Otsego County High Point Trip Report

2 areas near eastern county line (2,420+ ft)

Date: July 9, 2000
Author: Dan Case

I'll spare the details of the long trip on back roads from Cherry Valley. The best way to get here is to exit I-88 and get on NY 7, which parallels its entire length, at either the Worcester exit in Otsego County or the Richmondville exit (NY 10) in Schoharie County. Just north of the hamlet of East Worcester, Otsego County 38A heads east from Route 7, over Schenevus Creek and under the interstate. Just after it, turn right on Charlotteville Road. Follow this SW for a mile or so to where Lutheranville Road departs steeply to the right. Follow it uphill.

With a radio tower in sight at what seems to be the crest of the hill (not the highpoint, but it's close), it bends around to the right and levels out. At about 2,240' there is a building on the left with a pond behind it and a rough parking area. You will see an old road running past the pond uphill to the highpoint areas (the higher bump is the 2,438' peak in Schoharie County. This is shown in the DeLorme book but not the USGS Charlotteville quad. Park here and walk.

The road uses an old spillway to get over the pond and I wouldn't suggest driving it in its current condition. After that, it begins a gentle climb through the hedgerow separating the adjacent farms. Once you get to the end of the fields, the road becomes much better and obviously well-used. In fact, we realized we were following bulldozer tracks.

About 0.3 mile in, markers inform you that you are on state forest land. We thought a gentle up-slope to the left was it, but it wasn't as the road sloped up more to a 20-acre or so area that had recently been clear- cut. Now we understood the bulldozer tracks.

We worked our way up the muddy field, still strewn with debris from the red pines and other things that must have grown here, to the crest, where the larger of the two areas was now painfully obvious compared to what it would have been had the forest whose entrails were all around still held sway. We took pictures standing on the highest stump left, me actually holding Andy's book which I had carried in to keep the Topozone printout neat (is that the first time that's been done?).

The views created would be pretty nice on a clear day. We thought we could see Bearpen to the south, and it looks like a nice sprawling valley was available to the north. The blinking radio tower was just outside, on private land.

To find the smaller area, we waded into the Norway spruce plantation on the north side (the south side is still red pine). This was a very old, very unusual forest to walk around in, one not natural to the Catskills except in these state-owned plantings. It was actually a challenging trip even though the woods were so open because the spruce branches hung low and had to be carefully avoided. Still, the spruces and the mossy ground were quite fetching. Eventually we picked up a slight rise and found its center, several hundred feet in from the clear cut where another old stone wall ran along the ridgeline.

After returning to the car, we continued down Lutheranville Road over the South Hill ridge to Schoharie County, NY 10 and finally back to Prattsville. (For those coming from the south, I'd say take NY 10 to Charlotteville Road (Schoharie County 64) to Charlotteville and then turn right on Schoharie County 68 a few more miles to Lutheranville Road into Otsego County and thence to the dirt road and the pond).