Sullivan County High Point Trip Report

Beech Mtn (3,118 feet)

Date: May 5, 2002
Author: Fred Lobdell

Note: Beech Mountain is the local name for this summit, but it is unnamed on the topographic map.

Dan Case gives excellent directions to the trailhead for this one, and I have just one correction and one update. Lily Pond Road goes off to the left only about a quarter mile north of NY 17, not a mile north of it. Mongaup Road is now signed as Fish Hatchery Road. Both Dan and Mike Schwartz did considerable bushwhacking in the upper reaches of this mountain. However, this can be done as a road walk right into the highest contour. (This is also the route that Gary Fallesen gives, but I didn't realize this until I read his book after the hike.)

Hike north up the Flynn Trail past the trail junction and gate mentioned by Dan. Continue north to where the trail makes a left turn to Hodge Pond. This is a "T" intersection of woods roads, and I continued straight here. Shortly I came to a number of decrepit buildings on the left (shown on the topo) and then the road turned right and began climbing more steeply. The road contours around the west, north, and east sides of the mountain, rising as it does so. At a height of land on the east side, a rougher road forks off to the right and I took that right into the highest contour. Here I was near the north end of the summit contour and had to bushwhack through stands of immature beeches to near the south end, where the high ground is and where the 3,118 spot elevation is.

On my return bushwhack I missed the rough road, which just petered out on top, and had to bushwhack down the east slope a short distance to regain the road. This appears to be a much easier walk than that reported by Dan and Mike. Indeed, the road could easily be driven by a low-clearance vehicle, although 4WD might be desirable for the steeper portions. I noted fairly fresh tire tracks (only a few days old at the most) but I don't know where the access point is. The road was twice gated in the direction I came from. I saw three species of warblers on my descent, as well as other bird species, but the blackflies didn't encourage me to linger.