Cortland County Highpoint Trip Report

Virgil Mtn (2,132 ft)

Date: February 20, 2004
Author: Gene Daniell

Apparently there are many ways to approach this mountain; here's what worked for me. Leave I-81 at Exit 9, follow NY 221 into the town of Marathon. Since the mileage from I-81 differs slightly depending on whether you are northbound or southbound when you leave, I chose to begin measurements from the green- painted iron bridge over the Tioughnioga River a bit west of the town center. Follow NY 221 west for 1.8 miles, and where NY 221 curves upward to the left, bear right onto Clark Corner Road. Follow this for 2.3 miles, then turn right at a farm (junction just past farm buildings, and you don't see it until you're basically there) and follow Quail Hill Road for 1.9 miles to an angled T intersection - this is the one with BM 1862 on the USGS map. Turn left here onto Valentine Hill Road (Dann Road on the USGS map). Plowing ended at the next crossroads (sign: Quail Hollow). I could have driven on indefinitely, as the road was packed good and hard by snowmobile traffic but chose to walk.

According to other reports, in snowless seasons you should be able to drive at least to the intersection labeled 1987 on the USGS map (and in winter it might well be possible to drive much closer to this intersection via the roads that approach it from the west and the southwest). At the height-of-land, I took off uphill and ran into the Finger Lakes Trail about halfway up this final slope. Apparently the FLT leaves Valentine Hill Road somewhat north of the height-of-land. The trail passes very close to the summit if not over it and there was a marker stake at what appeared to be the highest point.

As the distance is quite short and the woods fairly open, it would make little difference whether one chose to bushwhack or to follow the road to the trail crossing and ascend on the trail.