32. Middleburgh to Albany County Line

Section 32: Middleburgh to Lawton Hollow Road

Quick Facts

Distance: 10.6 miles
Parks: Cotton Hill State Forest, Dutch Settlement State Forest
Maps: Interactive Map
Print-Friendly Version: Link

General Description

After leaving Middleburgh, the Long Path ascends the Cliffs. The trail route follows the edge of the cliffs, where there are spectacular views across and down the Schoharie Valley. Caution is required at all viewpoints, as they drop right off. Beyond the cliffs, the trail crosses the head of “The Gorge” and traverses through Cotton Hill State Forest and Dutch Settlement State Forest. The hike through Cotton Hill is a pleasant variety of trail and old woods roads. The forest varies from hemlock to red and white pine. As you enter each section of the forest, a climb to a high point is required. The Cotton Hill sections revolve around the northeast corner of Schoharie County. The section ends spectacularly after the trail crosses Canady Hill, with great open views to the Catskills and Partridge Run and Cole Hill in Albany County. The eastern and western ends of this section follow private property, while the middle 5 miles are on state land.


Take the New York State Thruway to Exit 21 (Catskill). Take NY Route 23 west about 8 miles to NY Route 145. Take NY Route 145 west about 30 miles to the Village of Middleburgh. The trail section begins at the intersection of Route 145 and Route 30 in the Village of Middleburgh.


0.00  Village of Middleburgh (town park; elementary school). (Unlocated)
0.35  Straub Lane, at end of MT Path cul-de-sac. (Unlocated)
4.75  Durfee Road, in shale pit. (42.62752°, -74.28854°)
6.10  Treadlemire Road, at snowplow turn-around. (42.62352°, -74.27377°)
8.10  Cotton Hill Road (on shoulder). (42.62127°, -74.24890°)
10.50  Canady Hill Road (on shoulder). (Unlocated)


4.40 - 5.80  Cotton Hill State Forest is entered at mile 3.95, at first the the state land is thin strip of land. At around mile 4.4 the state land widens out to allow legal camping. Camping is allowed in the Cotton Hill State Forest 150 feet away from the trail, water and road.

6.30  Cotton Hill Lean-to, 0.2 mi east of Treadlemire Road.
Camping is allowed in the Dutch Settlement State Forest 150 feet away from the trail, water and road.

Trail Description

0.00  The trail turns east on NY Route 145 on the sidewalks through the Village of Middleburgh.

0.35  Past the blinking traffic light, the trail turns left from Main Street onto Straub Lane. Follow Straub Lane (which becomes MT Path) past the Cliffside Senior Apartments complex and several new homes toward the base of the Cliffs and cul-de-sac, where there is room to park a couple of cars.

0.75  From the cul-de-sac, the trail departs to the right on a dirt road to a shale pit on the left. The trail leaves the dirt road to the left for a steep ascent above the shale pit and enters a recently logged area, crosses several logging roads and continues to climb.  A lemon squeeze is encountered in the cliff to reach the top. (To avoid the squeeze, continue on the dirt road which swings around the cliffs and reconnects to the trail at the top.) Just below the lemon squeeze is an eastern cedar tree that has been dated to be about 500 years old, the oldest cedar in New York and maybe the whole Northeast.

1.10  Once at the top, the best views of the village, Vroman’s Nose and Vromansland are captured. Continue north along the cliffs on an all-purpose trail.

1.40  A four-way intersection is reached. The woods road to the right leads back down to the cul-de-sac via "The Gorge," making for a short loop hike. The LP follows on the level to the left and continues along the cliffs edge.

1.65  There are spectacular views across the Schoharie Valley all along the escarpment. The forest is mixed with hemlock, red and white pine, and some hardwoods.

2.05  The trail intersects a series of logging roads and turns right to “The Gorge” side on property owned by the Trail Conference.

2.15  At an oak tree with a carved arrow, the trail turns onto another woods road to the left and ascends.

2.40  The trail levels to reach a "T" intersection with an old snowmobile trail. Turn left and ascend the ridge. As it rises to the 1700 foot high point, the trail crosses an old logging road and connects with the main all-purpose ridge trail.

2.80  After some level ridge walking, the trail descends slightly passing an old flagstone quarry. Pass a logging road to the right and then one to the left. 

3.15  The LP turns right and leaves the ridge trail to descend to the head of "The Gorge." There is a quick right-left jog as the trail crosses an older woods road and continues to descend along a spring on the left and a recent logged area on the right.

3.50  The trail crosses three streams. Between the streams are views north through an open field.

3.75  Cross the third stream and ascend to the Cotton Hill State Forest through a logged area.

3.95  Reaching the state forest boundary corner, the trail turns left to follow a narrow strip of state land. On the left is an old “stump fence” that was constructed when the land was cleared many years ago.

4.30  Cross under power lines with a view left toward an old farmstead. The trail continues north through hemlocks.

4.75  The trail crosses Durfee Road. A shale pit parking area is to the right. Continue uphill through a red and white pine forest on the right and hardwoods on the left.

4.90  At the top of the hill, the trail bears right, connects with a woods road, and soon descends.

5.00  The trail “Ts” into another woods road and turns left. On the right is an old well that was built to be used by forest firefighters in the 1930's to fill their “Indian Fire Pumps” that they would carry on their backs. If the fire got out of control, the firefighters could seek refuge in the well.

5.10  The trail “Ts” into another woods road and turns right and descends to yet another “T”. Turn left and follow the road between stonewalls, passing a snowmobile trail to the right, to the state forest boundary and private property.

5.40  The trail turns right leaving the woods road and descends to a gorge. At the gorge edge, the trail bears left and follows the gorge through hemlocks ascending to Treadlemire Road.

5.80  Turn left and follow Treadlemire Road uphill passing several houses.

6.10  On the right is a small parking area and snowplow turn-around where the trail exits the back and enters the Dutch Settlement State Forest on a woods road.  In 300 feet, the LP turns left from the road to wind through a narrow crevice in a rock out-crop which resembles elephant skin. Linking back to the logging road, the trail turns left and ascends steeply. 

Cotton_Hill leanto

Cotton Hill lean-to. 2001 [ED WALSH]

6.30  The trail turns left from the logging road and follows a north-western escarpment to a lean-to with views to northern Schoharie County.

6.40  Cross Cotton Hill (a.k.a. Babcock 2) with an elevation of 2114 feet. To the left, about 52 paces, are the USGS survey monument and a radio/communications tower.

6.95  Descend along the north border of state land and turn left crossing a stone wall at the corner boundary. Soon the trail bears right, descends slightly, and then levels again.

7.40  Reach a woods road, turn right and emerge at an old farmstead clearing and a DEC access road. This road is the boundary between state land on the left and private land on the right.

7.80  A snowmobile trail comes in on the left. Continue straight and pass another firefighter well on the left; the road bears to the right to reach Cotton Hill Road.

8.10  Cross Cotton Hill Road and descend to the right and cross a foot bridge over a tributary of Fox Creek. Follow the stream down for a short distance and then climb the bank to reach an old woods road. Ascend to the right along this road through a white and red pine forest.

8.55  The trail leaves the road, turning right and climbing steeply. (Watch close for a big turn arrow.) At the top of the hill, the trail continues south along Cotton Hill’s eastern boundary. The trail soon begins to descend.

8.90  Before reaching another boundary corner, the trail crosses a DEC access road that leads out to Brooky Hollow Road. At the corner, the trail turns left and stays on the state land.

9.10  The Long Path bears right and descends along the state forest boundary. While descending the trail enters private land. Camping, fires, etc. are prohibited beyond this point.

9.30  Turn left. The trail crosses a small stream and levels out.

9.40  Cross another small stream and ascend steeply through the woods to a woods road, which is 100 feet below the top of Canady Hill. Turn right and follow this road.

9.90  The trail turns left off the woods road and climbs over the hill.

9.95  Continue downhill following the right side of a hedgerow, then crossing the hedgerow to reach a grassy field drive which leads out to Canady Hill Road.

10.30  This area is very wet during the spring, but unavoidable.

10.50  The Long Path turns right onto Canady Hill Road.

10.60  This section ends at the intersection of Canady Hill and Lawton Hollow Roads. Note that the next section continues south on Canady Hill Road except during hunting season, when a section of Long Path through private property is closed and a roadwalk detour starting on Lawton Hollow Road is necessary.


Previous Section: Section 31
Next Section: Section 33

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

garate's picture

I send this link contain more pictures and data about this section http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=9839159      
kennykb's picture

I grabbed some GPS tracks of the area yesterday, and there are a couple of glitches in the track in the online map. The track ascends The Cliff by the woods road that's the workaround for the lemon squeeze, not by the blazed trail. Farther up, on the first eastward turn off the cliff top, it wanders off on the wrong logging road and does a nice little excursion before rejoining the blazed trail. Over on openstreetmap.org, you can find corrected tracks for the main Long Path, the woods road/ATV trail that bypasses the scramble, and most of that section of snowmobile trail 7B. I didn't GPS anything else, both for want of time and for not knowing how any of the landowners feel about trespassers. I see that nobody in the area troubles to post until you get up to the turn to Cole Hill. I'm pretty confident that the tracks on OpenStreetMap between Middleburgh village and Durfee Road are within 30 feet or so of being correct, and I'd be quite astonished indeed if they're over 100 feet off.
Gedalyamil's picture

I knew today's hike would be special and I wanted to share the experience with someone. I also did not want to pay a steep taxi shuttle fee for the 3rd time this week, so I convinced my wife to join me and drive a second car. It wasn't easy, but my incessant pleading wore her down till she reluctantly agreed. I utilized the second best marriage advice I have ever been given. "Ko-fen oh-tuh ad sh'yomer roe-tzuh ani". It's Aramaic and basically means "Bug her until she says yes". It was a great hike! In fact, it was my traditional wife's fourth on the LP and probably her favorite in the series. The single best marriage advice I was ever given is actually “Tafasta meruba, lo tafasta”. It's also an old Aramaic axiom that means “If you grab too much, you will hold nothing”. I completely spurned that advice today by informing my wife that we would not only hike the 10.6 miles of section 32, but we would start from the parking lot at the Vroman's Nose Trailhead, rather than in Downtown Middleburgh. It added~2.5 miles to the hike, but turns out it was a terrific way to start the day. We ascended the green trail up the back of the Nose before meeting aqua-blazed LP. The sky was clear today and the mountain and valley views from the Nose were spectacular. I encourage anyone hiking section 32, but skipping 31, to add on Vroman's Nose. After descending, I hooked a left on Church Street and a right on Mill Valley Road to get back to Route 30, as I thought this way was slightly more scenic than the official LP route that I had hiked earlier this week on section 31. When we finally arrived in Middleburgh proper, my wife loved the stroll thru Downtown. She's more of a city mouse than a country mouse and this suited her well. By the way, the Stewart's Shop in Middleburgh is beautiful! Definitely the most upscale Stewart's Shop in New York State. The Middleburgh Central School is also impressive and there is ample parking in the rear next to the well-kept athletic fields. I loved the authentic feel of this town. As we passed the Cliffside Senior Apartments, I thought this may be a good place for my in-laws should they ever decide to downsize. We actually missed the left turn off the dirt road at 0.8 miles as we must have been hiking (again) with our heads down, but we quickly recovered when we failed to see aqua blazes. The only other trouble spot was at ~3.6 miles where a newly fallen tree obscured the way. This made me again appreciate the amazing job that the volunteers do to upkeep the trail each year!! These trails would be difficult to navigate if they were ignored for as little as one season. I loved the lemon squeeze. I fit thru it, but only after temporarily disposing of my backpack. I wasn't sure which of the trees here was the 500 year-old cedar, but it was nevertheless inspiring to be in its presence. The views from the Cliffs above Middleburgh rivaled those from Vroman's Nose. The Christmas lights decorating some of the trees up there detracted slightly from the natural setting, but you can hardly blame the citizens of Middleburgh who take great pride in these cliffs. There were a number of energizing climbs in this hike. Other highlights included the "Elephant skin" boulders and the refreshing open grassy area in the last mile. We hardly noticed the wet ground here as our boots were already partially soaked by this point. We coincidentally encountered a friendly hunter when we were within 0.2 miles of the terminus. He encouraged us to make noise as we moved as it's turkey hunting season all thru the month of May (I thought hunting season was in the Fall.....I'm glad we weren't shot). He also said he saw two big bears nearby. My traditional wife would've freaked out if we weren't already within view of our car. I think I'm going to be carrying a cannister of bear spray the rest of the way. With just 3 hikes left to completing the LP, I've got too much on the line to risk being mistaken for Goldilocks.