Orange County Highpoint Trip Report

Schunnemunk Mtn

Date: November 6, 2004
Author: David Orsheski

This was quite a haul, though worth it for the views.

We followed Dan Case's very thorough trip report and parked in the parking area he mentions. However, Taylor Road is not marked on Route 32. I can't remember the name of the road you want to turn on, something like "Mill Hill" road or something similar. It's the fifth or sixth left you can make if you're coming into Mountainville from the south.

Anyway, we started at 9:30 AM, following the yellow blazes of the Jessup Trail until we came to the junction with the Barton Swamp Trail. There's a sign attached to a tree at this point that directs hikers to the Jessup Trail, which we continued to follow. At this point the trail slowly ascends along the ridge, going up and down the conglomerate rocks at the top. There is some scrambling involved here and it seems like its going to take forever to get to the highpoint. Along the way you pass the Sweet Clover and Dark Hollow trails, and also the trail that leads to the "Megaliths"-Rock formations. We didn't investigate these though; perhaps some other time.

Army football played home that day and a group of Apache helicopters flew level with the mountain as we walked along the ridge. Neat! The views along the ridge are very much worth the hike to the top. I only wish we went a week or two earlier to enjoy the fall foliage.

Dan's correct when he says that you'll know when you reach the summit. If you have any doubt you can't miss the "1664" painted on the rock. There were about fifteen or twenty people hanging about when we got there. We didn't stay too long there, just enough time to have quick bite. By this time it was getting on two o'clock and the shadows were growing long.

We took the Dark Hollow Trail for the descent, which was very steep and slippery -- wet, covered with leaves, etc.... but we made it back to the truck at 5:00 PM, just as it was really getting dark.

Hike statistics: Approximately 6.5-7 miles and total elevation gain approximately 1,364 feet.

Note: The New York/New Jersey Trail Conference Map # 8, Schunnemunk Mountain, came in handy for this hike.