Southern Schunemunk Mountain

Southern Schunemunk Mountain (4/6/2008)

Last week we hiked this mountain beginning at its northern-most tip, at the Moodna Viaduct on Otterkill Road. Today we hiked the mountain from its southern-most tip, the trail head of the yellow-blazed Jessup trail at Seven Springs Road. For unknown reasons, the section of Seven Springs Road north of Route 44 was closed, so we were unable to park at the actual trail head. Instead we parked at a pull-off (good for about three cars) on Seven Springs Road just south of its intersection with Route 44. We parked next to a sign that said "No Dumping $10,000 Fine". The sign was surrounded by couches and cabinets and other trash that had been dumped there since the sign was installed.

The entire hike was along the Jessup trail (which is also the Highlands trail on this mountain). Nearly all of this part is inexplicably chopped off of the newest NYNJTC map for Schunemunk (Trail Map 114, West Hudson Trails, Fourth edition 2006). Oddly, it does appear in its entirety on Map 8 of the NYNJTC book "New York Walk Book" (Seventh Edition, 2005). Go figure. We took the trail north to the antenna farm, about a half mile before the Jessup intersects with the Long Path. We then turned around at the antennas and headed back. The hike was just under 7 miles and offered spectacular views both east and west of the ridge.

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

Road was closed north of Route 44

Pond across street from ...

... abandoned Jesuit Home and Retreat

Driveway walls of retreat

Southern trail head of Jessup trail

Boundary walls

Curious markings on all the blazes to the top

Shells amidst No Hunting signs


Path to opening

View SW


View NW


View NW

Regal old tree, view east

Huge pile of rocks

Curious markings again

360-degree views from here

View west


BB target practice

Pileated woodpecker

Views abound (view NW)

View NW

View west of house at base of mountain

Shawangunks (Hamilton Ridge) in mist


Down into the hollow

Up again

Another view west

Interesting limestone boulder

Scrub oaks along the ridge

View east

Many cairns on the ridge

Our snack spot (came back here for lunch too)

Aerial farm to the north

What a view, west

Stewart International Airport

Airplane at airport

Mountain laurel thicket

Beautiful lichen


At the aerials

Jessup trail passes right by

Other aerials just west

Sitting on a cairn

Heading back

Scrub oak

Leaves underwater

Crosses made of stone

Piece of an ATV (we saw two on the ridge)

ATV damage

View east

Photographing the view east [photo by Laura]

Mallards in pond off Seven Springs Road

Photographs and content copyright © Dan Balogh
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