View Full Version : Escarpment Trail "Survey Monument"?

06-07-2004, 03:25 PM
The NYNJTC map of the North Lake area in the Catskills (#40) show a "Survey Monument" Just North of the Badman Cave on the Escarpment Trail. The trail descriptions on the back of the map do not mention it either. I tried finding it twice, this weekend, and could not find anything.

Does anyone know what or where this is?

06-07-2004, 06:23 PM
My guess is that a "survey monument" is a bench mark. It's a bronze disk about 3 inches in diameter and would be nailed to a rock pretty flush with the ground. This should be noted on USGS maps with a "BM".
I'll check a map when I get a chance.

06-07-2004, 10:01 PM
I would guess it's at that plateau right above the cave. Can't remember seeing one, though I don't think it would have registered with me if I did.


06-08-2004, 10:23 AM
Thanks for your responses.

I think Jim is correct that it should be located near the plateau above Badman cave. I spent several minutes up there with several people looking, but saw nothing obvious.

I don't believe that it is a survey benchmark. I don't think the NYNJTC would label a survey benchmark as an point of interest. Also, from the Topozone map, the plateau coordinates are N42 12.89, W074 02.15. A search on these coordinates shows the nearest National Geological Survey marker 1.5 mile away. Http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=NA0411

Maybe there was something there that has since been removed or destroyed?

Mark Schaefer
06-08-2004, 02:43 PM
This survey monument has me stumped. The only reference I can find is the location shown on Map 40 as you mentioned. It appears to be off the Escarpment Trail a bit at the plateau above Badman's Cave in the area known as Burnt Acres. There is no mention in the trail descriptions on the back of the map, nor in any of the Catskill books/maps that I own. It is not on the 1903 or 1948 Kaaterskill USGS quad. The term "Monument" implies more than the standard USGS benchmarks. It may date from the time of the Catskill Mountain House or possibly the Hardenbergh Patent surveys (1708 and 1749) which used stone monuments to mark boundaries. There is an old map of the Patent in Alf Evers' book "the Catskills, from Wilderness to Woodstock" that shows a monument near the northeast corner of the Patent (southeast corner of lot 43) which appears to be in the that general area, but the detail of the map is not sufficient to pinpoint it. Outlaws reputedly used Badman Cave as a hangout in the 1700s so it is conceivable the area was well travelled at the time of the Hardenbergh surveys.

Probably the best thing is to email the NY/NJ trail conference. (http://www.nynjtc.org/contact.html) They should be able to put you in contact with the Catskill trail map author. Another possibility is to email the Mountain Top Historical Society (http://www.mths.org/) in Haines Falls. I looked through their website and could not find anything, but they have a good library at their offices in the old U&D railroad station. FYI I also searched the Catskill Archive (http://www.catskillarchive.com/) website and came up empty. Let us know if you find anything.