Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Duck Pond Mohonk Scramble

Mohonk Preserve,
Shawangunk Mountains,
Ulster County,
New York


Glory Hill Trail: Blue blaze
Duck Pond Trail: Red blaze
Birchen Trail: Red blaze
Staircliff Path: Red blaze
Labyrinth Trail: Red blaze
Spring Path: Unmarked

Total Time: 3:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 5.1 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Very difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points Of Interest: Amazing Scrambling and views

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy Rosenberg
Morty Rosenberg

Google Maps of Parking:

View 2012 Hiking in a larger map

This was a highly scenic and strenuous hike. The Shawangunk Mountains represent some of the most amazing cliffs and dramatic scenery in New York State. We parked at the Pine Road parking area, which is a small remote parking area to the east of Mohonk Lake at the foot of the mountain. Note there is a self pay station for a hiking pass at the beginning of the hike where you are supposed to put $12 into an envelope. We took the unmarked trail straight, past Lenape Lane and past Catskill Aqueduct, to where it turns into the Glory Hill Trail. We then took the Glory Hill Trail until the Duck Pond, and from there took the Duck Pond Trail up the mountain. This trail goes through a deep ravine following along a stream (the Kleine Kill), steadily climbing up. The trail ends at a carriageway, with the perpendicular cliff of Sky Top looming above in the short distance.

From here we took the Birchen Trail up by way of maneuvering over large boulders to the Staircliff Path (the Birchen Trail turns into the Staircliff Path - the Staircliff path used to continue and then they closed it off). We scrambled along the Staircliff path through rock tunnels and crevices until the Labyrinth Trail, where we took this crazy trail with ladders and the requirement of tight squeezing to the top. We climbed the Sky Top Tower on top, where it was extremely windy, and took a lunch break there. We headed down the sky top path and then the off shoot with the steps to the Spring Path, and from there went back to the Staircliff Path and Birchen Path and took the same route back.

Map of the route

Ruin near the Beginning of the Hike

Duck Pond with Sky Top Cliff in the Background

Me and Morty Hiking along the Duck Pond Trail

Sky Top Cliff Looming Above, at beginning of Birchen Trail.

A Crevice where the Birchen Trail
turns into the Staircliff Path

Me Walking Through a Crevice on the Staircliff Path

About to go Inside a Rock Cave

Climbing Ladder Inside a Rock Cave

Scrambling Along the Side of the Cliff on the Staircliff Path

Morty on a rock

Starting My Ascent Through the Crevice

Me Almost Stuck Inside the Crevice

View from Sky Top.
Facing east.

Another View from Sky Top
Facing West-Southwest to Eagle Cliff and the Southern
End of Mohonk Lake

Me at the Top

Morty at the top with the Trapps Behind

The Trapps Through a Window in the Sky Top Tower

The Mohonk Mountain House as Viewed From the Tower Top.
Note the Catskill Peaks in the Distance.

Another Ruin near Duck Pond.
Shimmy and Morty Looking at a Geocache stored here.

View of Sky Top from the Distance on Butterville Road (after the hike)

1 comment:

  1. Sweet. I was planning this today, and I'm glad I got such a thoughtfully written precursor.

    Mark from Rosendale