Albany County High Point Trip Report

5 areas within 1.5 miles of Henry Hill (2,160+ ft)

Date: July 9, 2000
Author: Dan Case

We came up on roundabout back roads from Prattsville, but it seems to me that the most direct access is from NY 85 to Albany County 6 to the unimproved Peasley Road. This area is sort of checker-boarded with the Partridge Run Wildlife Management Area. This creates both benefits and problems. The former means that there's a lot of state land. The latter means that New York's Department of Environmental Conservation has built many more roads around here than are indicated either on the USGS or DeLorme maps. By the time we left we were seriously confused about where, exactly, we were.

We first headed for the area marked as Henry Hill itself (perhaps, I thought, the only CHP with the same name as a famous Mafia informant). The road indicated on the USGS map as leading to a quarry site is still there. No one appeared to be at a nearby house. We found the quarry site all right -- you can't miss it. I feared it might have been filled in with water, but it hasn't -- it's just a big flat area of several acres to cross. Hopping around on tailings piles further back, we came to the conclusion that the highest ground was the next area to the south, the bump prominent to the southeast. A group of dirt bikers and ATVers came roaring by, and we realized then that we had little to fear in the way of trespassing. We also concluded that if this had been it at one point, the quarrying had taken away enough earth for it to drop out of contention.

How to reach the bump? With the rain now difficult to ignore, though not pouring, that question had an extra dimension since I had forgotten my rain shell. I wanted to avoid a long walk, particularly if it was in the open. Returning to Peasley Road, we turned left and kept our eyes peeled for any trail heads. We found something better very swiftly -- a road with DEC snowmobile trail markers heading south, toward the bump, on state land. It seemed to follow an old path or property line indicated on the map. To our delight, about a quarter-mile into the woods another road branched off to the east. Could it possibly bring us to the top?

A couple of hundred yards later, we knew it wouldn't but it had brought us a lot closer than we might otherwise have been. We got out and bushwhacked generally northeast from the rough parking spot we found, following the slopes up. Despite its location, these woods were still recognizable as a Catskill forest, tempered slightly by old red pine growth, which we guessed dated to the CCC era. It was them, in fact, that we had seen capping the bump from the quarry.

It took about 0.2 mile of this on foot before the ground leveled out. The highest spot we found was where an old stone wall bordered a blackberry patch on the other side just after a more exclusive stand of pine. From here, I couldn't see through the trees any good competition from the other bumps. This was the high point, I'm sure (though other people's observations are certainly welcome). In finishing this, I got all the Long Path counties (based on its present endpoint at Route 146 to the north of here). I don't know if anyone else can claim that set yet (admittedly, it's a rather modest achievement compared to doing all the AT, PCT, or CDT counties).