Sullivan County Highpoint Trip Report
Date: October 29, 2006
Although I did this as part of a longer hike, I'm just going to write as if I
was just hiking the county highpoint. Please note that as I've read other trip
reports here, it appears land ownership has somewhat changed and directions have
changed from 5 years ago; as I notice a lot of the dates for the reports are
from that time.
I'll start by issuing these updates:
Beech Mountain, as yet unnamed, exists in an area called the Beech Mountain
Nature Preserve, which must have been created sometime before 2005, is now a
"preserve" and not private property. One can hike to the summit there, although
on the souheast face there does appear to be some kind of private residence with
a "posted" sign there. Not sure what it is yet.
The 2005 Catskills map from the NYNJTC just barely includes Hodge Pond and this
part of land so hiking from the east, like from Mongaup Pond, is accessible
without resorting to USGS quads. In fact, a nice hike would be to hike from the
boat launch at Mongaup Pond up to the east summit of Mongaup Mountain (1.6 miles
from the trailhead, not including the road walk from the parking) and then a
bushwhack west to the true summit of Mongaup Mountain, then south to Beech
Mountain then back to Hodge Pond over to the snowmobile trail back to Mongaup
(signed as 2.5 miles).
Coming from Mongaup Mountain, we found and followed a herd path that spits you
out to the road that goes right to the house but we walked away from the house
and found another grassy woods road that seemed to circle the summit plateau so
we eventually just bushwhacked up to the top. You can see Hodge Pond from here
(it was fall so the leaves are mostly gone) so the bushwhack to there was steep
but easily navigated, for the most part.
This is probably not the shortest or easiest way to Beech but really nice and
it's less of a road walk that the Flynn Trail appears to be (at least between
the preserve/state land boundary and the snowmobile trail). I haven't hiked
from Beech Mountain Road yet.
Author: Jay Hui