29. West Conesville to Doney Hollow

Section 29: West Conesville to Doney Hollow


  • Trail access through the former Nickerson Park Campground (now Nickerson Catskill Mountain Campground) is no longer available, so the description has been updated with a roadwalk route between the campground and Mine Kill State Park.  This roadwalk route has shortened the overall length of this section by 2.25 miles (from 13.55 miles to 11.3 miles).

Quick Facts

Distance: 11.3 miles
Parks: Mine Kill State Park, Historic Lansing Manor
Maps: Interactive Map
Print-Friendly Version: Link

General Description

In this section, the Long Path leaves the rugged terrain of the Catskills and descends into the Schoharie Valley. After passing the Schoharie Reservoir, which is the northernmost outpost of the New York City water supply system, the Long Path begins a 30-mile journey along the Schoharie Valley and the hills surrounding Schoharie Creek. The trail passes through Mine Kill State Park, whose primary attraction is Mine Kill Falls. The Long Path passes both the top and the bottom of the falls, which plummet out of a spectacular gorge. Between the falls and the main part of the park, the trail follows a beautiful pine and hemlock forest. In the north end of the park are spectacular open views of the Schoharie Valley. Beyond Mine Kill State Park, the trail passes through the Lansing Manor Visitors Center of the Power Authority’s Blenheim-Gilboa pumped storage complex. There are expansive views up the Schoharie Valley from both Mine Kill State Park and Lansing Manor.


Take the New York State Thruway to Exit 21 (Catskill). Continue west on NY Route 23 for about 30 miles to the Village of Prattsville. At the end of Prattsville, NY Route 23 crosses a steel bridge that goes over Schoharie Creek. Just before the bridge, turn right on Prattsville Road, and follow it for about 5 miles to the intersection of Prattsville Road and Route 990V.


0.00  Intersection of NY Route 990V and Prattsville Road. (42.38064°, -74.43084°)
5.95  Mine Kill State Park, at north end of swimming pool, when park is open. (42.43785°, -74.45867°)
6.70  Lansing Manor Visitors Center. (42.44886°, -74.46452°)
11.30  West Kill Road at Doney Hollow. (42.48519°, -74.48447°)


3.35  Campsites available at Nickerson Catskill Mountain Campground (fee charged).

Camping is allowed in the state reforestation areas 150 feet from the trail and water.

Trail Description

0.00  At the intersection of Prattsville Road and NY Route 990V, the Long Path turns left and follows NY Route 990V downhill toward Gilboa. On the left side of the trail is the Schoharie Reservoir.

0.90  Reach the Gilboa-Conesville Central School on the right side of the road. To the left is the former site of the Gilboa Settlement. From 1840 to 1869, a cotton mill, tannery, church and cemetery stood on the ground that is now covered by the Schoharie Reservoir.

1.00  After passing the school, bear right on Wyckoff Road.

1.15  Opposite the school playground, turn left into the woods.

1.25  Reach the NYC DEP watershed land property line. Follow the property line for a short distance and continue downhill through mixed woods.

1.55  Reach the intersection of Route 990V and Flat Creek Road, near the Gilboa Town Hall and Post Office. On the right, just past the town hall, is an exhibit of fossilized trees that were discovered while constructing the Schoharie Reservoir. The Long Path continues along NY Route 990V, which curves left and goes downhill.

1.80  The Long Path crosses Schoharie Creek on a bridge. There is a small cemetery to the right, just past the bridge.

2.00  Turn right onto Stryker Road. Pass the Gilboa Museum on the right (open only on summer weekends; check the website for more information).

2.50  Reach a "Road Closed" gate. On the left is a large farm and site of Rockland Cider Works. Walk around the gate to proceed along the road that is closed to vehicles for the next 0.75 mile, with views of Schoharie Creek to the right.

3.25  Reach the other "Road Closed" gate at the intersection of Cresent Road, and continue straight on Stryker Road.

3.35  Pass the entrance to Nickerson Catskill Mountain Campground and continue along Stryker Road.

4.35  Reach junction with NY Route 30 and turn right.  To the right, Reed Hill is visible in the distance.

4.65  Reach the Mine Kill Falls Overlook parking lot. A short detour here provides access to a walkway that leads to an overlook of Mine Kill Falls. Continue straight on NY Route 30.


Mine Kill Falls. 2001 [MICHAEL WARREN] 

4.80  Cross a bridge over the Mine Kill, with views of Mine Kill Falls below, and then immediately turn right off the road onto a footpath that enters the woods.

4.85  Turn left, with views of the Mine Kill to the right. The trail crosses a small stream.

5.05  A white-blazed trail comes in from the right.

5.15  Cross a stream on a bridge. To the left is a beautiful cascading waterfall. The trail climbs continuously from here to the park entrance road, passing several rock piles on the right part way up. Near the top, two trails lead right, but the Long Path continues straight ahead.

5.45  Emerge onto an open field and cross the main park entrance road. The Long Path continues along the western edge of an open field to reach the park administration building.

5.55  Reach the park administration building on the right, where there are restroom facilities. The trail bears left and follows a mowed path at the western edge of an open field with scattered evergreens. From this path, there is a spectacular view up and down the Schoharie Valley.

5.75  Turn right and descend along the northern boundary of a soccer field, then pass a small playground just north of the swimming pool.

5.95  Turn left and follow a cross-country ski and snowmobile trail that leads from Mine Kill State Park to Lansing Manor. Here, there is a spectacular view north along the Schoharie Valley and across the Blenheim-Gilboa Reservoir. Soon, a yellow-blazed cross-country ski trail leaves to the right, but the Long Path continues straight ahead. The trail soon leaves Mine Kill State Park and enters the New York State Power Authority Lansing-Manor Blenheim-Gilboa complex; the boundary is not marked.

6.30  Reach an open field with scattered cedar trees. Note the fences around small cedar trees. These trees are pruned so as to provide the deer with a source of browse, and the fences prevent the deer from killing the trees. There are also a number of bluebird feeders. Bue sure to watch for Long Path blazes on top of fence posts by the cedar trees.

6.70  Reach a picnic area and cross the parking lot of the Lansing Manor Visitors Center. At the far end of the parking lot, the trail follows a walkway through the Visitors Center, where brochures on the historic Lansing Manor and the Blenheim–Gilboa pumped storage power plant are available. Brochures are also available at the nearby museum. There are picnic tables at the Visitor Center, making this an ideal lunch stop in the warm months.

visitor center

Lansing Manor Visitors Center. 2001 [MICHAEL WARREN]


6.85  Take the left fork in the walkway and pass the entrance to the museum. The Long Path now heads across a field with trees, skirts a wooded area on the right, then turns right and cuts diagonally across another field to enter the woods in 0.25 mile.

 Lansing Manor

 Lansing Manor. 2001 [MICHAEL WARREN]

7.15  After a rather steep descent, reach the bottom of a ravine. The trail now ascends gradually and crosses a powerline right-of-way.

7.40  Reach the top of a hill, with a view down to the dam of the Blenheim-Gilboa Reservoir. During periods of low electrical demand, water is pumped up the hill to the reservoir. During periods of high demand, the water is released, thus generating electricity.

7.80  Turn left down a bank to cross a small stream, then turn right to reach the NY Power Authority's North Access Road. Turn left onto the road, and in about 100 feet turn right off the road onto a trail down the bank. Note that this trail into the woods down the steep bank may be difficult to spot.

7.95  Bear left just before reaching the Schoharie Creek. This section, which may be overgrown at times, has views of the creek throughout. During flood conditions, this section may be flooded and it will be necessary to instead walk the access road to NY Route 30.

8.35  Turn left up a ladder next to a measurement station to reach the Power Authority's North Access Road, then turn right to follow the road.

8.50  Reach NY Route 30, turn right to cross a bridge over West Kill, then immediately turn left onto Creamery Road.  Soon, you will pass a cemetery on the right.

8.75  Turn right uphill into the woods at the very end of the cemetery, across from house #137 on the left. In about 0.1 mile, pass a stone wall. Soon, you'll reach a hedgerow and pass another stonewall on the right.

9.00  Reach a field and cut diagonally across the corner of the field to reach a hedgerow, and turn left.

9.10  Go down a short, steep bank to West Kill Road and turn left to follow the road.

9.30  Reach the intersection of West Kill Road (Schoharie County Route 43) and Burnt Hill Road.  Continue left on West Kill Road.

9.50  Just past a driveway, turn left into the woods.

9.65  Cross West Kill Road to the north side of the road, making a short left-right jog. Note that from October 10-December 15, this section is closed to hiking; during this period, turn left onto West Kill Road and follow the road for about 0.8 mile, past the beaver pond on the right, and turn left into the woods 100 feet past a DEC boundary sign.

9.80  Turn left onto a woods road.

10.00  Turn left, leaving the woods road, and in 0.1 mile turn left again back onto the woods road.

10.45  Turn left and downhill, toward a beaver pond.

10.60  Reach the DEC State Reforestation Area boundary.

10.65  Cross West Kill Road to the south side of the road and descend to West Kill. The trail continues west along the creek.

11.05  Turn right away from the creek and climb back up to West Kill Road. Turn left onto the road and follow it for 0.15 mile, across Doney Hollow.

11.30  This section ends where the trail turns right into the woods to follow Doney Hollow. There is room to park several cars in this area.


Previous Section: Section 28
Next Section: Section 30

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.

46r796's picture

Hiked the Conesville to Minekill falls section on 7/27/13 and found road 990V quite busy and has narrow shoulders-use caution.Stryker road is shut down to vehicles just past the Large farm until just before Nickersons due to severe road damage from the floods of 2011.Still ok for trail use.Trail pretty well marked and dry.Great views along side the Schoharie creek just north of the campground. Hiked Lansing Manor to Doney Hollow on 8/3/13 and found the trail without too much trouble on the north end of the manor(they brush hogged the small field this year).I found the trail well marked but it is very narrow and the only use it seems to get is from deer walking it.I did miss the turn off just past the micro wave tower(trail turns left at tree with posted signs about 50 ft from tower)I had walked the woods road to take pics of the dam and then hike the road for a ways and noticed no paint marks and so had to return to tower.After reaching the access road(paved) I crossed over but lost the trail due to so much undergrowth as it was chest high.Went back up and walked the road out to rt30.Found the path off of Creamery rd with no problem.Trail basically goes up and around the cemetary accends the hill then some flat area all the while in the woods.Did have to take a minute to look for trail markers in this area just before I could see fields.The field will be on your left.I followed the hedgerow out until I could see a barn and crossed over the hedgerow.Found a hedgerow angled left and followed it uphill keeping it on my right and then back down and out to the West Kill rd.Paint marks were pretty good thru the fields considering the greenery.The only other small issue was crossing West kill rd to the North side at 11.65 Crossing directly over there is a herd path and I had to angle to the left to find the trail markers.Would have been better to turn left on the hard road for 50ft and then right into the woods.There was a few downed trees on the north side trail but no other problems the remainder of the way to Doney hollow.The trail follows alongside the West kill creek for about 1/2 mile but is well marked now.
giantmountain99's picture

First, I'll explain how we're hiking the trail, because that will make better sense of the few minor complaints I have about this section, and about the precautions I'm suggesting. We're 3 people (two adults and one child).  We're hiking the trail in sections, moving north to south (we live in Albany).  We only have one car, so we usually leave our car at one end of a section, and a bike at the other.  Then, one of us bikes back to the car and returns to collect the other two.  Sometimes, however, we'll hike to a point, then turn around and hike back, because we've determined that biking back to the car would be unsafe.  We usually make that decision based on the road having no shoulder, and/or because the road route includes multiple turns with low driver visibility, etc.  The portion of this trail from the Gilboa Museum/Stryker Road to Prattsville Rd./990V has little to no road shoulder, so we opted to hike, turn around, and hike back to the car.  (If you're traveling south-to-north, we're talking about miles 0.00-2.05). Hikers should note that not only would this be a bad road to cycle, it's also a poor road to walk.  The shoulder is so narrow as to be virtually non-existent.  When hiking on a road, we prefer to walk facing traffic.  This is not safely possible for much of the section, due to the lack of a shoulder, a guardrail, and a steep drop-off on the other side of the guardrail.  Construction is currently underway near the dam, and the trail travels through this area.  One of the construction workers became angry with us for walking along the road, even though the road was not closed to either car or pedestrian traffic.  This made for an unpleasant walk.  Worrying about traffic and safety through this section added to our displeasure.  I would not recommend traveling this section at night or in other conditions that further hamper driver visibility. Hopefully, at some point in the future, these miles can be rerouted.  We love the Long Path.  We've hiked 77 miles of the trail (so far), but these 2 stressful miles were the worst of the 77. (4 miles, actually, if you consider the fact that we had to turn around and hike them again in order to return to our car).  We were worried about being hit by a car the entire time we were hiking.  We don't mean to turn anyone off from hiking this section, but suggest taking precautions.  Be safe, and see you on the trail!  :)
srtmaintainer's picture

My name is Andy Garrison and  I'm a Chair of the Long Path for the NYNJTC. I cover from US 209 to the north end. We've been trying for a very long time to move the Long Path onto the watershed land between 990V and the Schoharie. I've forwarded your complaint to the NYCDEP. I did the entire Long Path with my son back in 2005 / 2006. It's a very awesome trail, even on the southern end. We too found the section on 990V to be the most dangerous roadwalk along the entire Long Path. You can bet we've been trying hard to move the trail onto the watershed land. 
Gedalyamil's picture

Today's hike was one my favorite adventures on the LP. It was raining - at times cats and dogs - which added to the atmosphere and adventure. The drive to the parking pullout in Doney Hollow via NY Routes 23A and 30 was beautiful as these roads followed rich streams surrounded by friendly mountains and passed thru the iconic Catskill villages of Tannersville and Hunter. My drive to the Doney Hollow terminus took ~2:40 from my home in Northern NJ where I again met Smiley's Taxi for a shuttle to the start. This time the cost was $120. I have to find a closer taxi company! The LP is getting expensive. In addition, Mr. Smiley is old school and doesn't use GPS coordinates so I had to arrive earlier than he did to flag him down because there was no way he would recognize the non-descript parking area on West Kill Road. He said he was looking for the sign for "Doney Hollow". Yeah, when Doney's fly! Doney Hollow is more of a state of mind than an actual place. There is no Town Hall. This hike finally left the Catskill Trail Map for good ~4 miles into the trek - its been a long haul since Berme Road - but I felt vulnerable without a map. I think it would be a great help if the LP published a schematic map on this site for each section, akin to what they show in each chapter of the hard copy LP book published in 2005. Maybe someday there will even be a real trail map for this region! The road walk at the start of the hike was fine and a nice way to begin the trek. I think Route 990V is safe enough to walk. The tree fossil exhibit was very interesting and didn't mention 'climate change.' Thanks for keeping it real! The trails along Schoharie Creek were beautiful on this rainy and misty day. Mine Kill falls was very impressive as was the very full West Kill Creek near the hike's end. I just realized that I have not passed another hiker in either direction since leaving the Escarpment Trail and Catskill Park in Section 25, that's nearly 40 miles ago! These trails are not busy; nevertheless, they were exceptionally well marked in the woods and the footpath was always clear. However, I had a number of issues in open areas and other adventures that were perhaps attributable to today's high water level and rain. In all, I got lost twice (very briefly), had some additional confusion, took 3 or 4 spills, and crossed an unpassable stream. Here are a list of some of the issues I encountered by mile. I was probably more aware of navigational issues without the benefit of a map. Mile 2.4: Aqua markers on guardrail and on rock in woods seem to indicate that you go over guardrail and down into woods. Don't do that. Mile 3.7: Aqua markers are visible on both high and low ground. The high ground are the correct ones. Mile 6.5: I took the White trail. It led me to the Mine Kill Falls parking lot. It did not go to the bottom of the Falls. Very confusing!! I'm still not sure what happened. I suggest just taking the Aqua trail. Mile 6.75: I slipped and fell on the steps to the Falls overlook. I may have broken my back if not for my backpack cushioning the fall. Andrew Cuomo needs to laydown some strips on these steps to enhance grip in the rain. Mile 8: It was not terribly clear to me where to go here. A number of Aqua markers on trees were sprayed over in black. I wasn't sure if these were markers or crossed out markers. I suppose the field kind of looked like a soccer field as described above and there was a swimming pool so these landmarks helped. Mile 10.05: The bank down to the stream was wet and the ground was clay-like. I took a bad spill. Very slippery! The full stream was barely passable, but it was. Mile 9.15: "The Long Path now heads across a field with trees, skirts a wooded area on the right, then turns right and cuts diagonally across another field to enter the woods" I wish I had a map here. I'm no good with diagonals. Mile 10.6: Don't use the ladder!!! Just walk around it. Its more like steps than a ladder, but regardless two steps were broken and another one or two broke today under my weight. Its needs to be repaired or, more likely, rebuilt (send me the bill). Mile 11.35: Again, the bank was steep, clay-like, and slippery and I fell (kind of fun, but not so much). In addition, the stream here was uncrossable. Water levels were high. #DangerAlert. There were no rocks to safely step on. I tried a rock and slipped off and in the end I just walked thru the water and got my boots wet. When I got to West Kill Road I noticed that there is a new bridge ~100 feet upstream. I'm not sure if this was built by the LP or by locals. Regardless, it would be safer if the LP was routed over this bridge (if it's deemed safe.....the bridge looked a bit sketchy too....it may be under construction). Overall, the hike was very scenic, diverse, a perfect half-marathon length, and I had lots of fun. Possibly one of my top 10 sections of the LP! The navigational issues were minor and its impossible to truly get lost and all my slipping and sliding today was attributable to the rain, which added to the scenery. I do have a few nagging questions: Why is Lansing Manor a thing? What does the NY Power Authority do? Why is everything closed (campground store, visitor centers)?
pnick3000's picture

I did this section a few months back from south to north. Following the directions, I entered the Nickerson campground. A woman there informed me that the long path is no longer allowed through the campground. I apologized and exited back to the road I came from and walked North along that to Mine Kill. Later I noticed that in the southbound direction, this closure is indicated by a sign in Mine Kill State Park but not do much in the northbound direction unless I missed it. It seems this section needs updating.