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Thread: huntersfield mt. -catskills

  1. #1
    Member TonyF's Avatar
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    huntersfield mt. -catskills

    hey all- going to be in the northern catskills area this weekend and am looking for info on how to get to the huntersfield trailhead. i've found a few random blurbs through google, but most are confusing when looking at my nys atlas. any help appreciated!

  2. #2
    Senior Member ken's Avatar
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    from prattsville take CR10 to CR11 - when you get to the end make a right and go straight till you get to the snowplow turnaround (the road keeps going but you probably wont want to go any further) follow the road till you see the aqua blazes - follow thw blazes to the left and up huntersfield - at the summit there is a pole attached to the trees - it may have been used as a flagpole at one time???

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rivet's Avatar
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    You also approach it from the east from CR 32C (Steinmetz Rd?) at the top of the ridge.

    Though it would be a about 4 1/2 mile hike one-way.


    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...,0.053902&om=1
    Last edited by Rivet; 06-27-2006 at 08:07 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mark Schaefer's Avatar
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    Following Ken's directions; I have always driven Macumber Road past the snowplow turnaround. It is about 0.2 miles to where the trail crosses the road. The trail to Huntersfield is just opposite the junction with a logging road. There is room to park on the east side of the road and also on the logging road. There has been about 5-8" of rain in the Catskills this week, so the unpaved road beyond the snowplow turnaround might be slippery. Normally I have found this road in fairly good condition. Many hikers drive their car to the height of land on Macumber Road. At the top on there east side of the road is an old quarry with parking just inside. This old road will take you up the southwest ridge directly to the lean-to and summit. I often use this unmarked old road on the return. It makes a nice loop out of the Huntersfield hike, and it is a pleasant walk down Macumber Road to the Long Path trailhead. If you come down the southwest ridge bear right at the one old road junction about halfway down the ridge.

    Ken, you might be right about the "flag pole" (pipe) at the summit. That makes more sense than my best wild guesses of a lightning rod or a water gauge.

    On the eastern approach that Rivet described; the Greene County map labels Route 32C as Finch Road north of CR 10. The same road is Steinmetz Road south of CR10. In Schoharie County it is known as CCC Road. I don't recall how it is signed at CR10. Shortly after the parking area on the eastern approach the Long Path descends 500' off the ridge before reascending, making this approach somewhat less desirable. It is also not as well traveled as the two western approaches.

    Be aware that State Route 23A in the Kaaterskill Clove (between Palenville and Haines Falls) suffered a major washout on Monday. It is expected to remain closed for at least 3 weeks. So either Route 28 from Kingston to Shandaken (then Route 42) or Route 23 from Catskill would be the best approaches from the Thruway.
    Last edited by Mark Schaefer; 08-06-2006 at 02:00 PM. Reason: deleted mention of the metal gate on the old road (does not exist any more)
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  5. #5
    Senior Member ecc's Avatar
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    I've never been to Huntersfield. Is it compatible with mountain biking? Is it allowed?
    ecc

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mark Schaefer's Avatar
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    Short answer: I think you would find some good biking on the old roads on and around Huntersfield Mountain. Is it legal? My unofficial answer: I believe so. Huntersfield State Forest is neither a wilderness area, nor a wild forest. It is also outside the Catskill Blue Line. I have never seen a Huntersfield Unit Management Plan detailing the regulations concerning non-foot traffic. So I am not aware of any specific mountain bike regulations in Huntersfield State Forest.

    The old road on the southwest ridge would be quite ridable on a mountain bike. It starts from an old quarry at the height of land on the Huntersfield-Macumber Road where there is off road parking. I don't recall seeing any posting on this road that forbids mountain bikes. A small section of this old road at the mountain top is part of the yellow foot trail loop. The old road is used by horses as well as hikers. I have seen a few bike tracks. There have been occasional blowdowns, but in general I have found this road free of any obstacles. The Huntersfield-Macumber Road is also quite ridable and usually dry. The logging roads that intersect the Huntersfield-Macumber Road may also be ridable - though they tend to be muddy.

    The Long Path was designed as a foot trail, although some sections are on old roads which might be open to other modes of travel. The NY/NJ TC Long Path description mentions "foot travel only", although this is in a paragraph that is specific to sections on private land. I don't know if there is a general rule against mountain bikes - I have never seen one. Most of the Long Path sections on Huntersfield (NE and NW ridges) are narrow, often overgrown, and generally unsuitable to bikes.

    East of Huntersfield, Greene County Route 32C should be ridable. At the height of land is a logging road that runs to the east for a short distance. To the north is a long descent into Schoharie County where the road is called CCC Road.
    Last edited by Mark Schaefer; 08-06-2006 at 02:04 PM. Reason: deleted mention of the metal gate on the old road (does not exist any more)
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  7. #7
    Senior Member ecc's Avatar
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    We checked it out. I posted it on trail conditions. A very beautiful area which I'd never been to before. Thanks for the directions.
    Are there any maps of the roads and logging trails on the mountain, other than the USGS?
    ecc

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mark Schaefer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc
    Are there any maps of the roads and logging trails on the mountain, other than the USGS?
    To the best of my knowledge the DEC has never published any pamphlets on the Huntersfield, Ashland Pinnacle, or Mount Pisgah State Forests, which are the 3 DEC units on the ridge. I have never seen any depiction of the logging roads other than what is on the more recent USGS quads (shown in purple on topozone) and in the DeLorme New York Atlas & Gazetteer. When I hike Huntersfield I typically park in a grassy area here along a logging road shown in purple. The map in the DeLorme Atlas erroneously labels this logging road as Albert Slater Road. The real Albert Slater Rd is a paved north-south road on the west side of the above topozone map. The DeLorme maps shows this road as fairly level and it contours around to Schrader Rd, just a short distance east of Slater Rd. The western half of the logging road passes through private land, although it would appear to be a public highway (although I am not sure of that). This road with Slater Rd, CR 11, and the Macumber Rd might make a reasonably level loop.

    The other logging road that I have hiked starts at the hairpin turn on Macumber Rd. It follows a level contour. The Long Path joins this logging road after it climbs up the stream from the Macumber Rd. Both contour together at about 2400' until the Long Path exits on the right here and climbs through a pine reforested area up to the northwest ridge - which it then generally follows to the summit of Huntersfield. The logging road continues straight ahead and exits state land at about 2400' - where the private land is posted. The purple dashed line is the state land boundary. About midway on that logging road is a junction with another road - that descends off the main logging road. It would seem that it must be a rather short before reaching private land.

    The old road on the southwest ridge that you followed to the summit is a hike described in Catskill Trails, A Ranger's Guide, Book One, by Edward G. Henry. The Long Path from Macumber Road to the Huntersfield summit is described in 50 Hikes in the Lower Hudson Valley, by Stella Green and H. Neil Zimmerman. The entire Long Path is described in the Long Path Guide, edited by Herb Chong, NY/NJ Trail Conference. Each of these books include maps, although the Long Path Guide maps are not very detailed. The other two books have better maps.
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