Albany County High Point Trip Report

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

Date: December 26, 2001
Author: Michael Schwartz

First things first. Absent surveying equipment, I believe all points, with the exception of Henry Hill itself, need to be visited. From Henry Hill (Henry I), which has been quarried and scalped, it is obvious that the knob to the south (Henry II) is higher. The two knobs further south (Henry III/IV and Henry V), one of which has two areas (Henry III/IV), cannot be hand-leveled from Henry II, and their summit contours are larger than that of Henry II, so I can't justify making a judgment as to their relative elevations. ("Like one that stands upon a promontory, and spies a far-off shore where he would tread, wishing his foot were equal with his eye.")

We took the New York State Thruway ("So far as my coin would stretch; and where it would not, I have used my credit.") to exit 21 (Catskill) and then went northwest on NY 23 and NY 145 to the Greene/Albany County line. Continue on 145 for 1.8 miles and turn right (northeast) onto CR 352; left (north) onto CR 358 at 4.7 miles; right (northeast) onto CR 359 at 7.8 miles; join CR 353 and continue straight at 9.5 miles; becomes NY 85 in Rensselaerville at 9.8 miles; left (north) onto CR 6 at 10.8 miles, and left onto Peasley Road at 12.4 miles. Peasley bears left and becomes gravel at 14.0 miles, then reaches a crest just south of Henry I at 15.2 miles. Drive or walk into the quarry and play pick-a-bump for the highest point. Note how much higher Henry II looks to the south-southeast. Henry I has been scalped. ("They that stand high have many blasts to shake them.")

We saw the snowmobile trails mentioned by Dan Case, but since the woods were so open and we would be able to follow our tracks back in the snow, we simply bushwhacked south-southeast to the summit of Henry II. Found the stone wall mentioned by Dan, and agree that the highest ground is nearby.

We then drove to Henry V, the single area farthest south. Continue west on Peasley, reaching CR 10 after 1.9 miles; go left (south) on 10 to 3.4 miles and turn left (east) onto Pond Hill Road. This junction shows on the topo at spot elevation 2069 feet. Pass a microwave tower on the right, descend a little, and park alongside the road (3.8 miles) before it drops off sharply. Bushwhack east-northeast through some thick stuff ("....which he hath given for fence impregnable.") to the top.

For Henry III/IV, zero your odometer and continue east on Pond Hill Road. Go left (north) at 0.3 mile onto Camp Winsoki Road, and go another 0.5 mile to a crest almost due west of the knob. See a large private home the east, well up on the hill. We drove up the long driveway at mailbox #114 to the house. The place is very much occupied, and although it looked as if people were home, no one responded to knocking or the doorbell. We parked alongside the driveway, and I left a note on my dashboard, explaining our presence and begging permission. Feeling a little guilty ("Now is the winter of our discontent."), we walked a woods road up from the driveway to higher ground.

The main summit (Henry III) is very large and flat, and the small area (Henry IV) is hard to discern. We wandered around the whole knob trying to clearly establish the location of Henry IV, but it was not obvious to our eyes. Good faith effort applies, and at any rate, Henry III is clearly the highest ground on the hill. There was still no one home as we returned to the car and drove out to the public road. ("Unbidden guests are often welcomest when they are gone.")