Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Shawangunk Mountains at Ellenville

Ulster County, NY
Total Time: 2:30 min
Estimated Distance: 3.5 Miles

Hiking Partner:
Eli Shulman

I was staying in the Catskills area when I took this hike. Our plan was to go through the old Ellenville Quarry and then head to the lower Ice Caves (Ellenville Ice Caves). Unlike the other Ice Caves near Sam's Point, the Ellenville Ice Caves are by permit only and lack and official trail.

We had parked at Berme Road Park in Ellenville, and first started exploring the old quarry. We found a few good quartz crystal points and some small pieces of Pyrite. We had climbed to the top of the quarry and bushwacked around to find many small exploratory pits which yielded some more small quartz crystal points. We had then headed back down, and looked for the road path listed on the NY/NJ Trail Conference map of the Gunks that goes behind the Route 52 to the mouth of the North Gully. Now the map is very incorrect here and this road doesnt exist, and when we tried bushwacking were barked at by some nasty sounding hounds, so we bushwacked up the steep hill until we encountered another path not on the map.

We first took this path north, which veered off onto private property, so then we turned around and headed south towards the North Gulley, where this path ended. North Gully starts with a beautiful waterfall with a nice size drop, and there is a path going up the first part of it. We took this path up past the top of the waterfall and continued along past some very interesting potholes, and then the path slowly got more and more overgrown until it has just simply disappeared, at which point we just turned around, and took a side route off to another unmarked path which took us back near the top of the mines near Ellenville. At this point it was already getting late and we gave up on the Ice Caves for another day. Continued back on this path eventually hitting the Smiley Carriageway, and then took this back to the car.

The Confusing Map of the Route

Vug and Vein in the Quarry

Quarry Wall which we climbed in the center

Another Quarry Wall

North Gully Falls from the side.
Its hard to see from this angle, also water level was
very low due to lack of rain over the summer.

A really cool pothole in the North Gully

The gully stream running through the pothole

Water flowing through the solid rock bed in North Gully.
Looking straight down.


  1. then we went to south fallsburg for some refreshments

  2. Of course! And Eli graciously sponsored that Aloe drink for me...
    I was real sweaty and my shirt was soaked, and the cashier at the grocery asked me if it was raining outside...