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Bearpen Mountain State Forest
Catskill 3500 Club


Bearpen
Mountain

 

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In the Catskills there are thirty-five peaks that are over 3,500 feet in elevation and are noted in the Catskill 3500 Club. Bearpen Mountain, at 3600 feet, is the 28th highest point in the Catskills and is part of the Catskill 3500 Club. 

A hike to Bearpen Mountain requires hiking along old logging roads that are unmarked. There are two places where you can start his hike. The longer route is from parking area at the end of Ski Run Road. The GPS coordinates are N42 17.563 W74 28.078. From Prattsville take NY 23 west over the bridge over Schoharie Creek. Turn left after the bridge onto County Route 2. Drive 2.7 miles to the top of the hill. There is an unmarked dirt road on the right and this is Ski Run Road. Drive 1.1 miles to the parking area on the left side of the road.

From the parking area follow the old woods road 1.5 miles, climbing up to the ridgeline along a steady incline. After reaching the ridgeline, if you turn right on another old logging road and travel just under 0.5 miles to the summit of Roundtop. There is a view just past the summit. Turn left and follow the old logging road along the almost level ridgeline to reach Bearpen Mountain in 3.6 miles, 2.1 miles along the ridgeline for a round trip hike of 7.2 miles.

A short side trail leads to the summit of North Bearpen Mountain, where there is a limited view near the summit. There is one short steep pitch on the final trail that leads to the summit of Bearpen Mountain. There are numerous viewpoints once you arrive on the 3600 foot summit. There is an overall elevation gain of about 1300 feet, with about 1050 feet of that gain along the first 1.5 miles of the hike.

The shorter, but steeper approach to Bearpen Mountain is from Heisinger Road. This road is located a bit further along County Route 2 from Ski Run Road, drive another 0.5 miles on County Route 2 and turn right on Don Irwin and drive 0.2 miles. Now turn left on Heisinger Road and drive about 0.2 miles. Park along the side of the road, near the end of the road and the trail is found on the left, behind a metal gate. The GPS coordinates are N42 17.029 W74 27.732.

The trail is an old woods road that climbs steady up to the summit of Bearpen Mountain. It's a 2.7 mile hike to the summit with an overall elevation gain of over 1700 feet. Both routes to the summit are with the Bearpen Mountain State Forest. Bearpen Mountain is the highest peak in Greene County. A sub peak on the northwestern part of Bearpen Mountain is the highest point in Delaware County.

Vly Mountain, another Catskill 3500 Club peak is located southeast of Bearpen Mountain. Some follow the ridgeline from Bearpen Mountain to reach Vly Mountain. It is about 2.3 miles between the two mountains via the ridgeline. Look below for a topographic map of the Roundtop-Bearpen Mountain area to help assist in planning your adventure.

 

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