View Full Version : Long Path Section 25 (6/11/06)
06-11-2006, 09:06 PM
Did a hike in the northern Catskills on Section 25 of the Long Path. This section took us over three small peaks: Pisgah, Richtmeyer and Richmond. Though, I plotted my GPS path afterwards and we never got near the summit of Richmond mountain. I am not sure where I messed that one up. It was confusing to follow though. The path followed a combination of old logging roads and some newer foot trails. The trail doesn't seem to get a lot of use and and it crossed many competing wood roads. There was some blowdowns and scratchy undergrowth to contend with. Had to be careful to follow the aqua paint markers. There were not many great views.
Didn't see anyone else in the woods on this cool, breezy, and partly sunny day. It took about 5 hours for our trek.
06-12-2006, 05:31 AM
Your GPS track was accurate regarding Richmond. After crossing the 3120' northeast false summit of Richmond the Long Path turns west here (http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?z=18&n=4691157&e=560205&size=l&datum=nad83) and descends / contours around the north side of the 3220' Richmond summit. The woods are fairly thick at that point, and you cannot see that there is a summit just a short distance to the south that rises 140' above the trail. Shortly after this Long Path section opened I bushwhacked up Richmond from this point. Also at that time there was a fairly good view from the northeast false summit a short distance off the trail, photo on p. 159 of the Long Path Guide, 5th edition, 2002. However it had become overgrown by my next visit in 2003. There are no views on the 3220' summit.
Pisgah is a neat mountain. I really like the reforestation area through which the trail descends just west of the summit. The summit had been completely cleared of trees in 1853 for pasture. A 2 story hotel was built on the summit in 1876, and a third story observation tower and deck was added to the roof in 1880. There is a picture of it in Picturesque Catskills, Greene County by R. Lionel De Lisser, 1894, reprinted by Hope Farm Press 1971, page 126. All that remains is a portion of a well and the access road which intersects the Long Path near the summit. The summit is also shown as bare on the current topo, although it was reforested about 1940. The hotel and the road appear on the 1894 topo (http://docs.unh.edu/NY/durh94sw.jpg).
06-12-2006, 06:36 PM
I have the Long Path book and was comparing my GPS track to the one shown in the book (which is hard to decipher as they show shading instead of contour lines). It seems as if I turned off the ridge onto a woods road right after Richtmeyer mountain and didn't even reach the false peak of Richmond. No matter.
There weren't any great views to be found. There was a partial view after descending Pisgah and reaching an area with some rock ledges. And also at the end of the section, there was an area off the road that looked like it was used as a gravel pit or for fill. There were much better views just driving along County Route 20 back over to NY 145.
On the return trip, I followed one of the unmarked wood roads. It led to the private inholding and had a homemade wood-carved sign that read "Brothers Road". I just followed it to the state boundary (yellow paint).
06-12-2006, 08:40 PM
I consulted the 1992 and 1996 editions of the Long Path Guide, which had better topo/contour maps than the current 2002 edition. I updated the first link in my prior post to correct the placement of the red crosshair - where the trails turns north off the ridge. The 1992 and 1996 books show the trail going over the 3120' false summit and then descending north down to about 2700' to bypass that irregularly shaped area (on the topozone map) which is private. Perhaps the trail maintainers recently rerouted the trail to more efficiently bypass the private land holding - and in the process took the trail off of the northeastern false summit ridge. Perhaps that explains your GPS track. Sounds like I need to go back to investigate this mystery -- it won't be to see those nonexistent views. ;) I agree that County Route 20 has some nice views climbing the hills above Durham.
Another correction from my original post. The 3220' summit of Richmond is public land, and should be legal to bushwhack. I reread section 25 in the Long Path Guide. It does not say that the 3220' summit is private, only that the trail descends to avoid private land. I examined my 1974 state land map of the Catskills. The scale is 1:250,000 so it is not very detailed. It indicates that the only private parcels on Richmond are that irregularly shaped parcel west of the summit, and the area on the southeast slope that ascends to just shy of 3100'. The summit appears to be public land. The state land boundaries appear to agree with the purple dashed lines shown on the topozone map. All of the areas labeled "Reforestation Area" are state land, and those areas are contiguous with the 3220' summit area. This may explain why I never saw any land boundaries when I bushwhacked to the summit in the late 1980s.
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