Westchester County High Point Trip Report

BM Bailey (980 feet)

Date: March 19, 2000
Author: Dan Case

Get off I-684 at Exit 8 (Hardscrabble Road). If coming up from NYC you may want to get off at Exit 7 (NY 116), which is only available to northbound traffic anyway. At the top of the Hardscrabble ramp I turned left, went down to the traffic light, picked up NY 22 and followed it down to Purdys and NY 116.

Follow 116 for about 4 miles past Titicus Reservoir to the junction that marks the very quiet (they like it that way) Salem Center, just past Town Hall and the library. Turn right (although the quad says this is NY 124 and some small green NYSDOT markers to that effect can be seen along the road, it doesn't seem to be a state road any more).

About a mile down you hit NY 121 at Grants Corners. Across is Hawley Road. It winds about 1.75 miles back through hills and woods to the entrance road (with sign) to Mountain Lakes Camp, a county park.

I could only go in a short distance and park where the road was chained off. However I suspect that in warmer weather, when the lakes are available for swimming, you may be able to go somewhat farther in a car. But several signs suggest the county parks department is fairly tight about vehicles past the points it allows access to, so don't test it.

Also, take heed of the tick-warning signs. It won't be an issue until you get to the HP, but still, you can't be too cautious.

Anyway, the road is paved past that point for at least 3/4 mile, half the distance to the HP. I passed a few people walking, walking dogs etc. and even one on a bike (this would be an ideal CHP to bike to, as a matter of fact). It's blazed with orange metal diamonds, almost all the way to the HP.

After passing a picnic area with restrooms, the pavement ends (about right before the horseshoe turn on the map). When it straightens out again, the eastern side is posted by the nearby farm in Ridgefield, CT, but the west side is still county land.

You pass a lean-to and then the road drops down but then rises into the "Y" shown on the map. At this point start a short bushwhack (300-400 feet) up to the top of the rise and you will know BM Bailey, 980 feet, when you hit it, an unassuming highpoint in a very affluent county, by the orange survey stakes in the clearing with NOAA markers. (There is also an old road running up here that I think you could hit by following that other road around the side of the knob).

Not much of a view, unless you count the lakes you passed on the way up, and that's only because no leaves are up yet.

Total hike: about 3 miles round trip from where I had to park.
Vertical rise: 380 feet.