Summary: This is a pleasant hike up a small mountain that overlooks NYC's first and largest reservoir.
The trail (marked with red disks) follows an old carriage road along the Kanape Brook. Notice the stone walls and foundations along the way. After 2.5 miles, you reach the low point on the ridge connecting High Point and Mombaccus Mountain. Turn left here (a sign points the way). You will soon see the returning loop trail on the left - continue straight. Over the next mile, the route is much steeper - climbing almost 1000 feet.
At the summit, there are anchor bolts in the rock where an old tower once stood.
(If you are adventurous, you can bushwack east following the ridge to the lower summit - sometimes called Little High Point. There is a large field of blueberries there, along with an expansive view to the South.)
Continue on the red trail, which is sometimes hard to follow on the summit with the competing herd paths.
Trailhead: Take NYS Thruway to Exit 19 (Kingston). Follow NY Rte 28 west for 16 miles to Boiceville.
Turn left onto Route 28A. After 3.0 miles, turn right onto Watson Hollow Road (CR 42).
The parking area is 3.8 miles and on the right side. The trail begins across the road and a short distance east of the lot. Cross the wooden bridge and sign in at the register.
Trail Guides for Ashokan High Point:
Catskill Trails A Rangers Guide to the High Peaks Central
by Edward G. Henry (Black Dome Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: NYS DEC Forest Ranger (845)657-6162
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by George Senft, who has posted 26 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Steve on 7/1/2012
Hiked today, 7/1/12 hike was good but it's severely damaged from the hurricane last August. All of the bridges are fixed but the path is more like a riverbed. I hiked this 3 years ago and it wasn't to hard but the loose rocks make this very tricky. Especially the return loop, if I went again I would return back on the same path. The return loop is extremely dangerous if you're not watching at you're feet the whole time which is sad because you can't take in the natural beauty of the Forest.
Reviewed by Tommy on 1/30/2011
A great challenging hike. Also good for overnight camping. There are several sites along the trail. The first is at the stream footbridge crossing. Plenty of water, but plenty of traffic on weekends and your campsite is right off the trail. We stayed at the next campsite at the trail junction at the top of the carriage rd before you make the left to the summit. The summit is a rigorous climb - bring a lot of water!! Some interesting things to find on this hike -the rock fireplace & chairs on the summit and the remains of the downed WW2 plane just off the side return trail at N41 55.606 W74 17.902. Would love to camp on the summit, but its a long hike up/down to get more water!
Reviewed by DIANNA on 8/14/2009
OMG!!!!! This hike was so wonderful. Did this in the rain, still beautiful. Don't bring dog unless its part mountain goat. You climb rock here. Bring lots of water. Will do this trail a few times a year. Fall will look amazing. So worth it.
Reviewed by greg finley on 3/29/2009
I've hiked this trail a few times. Its a great primer trip for me. Plenty of room for tent camping at the top. Got to see a great meteor shower one night from the top. Bring water cause there's none at the top. I try to hike this trail every year....
Reviewed by JFW on 7/31/2008
Trail runs along beautiful brook at the beginning of the hike and crosses the brook on a bridge about 45 minutes into hike- good place for a break and to cool down. Trail gets steep after turning left on ascent up mountain. Views at top are somewhat limited. Many blueberries on balds past summit continuing on red trail. Continuing on loop, the trail is difficult to follow at times and is longer than retracing steps back down the mountain.
Reviewed by NJTom on 6/9/2008
I would classify this hike as strenuous. (It seems tougher than some hikes classified as strenuous in this section!) The first part goes continuously up hill. The last section after the left gets quite steep. The "trail" to little high point seems like a bush whack most of the way, but is worth it!
Reviewed by gcb on 3/5/2008
I've done this hike many times. It is a lovely hike along the stream, and sometimes we just turn around at the saddle where the trail turns left (about 2.5 miles in). Sometimes we continue to the top of Ashokan High Point (another mile). I personally love this hike for simple woods beauty in the first two miles in, and the going is not bad. After that, it gets more strenuous, and the "summmit" view is limited. But it's still a good hike.
Reviewed by Pete on 5/7/2006
Nice long walk along a bubbling stream, then some tricky scrambles up rock walls. Beautiful vista at the top to the south and east. Following along the trail that loops around and down there's an open field area will beautiful looks at the high peaks to the Northwest. Return trip down the red trail loop is somewhat difficult to navigate.
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