Summary: I did this as a Backpack but this can be done as a day hike. The hike takes you through the Blackhead Range. The area got its name because when viewed from a distance the tops of the peaks appear Black due to the spruce/Balsam Summits. The backpack starts out on the Black Dome Range trail. It takes you over Thomas Cole Mt (3950ft) and Black Dome Mt (3990ft). From the peaks you get limited views of the Northeast Catskills like Colgate lake, and Hunter Mt. After descending Black dome Mt you pick up Blackhead Mt trail to the Summit of Black Head. At this point you pick up the Escarpment trail making a steep decent to the Batavia Kill. This is were you pick up the Batavia Kill trail to the shelter were I spent a very relaxing rainy night. Then the next day I continued on the Escarpment trail over Acra Point, Burnt Knob, and Windham High Peak. There I got some great views of the Black Dome Valley. After descending Windham Mt I got onto the Elm Ridge trail to end
Trailhead: Take NY thruway to exit 20 (Saugerties). Take 32 north, to 32A towards Tannersville. Take 23A West to Hunter. Make right onto Scribner Hollow Rd. Make left onto onto 23C. Make a right on Maplecrest RD. To get to the start take Barnum Rd to end. To get to end point continue on Maplecrest Rd to Peck Hollow RD. Take Peck Hollow Rd to end. (Lat:42.26427 Lon:-74.17694)
Trail Guides for Blackhead Range, Catskills, NY:
Catskill Mountain Guide
by Pete w kick (Appalachian Mountain Club)
Catskill trails map
by NY-NJ trail conference (NY-NJ trail conference)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: DEC Region 4:845-256-3083
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Shawn Viggiano, who has posted 44 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 2 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by George J. Dagis on 5/7/2004
I have done these three monoliths in two separate hikes a number of times. I had climbed Blackhead alone and then Black Dome and Thomas Cole as a duet since the col between them is relatively inconsequential. Thomas Cole doesn't have too much to offer as far as views are concerned compared to the other two. Of the whole experience I found two things most impressive. The trek DOWN Blackhead, toward Black Dome is one of the most memorable views I have seen in the Catskills. The view of Blackhead, looking back while climbing up "The Dome", is also something forever etched in my memory.
Reviewed by Brian S. on 10/13/2003
This one of the nicest hikes in the Catskills. The section that goes over Thomas Cole is a great getaway, as it is very uncrowded. I prefer to make this a leisurely two day backpack, rather than a strenuous day hike. Check out the rock carvings from the 1800's on the ledge near the peak of Thomas Cole. The views along the entire route are outstanding.
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