Sunday, July 2, 2017

Schunnemunk Mountain High Knob Loop

Schunnemunk Mountain State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Path: Green blaze
Jessup Trail: Yellow blaze
Earl Reservoir Trail: Unblazed

Total Time: 4:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 6.2 Miles

Pros: Good climb and excellent views
Cons: Road walking on return

Level of Difficulty: Very difficult

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy & Morty Rosenberg

This was a hot early summer day in the beginning of July. I had not been to this part of the mountain in almost ten years, and I remembered it being a good hike with fantastic views.

We parked on the side of Route 32 by Evans Drive, walked up Route 32 slightly past the railroad bridge, and then took the Long Path towards the mountain. The trail goes along the side of the railroad track here for a bit of time, and then veers away and gradually climbs.

The trail skirts around Little Know, and we didn't veer off to it, as I remembered the High Knob view being more impressive. The trail climbs very steeply at this point, and there is an excellent view facing south here at High Knob. Continuing a bit further along the trail is the High Knob Summit, with excellent views north, east, and south.

We then continued along the Long Path due west, down the valley and back up the next ridge, until we met the Jessup Trail. There is a large exposed rock face at this point, with short pitch pines, as is characteristic of the summit area of this mountain. Also present is a great view facing west. We then went south on the Jessup Trail along the southern ridge, and then took the unmarked trail that goes alongside the brook that feeds into the Earl Reservoir.

This is a very steep trail down, and is hard to follow. Towards the top its a bit overgrown, though here are some crude unofficial blazes present along the way. We heard gunshots nearby as we were getting down, and we then saw signs about an active gun range in the vicinity.

We continued until we reached Woodbury Park, a local town park, where this trail ends near the Earl Reservoir. We then cut across to Brigadoon Blvd, a street of new homes. We walked for a while on this street and in this neighborhood (and unfortunately without much shade present) until we reached route 32, which we took to Evans Rd. and back to our car.

Map of the Route. West Hudson Trails

Tiger Lily at the Beginning of the Hike 
Long Path at the Beginning of the Hike

Under the Railroad Bridge Trestle
View from High Knob at the Scramble

Another view at High Knob

New Housing Development South of High Knob

View from High Knob Facing Southwest

Morty Above the Scramble Point

Me at the High Knob Scramble View

View Facing South

Shimmy Relaxing at High Knob

From the the High Knob Summit, Facing East 
View from the RHigh Knob Summit

View Facing Northeast Towards Storm King,the Hudson River,
and the Thruway Down Below

Me at the High Knob Summit

Zoomed in to me at the Summit

Near the Schunnemunk Summit at the Jessup Trail

Near the Schunnemunk Mountain Summit

Shimmy & Morty Taking a Break at the Rock Face on the Jessup Trail

Me at the Rock near the Summit

Capturing the Moment

View Facing West Towards the Great Valley

Large Conglomerate Rock Exposures Along the Ridgeline

View Towards the Gunks and the Catskills, in the Distance

Small Waterfall along the Brook Feeding the Earl Reservoir

Not a Good Idea to Venture off the Trail, Especially with Audible Gunshots

Earl Reservoir

Earl Reservoir, with the Schunnemunk Ridge in the Background

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