Sullivan County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: October 29, 2006
Author: Jay Hui

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.