View Full Version : Bearpen to Vly-to whack or not to whack?

10-18-2004, 06:40 PM
I understand Vly and Bearpen are often done together. I have a trail guide (Edward Henry's Catskill Trails: A Ranger's Guide to the High Peaks) which includes the trail up Bearpen from Greene CR 2, so this ? really pertains to Vly. I was just looking at the Prattsville Quad at TopoZone, but couldn't get it situated so that I could really see all of both peaks together. It looked like they were maybe 2-3 miles apart, with a road between (Halcott Mt. Road, I believe).

Does it make sense to do a 'whack from Bearpen over to Vly? It appears that one would cross the road anyway, so I'm thinking it makes more sense to do one peak, come back down and drive to the other. Also, Vly is on private land, so is it advisable to ask permission, and if so, who is to be asked? I don't know this area of the Catskills at all, but would like to do both peaks together if possible, since they're at least 1 and 1/2 hours from my home.


Hiking-the most fun you can have with your gear on.

10-18-2004, 06:44 PM
There's a woods road/dirt road that leads to the col between the peaks. Leave the trailhead, walk to the col, and up the ridge to one, return to the col and grab the other one. I prefer doing Bearpen first.

10-18-2004, 07:32 PM
It is possible to drive up to the col (possible but not advisable unless you have a truck with some clearance or 4 X 4) and park just off from private land to the east. Theres a hunting camp near the col. Id also recommend doing Bearpen 1st and come back to the col for an easy stroll to the summit of Vly. The trail up Vly is pretty well flagged (like..flagging on every other tree!) Here's some video footage from each mountain if youre interested:Bearpen and Vly Videos (http://www.birdheadstudios.com/html/video/huntersectionmap.htm)


BirdHead Studios (http://www.birdheadstudios.com)

10-18-2004, 08:37 PM
from the col to bearpen there are many woods roads (traveled by quads) follow the one near the hunting cabin toward bearpen but when it starts going down head up on another steep one and follow the ridge, there will soon be another that heads to the clearing/overlook just below the summit (the summit is in the woods) - - - to get to vly there is a herdpath from the col with yellow blazes that leads right to the canister - the real summit is about 3/10 of a mile further along the ridge past the canister (but everyone counts the canister) - there are also many nice overlooks to the east if you go past the canister.
it is posted on both sides but the road is not private, neither are the peaks - you will see the state land signs around the col, they run just east of (below) the hunting camp - also the yellow blazes on the way to vly are probably the states property line (they always seem to be yellow).

10-19-2004, 06:15 AM
When JayH and myself did the two we started on Halcott mt road the southern end. We drove to the point where there are posted signs warning that the road is private. Pay no attention to that. The road itself all the way up is a non maintained public rd. I just parked off to the side of the road before those signs. Then we hiked the road to the hunting cabin. (You can drive up but that is no fun since the hike to the two summits is fairly easy. )You will see the yellow forest preserve boundary markers. If you follow those up it will take you very close to the canister. Then decend back down and take a bearing to bearpen. It looks a lot farther on a topo map but it comes up quick. We actually started to decend thinking it was a false summit but after cheating with the GPS we figured out it was the true summit. Bearpen summit actual traverses the old ski slopes. You will come across some of the old lift equipment. Both summits are public land I believe the state recently purchased the area. The summit of bearpen has a lot of atv use so there are a bunch of trails in the area.

Jay H
10-19-2004, 06:20 AM
When Snowshoe (and Jim) and I did Vly Bearpen, Halcott Mtn Road was impassable due to a large tree across the road. We didn't even attempt to go park up by the hunter's shack anyway but I'm sure that tree has been cleared by the hunters by now. Either way, if you can't or don't want to park up by the hunters (it is bow season now so perhaps the shack is actually now in use) you can always park down below off the side of the road.