31. West Fulton to Middleburgh

Section 31: West Fulton to Middleburgh


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Quick Facts

Distance: 11.8 miles
Parks: Patria State Forest, Vroman's Nose Unique Area
Maps: Interactive Map
Print-Friendly Version: Link

General Description

Leaving West Fulton, the Long Path regains the highlands west of Schoharie Creek. The trail continues through pleasant reforestation areas and passes through stands of mature pine and spruce, with occasional evidence of the early settlement in this area. After descending steeply to cross Pleasant Valley, the Long Path climbs over the top of a hill, and then descends to Hardscrabble Road near NY Route 30, with dramatic views of the Schoharie Valley. The Long Path follows NY Route 30 north through Vroomansland, the flat floodplain of Schoharie Creek. The trail ascends Vroman’s Nose on the steep red trail. A sentinel over the Schoharie Valley, Vroman’s Nose is one of the most spectacular natural features in New York. The Long Path descends off Vroman’s Nose to the north on the blue trail, crosses Vroomansland, and follows the edge of Schoharie Creek to the Village of Middleburgh.


Take the New York State Thruway to Exit 21 in Catskill. Continue west on NY Route 23 about 8 miles to NY Route 145, then west on Route 145 about 30 miles to the Village of Middleburgh. In Middleburgh, take NY Route 30 south about 8 miles to West Fulton Road (Schoharie County Route 4). Then turn right on West Fulton Road and follow it for 3 miles to West Fulton.


0.00  West Fulton town picnic area. (42.56438°, -74.46290°)
2.00  On Patria Road. (42.56661°, -74.45144°)
3.00  On Mallon Road. (42.58499°, -74.43881°)
5.60  Small parking area. Directions: drive north on Patria Road to the intersection with Greenbush Hill  Road, turn right and in about 0.7 miles there is an intersection with Snow Ridge Drive. At this point Greenbush Hill Road turns to the left and Snow Ridge Drive continues straight ahead. There are signs on both roads saying private roads. Continue on Snow Ridge Drive, which is still a public Right-of-Way (ROW). In another 0.5 miles there is a road to the right. This a DEC maintained road providing access to a portion of Patria State Forest. This intersection is at 42.60635°, -74.41105°. There is a sign at this intersection that says private land, but this does not pertain to the road. Start up the DEC road and in about 0.1 mile you will enter the Patria State Forest and in about another 0.25 miles there is a small parking lot on the left. The parking lot is at 42.60172°, -74.41352°. There is a lightly used trail off the back of the parking lot, blazed with red paint, that comes to the LP at 42.60145°, -74.41262°.
10.45  Church Street and the blue trailhead on Vroman’s Nose. (42.59335°, -74.35041°)
11.80  Village of Middleburgh (town park; elementary school). (Unlocated)


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

Trail Description

0.00  The Long Path leaves West Fulton on Patria Road. Continue uphill on Patria Road, continue along the road as it makes a sharp left. 

0.80  Just past a sharp bend to the right there is a house and a barn on the right, the Long Path turns left into a field, and heads uphill.

0.90  Enter Patria State Forest. Head uphill, steeply at times.

1.25  Turn right onto a woods road. The woods road is sometimes used a snowmobile trail. In one hundred feet turn left uphill leaving the woods road. The trail continues uphill, with a break in the slope to the left.

1.70  The trail levels off, turns right, and crosses the ridge. After the ridge, turn left and descend on an old woods road toward Patria Road.

2.00  Cross Patria Road and descend through the woods to a stream. The trail turns left and heads uphill along the stream in a deep hemlock forest.

2.40  Turn right, cross the stream, and continue through a plantation of spruce and pine. After a short level stretch, the trail turns left and climbs steeply up the ridge. When the grade levels off, the trail turns right and crosses the ridge, following the edge of the reforestation area. At the east end of the ridge, the trail turns left and follows the east side of the ridge.

3.00  Cross Mallon Road and re-enter the reforestation area. There is a small parking lot here. The trail follows a woods road, crosses under a power line, and then turns right, leaving the road. The trail turns left and begins a gradual descent toward Pleasant Valley.

3.40  Cross a seasonal stream and parallel a rock wall, and an old property boundary, skirting private land.

3.85  The trail switchbacks to the right as it continues downhill on a moderate grade.

4.00  Turn left and descend steeply.

4.15  After crossing Pleasant Valley Stream on a bridge, the trail turns right onto the old Pleasant Valley Road for a short distance. The trail then turns left onto an old woods road.

4.40  Cross the stream on a bridge and ascend moderately, leaving the stream, and continue to follow the woods road through a pleasant hemlock forest.

5.20  The Long Path turns right to follow another woods road. As the trail reaches the crest of the hill, a woods road comes in from the right. The Long Path continues ahead over the crest of the hill.

5.40  Turn right, leave the woods road and snowmobile trail, and continue through a mixed hardwood forest and spruce plantation.

5.60  Turn right, and begin to descend through the woods, parallel to a rock wall. If you turn left instead of right there is a small parking area in about 200 ft.

6.00  Turn right and follow the abandoned Hardscrabble Road, continuing to descend. On the left is a reliable spring. In a few hundred feet, another abandoned road, now a snowmobile trail, comes in from the left near the site of an abandoned farm. The Long Path continues downhill along Hardscrabble Road.

6.05  The Long Path turns left off abandoned Hardscrabble Road and rejoins the snowmobile trail as it heads downhill.

6.10  The trail crosses a stream and continues to follow the snowmobile trail downhill along a rock wall. As the trail leaves State land, the snowmobile markers change from the round DEC discs to orange diamond-shaped markers.

6.70  Cross under a power line, then turn left uphill away from the stream onto a logging road.

6.90  The trail leaves the logging road on the right and turns downhill.


View of Vroman's Nose  View from Vroman's Nose

Vroman’s Nose. 2001 [HERB CHONG]                  View from Vroman’s Nose. 2001 [MICHAEL WARREN]

7.50  Enter an open field. The trail continues across the field with views of the Schoharie Valley and Vroman's Nose.

7.65  Reach Hardscrabble Road. Across the road is a large gray barn. Turn left on the road.

7.70  Reach NY Route 30 near highway marker 30/9502/1179. Turn left on Route 30 and follow it north.

9.20  Just before a NY Route 30 sign on the right near highway marker 30/9502/1195 on the left, the Long Path turns left and follows a red-blazed trail up Vroman’s Nose on a very steep grade. As there is loose dirt and scree here, it is suggested that you have very sturdy boots and carry a walking stick or ski pole for balance.

9.40  Reach the top of the extreme grade, having gained 400 vertical feet in the last 0.2 miles. At this point the trail turns right and continues to climb the ridge at a more moderate grade. As the trail begins to level off, views of the Schoharie Valley open up through the trees.

9.50  The red trail ends at an intersection with the green trail. The Long Path turns right and follows the green trail up to the summit of Vroman’s Nose. There is a view to the right, across the Schoharie Valley to the Catskills. To the left of the view is a campsite.

9.65  Reach the summit of Vroman's Nose at a large, flat area of bedrock known as The Dance Floor, with a spectacular view across the Schoharie Valley and Vroomansland south to the Catskills. This is a wonderful place to have lunch, rest and take in the sun. Locals have been taking the hike up here for over a hundred years, as is evidenced by the initials in the rock. In 2017, the Vroman’s Nose Preservation Corp donated this mountain to NYS DEC, and it is preserved as a Unique Area. Although the route followed by the Long Path up the mountain is quite steep, the summit can also be reached by an easy 600-foot climb from the maintained parking lot at the base of the green trail on West Middleburgh Road. A very informative book on the history of Vroman’s Nose and its environs, written by Dr. Vincent Schaefer, the founder of the Long Path, is available at the Old Stone Fort in Schoharie. The Long Path continues along the green trail, following the cliffs, with spectacular views along the edge of the escarpment.

*9.65  Note that as of 2023, the 0.2 mile section of the Long Path/Green Trail from 9.65 to 9.85 is temporarily closed from February 1 through July 31 to protect nesting peregrine falcons.  A parallel route away from the cliff edge, marked with red foot trail markers, can be used during this time period.

9.90  Reach an overhanging promontory, with views both up and down the Schoharie Valley. You can see north to the Village of Middleburgh and the cliffs of Middleburgh, where the Long Path continues north and east toward Albany County. Here the green trail ends and the Long Path continues on the blue trail that descends, sometimes steeply, through the woods.

10.15  The yellow trail, which leads to a parking area on Mill Valley Road, begins to the left. The Long Path turns right and continues to follow the blue trail downhill on an old road.

10.45  The blue trail ends at Church Street, just past a church and a house. The Long Path turns right on Church Street and follows it to Route 30.

10.65  Turn left on NY Route 30 and follow Route 30 for about a mile.

11.70  Cross the Schoharie Creek on the Route 30 bridge.

11.80  Reach the intersection of NY Routes 145 and 30 in the Village of Middleburgh. To continue on the Long Path, follow Route 145 east.


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

Gedalyamil's picture

Zero!! That's the grand-total number of hikers I've encountered on trail in the Northern Catskills region of the LP. Actually, I haven't seen another hiker since crossing Route 23 after leaving the Escarpment Trail in the Central Catskills - that's nearly 60 miles. I enjoyed today's hike! The highlight of course was the climb up and views from Vroman’s Nose (I even saw a nesting falcon), but the walks out of West Fulton and into the All-American Town of Middleburgh were cool. It was nice to see civilization - a real town with stores, cafes, schools, ballfields, etc. By the way, the woods hike in between the towns was awesome too!! I got off trail once, at 4.0 miles. I missed the sharp left turn and went right-ward down the woods road ramp to the site of a broken old bridge over Pleasant Valley Stream. It seemed odd as the bridge looked like it was long a wreak from the times of Lyndon Johnson, but it did have a fresh aqua blaze on one of its posts. In addition, the wrong right-ward trail leading to it featured the ubiquitous brown signs from the Long Path North Hiking Club. Anyway, with the bridge out, the stream was truly impassable. However, I managed. I tossed a stone onto a boulder in the stream, jumped onto it with the help of my hiking poles, transferred to another rock, and then tight-roped on a downed tree to get to the other side. I was so proud!! - but it was short-lived. The aqua markers on far side of the stream were heading left (the directions above say go right after crossing Pleasant Valley Stream) and these markers seems to be sprayed over with white paint in an attempt to erase them. In another 0.2 miles I bumped into the fresh real aqua blazes and then the new wooden bridge (from the Trump era I presume) and realized my error. I backtracked all the way to my fateful turn to see where I went wrong. I clearly had my head down and did not see the turn-off (my life in a nutshell). It added an extra mile to the hike, but lessons learned - keep your head up and sometimes the best way is left. The turn at 5.4 miles was also sharp and miss-able, but this time I was on my game. My hiking poles proved very useful today! Besides facilitating my heroic stream crossing, they were invaluable in climbing up Vroman’s Nose. I first saw people hiking with poles 25 years ago in the Swiss Alps. I thought it was an unnecessary vice of effete Europeans, but have recently come to appreciate them - they become more useful as one ages - and I now never leave home without them. I'm reading the great book "Running the Long Path" by Ken Posner and he seems to have a similar history with hiking poles. The book is an amazing read for anyone experiencing the LP. I was proud to complete this penultimate region of the LP today. I have hiked in the Catskills since my teenage years but had never been north of the Escarpment until last week. The LP has a much greater public profile up here than in any other region to the south. Signs for the Long Path are everywhere. This may in part be attributable to the impressive efforts of the Long Path North Hiking Club and, lets face it, there isn't that much going on in these parts - but that's part of the attraction. On my drive home I couldn't get the famous Tony Bennett song out of my mind "I Left My Heart in the Northern Catskills".
Change_your_ways's picture

I descended the aqua blazed death trap to route 30 from Vromans. I had to go down backwards it was so dangerous and this helped injure my ligaments. Remove this blazed injury/ death trap now, it is completely negligent to blaze this area.