is fairly close to 214. Anyway from this point on top of the ledge there was at one time another trail that lead to the Devils Pulpit. It is located above the stone face of the Devil. I remember the last time I was there I did not see any old trails that lead to this or the Devils stone face. I would be intrested if anyone knows if that trail is still there or is it overgrown. Can you see the Devils Face from 214.

03-24-2004, 08:50 PM
Wow! So I've actually climbed up on the Devil's Pulpit and not even known it! Go figure! Isn't that always the case?

My friend Josef who lives in the Catskills has the Alf Evers book and I've often looked through it and read small portions at night after hiking. I love the stories about the colorful characters that the old hotels used to employ as guides and storytellers back in the days before TV and radio. Right now I'm waiting for my copy "The Catskill Forest" by Michael Kudish to arrive in the mail. Can't wait to crack it open as many folks from this forum have recommended it.

Hey Snowshoe and Jay, why don't you guys come to NYC and have a few beers with us on April Fools Day? I'd love to meet both of you.

PS. Great link Jay, by the way.

03-25-2004, 06:44 AM
This has nothing to do with the Devil stuff but this is a good story concerning the Catskills http://www.outdoors.org/publications/appalachia/2002/2002-peekamoose-main.shtml

Jay H
03-25-2004, 06:45 AM
Hey Shawn, that is what the Alf Evers book says, but it appears to be a little off the trail though... Maybe in our Dayhike, we'll have to take a sidetrip, at least for those that are still coherent at that time!!

Getting to NYC on a weekday would be nigh impossible for me due to work right now and my bike commute and probably worse for Shawn since he lives up by High Point. However, didn't you mention that you wanted to go do the AT in NJ, or was that somebody else? I know we were trying to get an informal DDP thing in February but basically only Shawn and I went and I think Aaron turned out to be busy.

If you want to get together on a weekend, I know Shawn and I have to go back up to Sam's Point and finish the ice caves... Shawn was a bad boy scout and left his crampons in the car so I didn't do the complete loop and never got to the cave itself.


03-25-2004, 11:42 AM
NYC would be tough for me, plus big cities scare me. I am too much of a country boy. Hopefully we can get get togther like Jay mentioned. Sams Point would be cool or we can even explore the area between Stonykill falls and Napanock Point. There is a lot of neat features in that area. Either way I an always up for just about anything.

Jay let me knowwhen you want to explore the Devils Pulpit. I was also looking at that new book Fred mentioned. I was going to order it but then saw the price, Ouch. Hopefully it comes out in soft cover.

03-25-2004, 01:23 PM
The Kudish Book, "The Catskill Forest, A History" is worth every penny of it's cost in my opinion. After my first read through I sent the author a note to thank him for his work and dedication.
In turn, Mike invited me to join him on his survey hikes this spring. Needless to say, this is something I am looking forward like a little kid waiting for Christmas.
If you can't afford the book, try the library.

PS Would anyone consider getting together in the Catskills for a beer or coffee some evening? Say perhaps in Kingston, or along the Rt. 28 corridor like the Boiceville Inn? Just a thought for a Saturday night or something. (I'm afraid of the cities also, even Albany.)

03-25-2004, 06:16 PM
"PS Would anyone consider getting together in the Catskills for a beer or coffee some evening? Say perhaps in Kingston, or along the Rt. 28 corridor like the Boiceville Inn?"

I could do that. Next few weeks or so? I'll be visiting terrace Mnt. lean-to some time soon.

I thought the Devils Puplit was the throne like thing on the Pecoy Notch Trail. Didn't read that anywhere, just assumed. Devils Kitchen I took for the terminus of Plattekille clove or the final grand waterfall at the end of the clove. The USGS maps place the label above the clove, the "D" anchored to the 2000' contour line.

03-25-2004, 07:05 PM
Keep me informed of your schedule. Direct email is: n2sa@bestweb.net
I'll be doing most of the Devils path with a few of my Scouts from 4/3 to 4/6 (east to west), but any time other than that would be good. If it's just us two we should take it 'off-line', but you could just come by my place. I live 3 minutes from Rt. 28 and 3 hills west of Kingston. The beer is chaeper here.(oh damn! now everybody knows where I live!)
Anybody else?

Mark Schaefer
03-26-2004, 10:52 PM
I have never been overly impressed with the devil's pulpit in Stony Clove. Its popularity in the 19th century was probably due to its easy access from the road and railroad that passed through Stony Notch. I have always contended the rock outcrop/overhang at the eastern end of the Indian Head summit is a more natural pulpit stone, and a fitting place for any devil to welcome and entice hikers starting a traverse of the Devil's Path.

Warren, those throne constructions on the Pecoy Notch Trail are located at Dibble's Quarry. The constructions date from the 1970s according to an article that appeared in the July 2001 edition of Hudson Valley Magazine. The quarry dates from the late 19th century, founded by Edward Dibble, who also was also one of the builders of the Harding Road (now part of the Long Path) from Palenville to the Hotel Kaaterskill on top of South Mt.

The name Devil's Kitchen describes the boiling (turbulent) pools of water below the many waterfalls at the top of the Platte Clove. These pools were thought to resemble caldrons being stirred by the devil and his demons (ala Dabte's Inferno). The name historically applies to everything uphill from the confluence of the Plattekill and the Hell Hole Brook (the side stream from the north that passes under the stone Hell Hole's bridge on the Platte Clove Road). Ice Climbers have named one of the falls The Mephisto Waltz. Here is a look at a few of the Devil's Kitchen ice routes (http://www.kcnet.org/~dseashol/catskill_ice.htm) that I found on the web. I prefer this area at more temperate times of the year. It is extremely treacherous, but very scenic with the greatest concentration of waterfalls that you will find in the Catskills. On a bushwhack up the entire Platte Clove you will pass over a dozen waterfalls.

In the days of the Tour du Trump bicycle races the climb up the Platte Clove Road was usually included in the route. They applied the Devil's Kitchen name to entire climb up the clove. It is a devil of a bike climb.

Tom, I am working too many hours including weekends currently, but later things should start to free up. I am also a big fan of Michael Kudish's book.

03-27-2004, 06:15 PM
Stony Clove is one of my favorite areas of the Catskills. Its the dividing line of the Devils Path, and has a desolate and rugged feel to it. I have not been to the Devils Pulpit, but even if its not that spectacular I will check it out. The whole Devils Path is full of surprises, which is why its my favorite place in the Catskills. There are some nice bushwacks over there too, such as Stick Mtn, and Olderbark Mtn. I have not bushwacked up there yet, but they certainly seem interesting and look quite rugged on topo maps.