Orange County High Point Trip Report

Schunemunk Mtn (1,664 ft)

Date: July 21, 2001
Author: Ken Akerman

From the New York State Thruway, take the exit for New York Route 17, head west, then make the first right and head north on New York Route 32. Drive north four miles, and make a left immediately after the railroad trestle. There is a dirt road here which appears to be a private driveway, and on the left is a red and white sign that says "TRAIL HIKE - SCHUNEMUNK." I drove down this road and I saw a resident there and asked him where I could park, and he said that I could park behind the guardrail near the sign. This is what I did.

From my parking spot I hike up the slope, turned to the left, hiked under the railroad trestle, and followed the green painted markings along the south side of the railroad. After about 10 or 15 minutes, the trail went into the trees to the left. I followed the green markings, and the trail turned to the right just after crossing a small creek. It crossed a stone wall and the trail entered the Schunemunk Mountain Preserve.

I followed the green markings, going up and over Little Knob and High Knob (1,383 feet). On top of High Knob, I looked to the west and saw some electronic facilities on the ridge. From the top of High Knob I followed the green trail markings until I approached the ridge. Just before reaching the ridge line, the green trail was intersected by another trail, this one marked with pale orange paint and cairns. At this point, I turned to the right and hiked along this trail to the summit of Schunemunk Mountain. It is important to follow this trail carefully, because it is easy to miss the trail in some places and get off track. There may be many ways to get to the summit, but the trail provide the easiest route.

The summit of Schunemunk is topped by conglomerate rock and is marked by two painted markings - "Site of Fire Tower" and "1,664'." The view from the summit is blocked by trees, but there are many excellent views along the ridge walk to the summit.

To return, it is easiest and safest to return the same way that you ascended. When descending via the ridge along the orange marked trail, make sure you look carefully for where the green trail intersects it. Continue hiking along the green trail and back to your vehicle.

Total round-trip distance is about 8.6 miles, according to author Gary Fallesen.