Catskill Mountaineer

Blackhead, Black Dome, and Thomas Cole Mountains

Blackhead Mountain
View of Blackhead Mountain(left) and Black Dome Mountain (right)
 

OVERVIEW

  Trail Name:  Black Dome Ridge Trail (Big Hollow PA to Batavia Kill Trail)
  Trail Name:  Batavia Kill Trail (Black Dome Trail to Escarpment Trail)
  Trail Name:  Escarpment Trail (Batavia Kill Trail to Blackhead Mtn Summit)
  Trail Name:  Blackhead Mountain Trail (Blackhead Summit to Lockwood Gap)
  Trail Name:  Black Dome Ridge Trail (Lockwood Gap to Thomas Cole to Big Hollow PA)
   
  Parking Area : Big Hollow Road Parking Area)
  Winter Access: Parking Area is NOT plowed in the Winter
  Camp sites: 1 Camp Site location
  Lean-to sites: 1 Lean-to
   
  Trail Length: 8.56 miles
  Trail Type: 100% Single-track trail
  Hiking Time: Average 5-6 hours round trip
  BH Elevation: 3,942' (A)
  BD Elevation: 3,985' (A)
  TC Elevation: 3,943' (A)
  Elevation Gain (Slide): Gain of 1,795'
  Views : Many view spot
  Difficulty: Very Difficult
  Access Methods: Foot and Snowshoeing.
   
  USGS Map: USGS Freehold Quad Maps
   
  USGS Map: USGS Hensonville Quad Maps
   
  DEC Trail Map: DEC Windham-Blackhead Wilderness Map (free)
   
  Digital Mapper: Topo      Terrain      Satellite

Maps

gps map of hike to windham high peak

 

Directions to BIG HOLLOW ROAD Parking Area

 
  • Big Hollow Road Parking Area WGS84 (DEC): 42.289297963, -74.116077991 - Elevation is about 2,194 feet
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  • Big Hollow Road Parking Area Deg/Min/Sec: N42 17 21, W74 06 57 - Elevation is about 2,194 feet
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  • Big Hollow Road Parking Area GPS: N 42 17.358, W 74 06.965 - Elevation is about 2,194 feet
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  • Big Hollow Road Parking Area UTM: 18N 572872 4682276 - Elevation is about 2,194 feet

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  • Take New York State Thruway to Exit 21 (Catskill).
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  • Take a left out of the NYS Thruway entrance road.
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  • Go approximately 1/4 mile
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  • Take a right onto Route 23 West
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  • Go approximately around 21.5 miles on Route 23.
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  • Take a left onto County Rt 65 (Main Care Gas Station on Right - Condos on left).
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  • Go approximately 0.7 miles on Route 65.
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  • Take left onto Rt 65A.
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  • Go approximately 0.3 miles on Rt 65A .
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  • Continue Straight onto Rt 40 after stop sign.
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  • Go approximately 1.8 miles on Rt 40.
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  • Take a left onto Rt 56 (3-way intersection in Maplecrest).
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  • Follow Rt 56 approximately 4.2 miles
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  • Continue off the asphalt road to the gravel road until you reach the DEC parking lot.
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  • Do NOT block driveway in the DEC parking lot. This goes to someones house.
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  • Do NOT drive beyond the DEC parking lot. This is someones driveway.
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  • Land around the DEC parking lot and the beginning of the trail is PRIVATE land. Please respect private landowners.
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  • After leaving your first car at this parking lot reverse course about 3 miles to Peak Road.
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  • Take a RIGHT onto Peak Road and follow it to the end. This is the second DEC parking lot.


  • MILEAGE CHART for Blackhead-Black Dome-Thomas Cole Mtns

      Mile Point Altitude  Notes
     0.052,204' From the Parking Lot head further up the road, which turns into a trail.
     0.612,350' Trail Junction. Go LEFT over 3rd wooden bridge Right goes to Black Dome.
     1.302,679' DEC Batavia Kill Lean-to.
     1.642,819' Trail Junction. Go RIGHT to Blackhead Mtn. Left goes to Acra Point.
     1.993,147' View Point #1 on Blackhead - Limited Views
     2.133,278 View Point #2 on Blackhead - Good Views.
     2.533,942 Blackhead Summit
     2.593,877 View Point #3 on Blackhead - Good Views.
     2.723,828' View Point #4 on Blackhead - Excellent Views.
     2.913,942' Blackhead Summit.
     3.273,778' View Point #5 on Blackhead - Excellent Views of Black Dome.
     3.533,448 Trail Junction in Lockwood Gap. Right goes to DEC parking Lot. Straight to Black Dome. Go STRAIGHT.
     4.073,448 Black Dome Summit.
     4.783,944 Thomas Cole Summit (no views)
     5.013,675' View Point #1 on Thomas Cole Peak - Poor views.
     5.243,944 Thomas Cole Peak
     6.003,448 Black Dome Peak.
     6.603,448 Trail Junction in Lockwood Gap. Left goes to DEC parking Lot. Straight to Blackhead. Go LEFT.
     7.952,350 Trail Junction. Go LEFT to parking lot. Right goes to Batavia Kill Trail.
     8.562,190 DEC Parking Lot - Hike is over.



    Hike Blackhead, Black Dome, and Thomas Cole Mtns

    Big Hollow Road Parking Area
    The picture on the LEFT is the DEC parking lot. Do not block the drive way on the west side of the parking lot. This crude driveway leads up to a summer house. The road that leads past the DEC parking lot leads to a house, so do NOT go beyond the DEC parking lot. The last 1/2 mile to the DEC parking lot is not plowed in the winter. Some people try to drive up (with 4WD) to the DEC parking lot in the winter and get stuck. The section of the road has a high crown, which caused 4WD to slip off the side of the road.

    The trailhead for this hike is further up this road.
    Black Dome Ridge Trailhead near Big Hollow Road Parking Area First Wooden bridge over the Batavia Kill Creek on the Black Dome Ridge Trail
    There are two trailheads near this parking area. You want the one that is further up the road. You should see this sign that is parallel to the Batavia Kill Creek.
    One of three wooden bridges over the Batavia Kill Creek. You will encounter two more wooden bridges over the next 6/10 of a mile.
    Third brdige over batavia kill creek  on the Black Dome Ridge Trail
    About 6/10 of a mile from the Big Hollow Road Parking Area, you will come to the third bridge. This is also a trail junction. You want to cross the bridge to hike up the Northeast side of Blackhead Mountain. This is the hardest route up Blackhead Mountain, which is steep. Once you cross over the bridge you will start hiking up the Batavia Kill Trail with YELLOW Trail Markers. You will pass the Batavia Kill Lean-to and campsites (2) before you reach the Escarpment Trail.

    You can also take the trail up the west of Blackhead Mountain on the Black Dome Ridge Trail (RED trail markers). It is about 2/10 of a mile longer, but not quite as steep.
    Batavia Kill Lean-to and campsites below Blackhead Mountain on the Batavia Kill Trail
    After another 3/4 of a mile you will encounter the DEC Batavia Kill Lean-to and two campsites. The first campsite is on the left side of the trail, and about 150 feet from the Lean-to trail and other campsite. The first campsite is small. The picture on the left shows what the lean-to looks like. The Batavia Kill Lean-to is located about 300 feet off the trail.
    Batavia Kill large campsite
    The second campsite is near the Batavia Kill Lean-to. The second campsite is fairly large and can accommodate a number of tents.
    trail junction for Batavia kill Trail and Escarpment Trail Beginning of Escarpment trail that goes up northeast side of Blackhead Mountain
    After about 1-2/3 of a mile from the Big Hollow Road Parking Area the Batavia Kill Trail will come to an end at the Escarpment Trail. Go RIGHT down the Escarpment Trail to Blackhead Mountain. Going left will take you to Acra Point, Burnt Knob, and Windham High Peak.
    The picture on the right (looking down the trail) show what the beginning section of the trail looks like on the way to the summit of Blackhead Mountain. The further up the mountain you travel, the steeper it gets. The last 150 vertical feet is the most difficult. The grade is around 35-to-40 degrees. In the winter you can snowshoe up to this last section with good snowshoes. But the last section may require cramp-ons and a good ice ax. We do not recommend this section for children. It is steep and dangerous.
    View Point on the northeast side of Blackhead Mountain
    After about 2 miles, at elevation 3,147, you will encounter your first view point. The first view spot has limited views. After another 500 feet of hiking you will come to the second view spot. The second view spot is very good. Blackhead summit is still another 795 feet above this view. Some of the view spots near the summit are far superior to this view.
    steep section of the northeast side of Blackhead Mountain Summit of Blackhead Mountain
    The picture on the right (looking down the trail) show what an average section of trail looks like. The further up the mountain you travel, the steeper it gets. The last 150 vertical feet is the most difficult. The grade is around 35-to-40 degrees. In the winter you can snowshoe up to this last section with good snowshoes. But the last section requires cramp-ons and a good ice ax. We do not recommend this section for children. It is steep and dangerous.
    Once you reach the summit of Blackhead Mountain there is some solid rock to stand on. You will also see this sign. Most hikers take a detour to see a couple excellent view points. To do that, take a left and hike down about 2/10 of a mile to two other view points. Once done you can hike back up and go down the other side. If you want to skip the view points to the south, just take a RIGHT at the sign and head towards Black Dome Mountain.
    view point from the southeast side of Blackhead Mountain
    This is the first view point off the southeastern side of Blackhead Mountain. The view are good. If you look at the rock there you will see "1935 Camp Steel" cut into the rock.
    view point from the southeast side of Blackhead Mountain
    A little bit further you will encounter the second view point.


    You can also see views of Stoppel Point past the right side of this picture. On a clear day, this view is spectacular!


    There is a third viewpoint further down the trail, but the large elevation drop is not worth the trip. After taking in the view, turn around and head back to the Blackhead peak. Once you reach the peak continue towards Black Dome.
    view from the west side of Blackhead Mountain
    After you hike back up to the summit and start to descend the northwest side of Blackhead Mountain you will encounter your 5th view point on Blackhead Mountain. The view is of Black Dome Mountain. This view point is close to the summit of Blackhead Mountain .
    Lockwood Gap view point from the eastern side of Black Dome Mountain
    After you descend down the northwest side of Blackhead Mountain you will reach the lowest point between Blackhead Mountain and Black Dome Mountain. This is Lockwood Gap. There are two signs at this trail junction. Continuing Straight will take you up Black Dome Mountain. Going Right will take you back to the Big Hollow Road Parking Lot. Continue STRAIGHT.
    The climb up Black Dome is as steep as the descent down Blackhead Mountain. There are a number of small ledges you have to climb up. It is a difficult climb. There are a couple view points along the climb of the east face of Black Dome Mountain. This is one of them.
    view point from the eastern side of Black Dome Mountain
    This is the view from a ledge on the top of Black Dome Mountain looking south. In the distance is Colgate Lake.
    view point from the eastern side of Black Dome Mountain
    Another view from the ledge on Black Dome Mountain
    view point from the eastern side of Black Dome Mountain
    This is a nice panoramic view from the ledge on Black Dome Mountain. The view is excellent!
    view point from the southern side of Black Dome Mountain
    This is the view from Black Dome Mountain. In the distance you can see Capra Lake and Colgate Lake.
    Thomas Cole Mountain camel's hump in the winter
    The trail from Black Dome Mountain to Thomas Cole mountain is rather easy when compared to the trip from Blackhead Mountain to Black Dome. Once you get to Thomas Cole Mountain, the peak is easy to miss. The peak of Thomas Cole is mile post 4.78 miles. There used to be a view point, but it is now overgrown. Once done return back to Lockwood Gap.
    If you decide to hike further to Camel's Hump, you can get a nice view of Windham High Peak.
    Lockwood Gap Spring on the south side of Black Dome Ridge trail
    Once you return back to Lockwood Gap, you want to take the Black Dome Ridge Trail to the Big Hollow Road Parking Area.
    About a 1/3 of a mile down the Black Dome Ridge Trail, there is a good spring on your right where you can get water.
    Wooden bridge #3 over the Batavia Kill Creek
    When you come back to this wooden bridge that you crossed earlier in the day, you want to keep walking. You do NOT want to cross the bridge.
    Wooden bridge #3 over the Batavia Kill Creek
    This is the second wooden bridge next to the Batavia Kill Creek.
    Wooden bridge #1 over the Batavia Kill Creek
    This is the Wooden bridge #1 and last bridge you will cross over the Batavia Kill Creek. Shortly after crossing this bridge, you will arrive back in the Big Hollow Road Parking Area. Hope you enjoyed the hike.
    Links and References:
     
    DEC Windham-Blackhead Wilderness Map (free)
     
    DEC Windham-Blackhead Wilderness Information
     
    USGS Freehold Topographic Map
     
    USGS Hendersonville Topographic Map
     

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