Northern Schunemunk Mountain

Northern Schunemunk Mountain (3/29/2008)

The last time we hiked this spectacular mountain was on April 15, 2006 when we covered a good part of the southern section. This time we started at the northern tip, at the famous Moodna Viaduct and covered a good part of the northern section.

After parking in the small lot on the northern side of Otterkill Road, we followed the white blazes of the Trestle trail up to the awesome trestle. At the fork with the red-blazed Otterkill trail we veered left on the Otterkill, taking that south all the way to its intersection with the white-blazed Sweet Clover trail. We turned right (west) on the Sweet Clover trail and began the major climb of the hike. At the intersection with the yellow-blazed Jessup trail, we turned right (north) on that trail and headed along the ridge. It was incredibly windy (the wind chill must have been below 20 degrees), but we managed to have lunch on the ridge, with a view of the Hudson River, Mount Beacon, Storm King and the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. We next continued on the Jessup to the red-blazed Swamp trail, going straight on that trail, crossing a small stream and once again climbing, very steeply in places. At the intersection with the white-blazed Trestle trail we turned right (north) and took that back to the car, descending and descending almost the entire time.

Almost the entire hike had views in one direction or another. In several place there were spectacular views in nearly all directions. The 6.5-mile hike took us about 4 hours, since I stopped for photos nearly every minute!

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Heading west on Otterkill Road

The majestic Moodna Viaduct

Climbing on the Trestle trail

View north

View east


View east from the Otterkill trail

Metro North train

Boundary walls were all over this trail


Cascades of Baby Brook

Tunnel under railroad

Dan at the cascades [photo by Laura]


View east from Sweet Clover trail switchback

View south from Sweet Clover


Rocky Sweet Clover trail

[photo by Laura]

Another steep switchback

Resting on a natural bench


View SE

View NE

[photo by Laura]

Group of hikers at viewpoint

Looking down at the hikers

Beautiful conglomerate

Distinct conglomerate

Pines on Jessup trail

Macro shot of quartz in puddingstone

View NW from Jessup trail

Hudson River from Jessup trail

Stewart International Airport


Catskills on horizon

Closer view of airport

It got really cold up here!

Hudson River

Love that conglomerate!

Newburgh Beacon Bridge

Mt. Beacon fire tower

Catskills dominate the horizon

View north

View north

Our lunch spot

Descending to a hollow

Baby Brook

Steep climb on the Barton Swamp trail

[photo by Laura]

Taking a breather

Interesting slate

View NE

Steep climb continues

View to where we ate lunch


Intersection with Trestle trail

Two vultures nearly collided!

Descending on Trestle trail


View west

Moodna Viaduct from Trestle trail

Beaverdam Lake

Houses in Salisbury Mills, NY


Moodna Viaduct from above

Back to the viaduct


View from open field opposite Schunemunk


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