Features: Peekamoose and Table Mountains
Distance: 7.60 miles
USGS Map Quads: Peekamoose Mountain
Trail Conference Maps: Trail Map 143 (Southern Catskill Trails)
This is a rugged trail section that begins with a three-mile, 2,500-foot ascent of Peekamoose Mountain. Shortly before the top, there is a tremendous view of the Rondout Creek valley. After climbing out of the saddle between Peekamoose and Table Mountains, the trail ascends along the broad, gentle "top" of Table to the summit. From Table, the trail drops to the valley of the East Branch of the Neversink River. The trail then climbs out of the river valley and joins the Phoenicia-East Branch Trail. For the entire length of the section, the Long Path follows the blue-blazed Peekamoose-Table Trail.
Take the New York State Thruway to Exit 19 (Kingston). Continue on NY Route 28 west. In Boiceville, about 17 miles from the Thruway, turn left onto NY Route 28A. (Do not turn left onto Route 28A where it first meets Route 28, about 3 miles west of the Thruway.) In West Shokan, turn right onto Peekamoose Road (Ulster County Route 42, also known as Gulf Road and as Sundown-West Shokan Road). (This turn may not be marked by a street or route sign, but a large sign points to Grahamville and Town Offices.) Follow Peekamoose Road for about 10 miles to a parking area on the right.
0.00 Parking area on Peekamoose Road. (41.91493°, -74.42923°)
7.60 Parking area at end of Denning Road (1.2 miles along the Phoenicia-East Branch Trail from the end of this section). (41.96556°, -74.45248°)
0.00 Sundown Primitive Campsite (on Peekamoose Road, 0.4 miles west of trailhead).
5.20 Bouton Memorial Lean-to.
7.15 Two DEC campsites.
0.00 From the north side of Peekamoose Road, about 250 feet south of the parking area, the Long Path proceeds uphill on a woods road, following the blue-blazed Peekamoose-Table Trail.
0.85 The trail turns right, leaving the woods road, and continues on a footpath. The ascent is steady but varying in pitch as the trail alternates between gentle stretches and sharp, rocky climbs.
2.35 Reach Reconnoiter Rock, a rock outcrop, with a partial view to the northwest. The trail now levels off for some distance.
3.10 Just past the 3,500-foot elevation sign, reach a wide ledge to the right of the trail, with excellent views. In another 250 feet, an unmaintained trail, with some old red paint blazes, goes off to the right and descends to Peekamoose Road.
3.35 Pass a spring that comes from a small cleft in the rock to the left, a source of water. The trail now passes through a dwarf spruce forest.
3.80 Begin to climb steeply.
3.95 Reach the summit of Peekamoose Mountain, marked by a large rock to the left of the trail. Some views to the northeast are possible from the top of the rock. The trail descends steeply into the col between Peekamoose and Table Mountains.
4.20 Reach the base of the col, and begin gentle ascent.
4.40 Begin a steep ascent up Table Mountain. The grade moderates, and then becomes extremely gentle when the nearly flat ridge of Table Mountain is attained. Shortly after attaining the ridge, an unmarked trail to the right leads to an excellent viewpoint over the Burroughs Range and Rocky and Lone Mountains to the northeast.
4.80 Reach the summit of Table Mountain, on the divide between the drainage basins of the Hudson and Delaware Rivers. (The wooded summit affords no views.) Descend, sometimes steeply, as hardwoods replace spruce forest. Past the summit is an excellent view point.
5.15 Pass a sign indicating the 3,500-foot elevation.
5.20 A trail leads left to the Bouton Memorial Lean-to. About 500 ft past the turn-off to the lean-to is an excellent spring.
5.55 Begin to climb over a small knoll. The way down includes four sharp drops that are separated by gentler sections.
6.35 The descent is interrupted briefly by a second small knoll.
7.15 Two DEC campsites are indicated with yellow tent markers.
7.20 The trail drops into the broad, flat flood plain of the East Branch of the Neversink River.
7.30 Pass the flood plain of the East Branch of the Neversink River. At the crossing of Deer Shanty Brook, two new log bridges have been constructed where crossings at times of high water were formerly a problem.
7.45 Climb out of the flood plain and ascend gently.
7.60 Reach the yellow-blazed Phoenicia-East Branch Trail.* To continue, turn right and follow the yellow markers. To the left, it is 1.2 miles to the parking area at the end of Denning Road.
* This junction marks the eastern end of the Finger Lakes Trail, a hiking trail that continues west along the Southern Tier of New York to the Pennsylvania border at Allegheny State Park.
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GM's Day 17 of Long Path