Acra Point & Batavia Kill Loop with Burnt Knob Lookout

Hike around the most gorgeous Catskills terrain. Stunning forests. Sparkling mountain streams. Epic views.

Hike Length: 6.0 miles (9.66 km)

Total Ascent: 1,200ft (366m)

Intensity: Moderate Catskills Hike

Route Type: Loop

Includes: Blazed Trail, Stream Crossing

Parent Acra Point

acre point view of burnt knob in The Catskills, a snowy mountain winter scene

Burnt Knob seen from Acra Point in winter

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 A beautiful moderate loop, rugged in spots.

Hiking Trail Description

Acra Point and Batavia Kill Loop with Burnt Knob is one of the most beautiful hikes in The Catskills. Gorgeous trails for miles, plus two amazing lookouts.

This is a favorite hike of mine because it’s short but stunning. It loops through one of the most delightful parts of the Catskills, Black Dome Valley, which lies in the shadow of some of the finest Catskills High Peaks, Blackhead and Black Dome.

The view of the Blackhead Range from Acra Point is beaten only by the view of the same range (and more) from Burnt Knob Lookout.

All along the way, there are countless magical spots by streams and in the woods. Even the junctions are lovely. This whole area is so stunning, I think this ended up being perhaps the most beautiful trail guide on this whole website…?

Allow 4-5 hours for this hike.

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Acra Point & Batavia Kill Loop with Burnt Knob Hiking Trail

This route over Acra Point to the lookout on Burnt Knob includes…

  • Some of the very loveliest trails in The Catskills
  • All along Batavia Kill is stunning any time of year
  • Lots of footbridges
  • Spruce and hemlock forests
  • Great views of the Blackhead Range
  • A quick descent through stunning forest

This trail guide is new. The hike was completed on 12/3/21 under which date this page will eventually be filed.
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Acra Point / Burnt Knob Trail Notes & Gallery

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Begin by following the red blazes of the Batavia Kill Trail southeast from the parking area at the end of Big Hollow Road.

At the first trail junction, continue straight and follow the yellow blazes along a 0.9 mile spur trail that runs beside Batavia Kill.

snow-dusted winter trail in The Catskills
Trail along Batavia Kill

Enjoy several cute footbridges along the way…

snow-dusted footbridge
One of several footbridges on this route

Stop to visit the lean-to if you have time. It’s tucked a short distance off the main trail.

After the lean-to, the trail takes a switchback up to the second junction.

trail signage in snowy forest
Junction to Acra Point or Blackhead

This is one of my favorite junctions. It’s just so lovely. There are a bunch of spruce trees here, and the area reminds me a little of the Adirondacks.

At the junction, turn left and hike north toward Acra Point. For the next several miles, follow the blue blazes of the Escarpment Trail.

I’d never seen these kinds of frozen droplet ice-pendants before but on this day, all along this section of trail, I noticed maybe 200 of them, hanging like jewels in the forest.

frozen water droplet in pine needles
Ice-pendant on spruce twig

The trail up is rugged in spots…

rugged boulder-filled trail heading to Acra Point
Rugged trail

rugged boulder-filled trail heading to Acra Point
Rugged trail

But there are many beautiful things to see if you keep your eyes open…

tree trunks twisting around each other
Twisted dancing tree lovers

Bookah’s Bump

About half way along this trail section, I did a quick bushwhack to explore the sub-summit known as Bookah’s Bump. I thought there might be some views of the Blackhead range but I didn’t find any.

The summit of Bookahs Bump was unremarkable except for these totally fantastic Tim Burton trees…

gnarly trees at summit of Bookahs Bump
Summit of Bookah’s Bump

Summit of Acra Point

Pass over the summit of Acra Point. It’s not much, either. There used to be an open escarpment view but now it’s grown over.

Continue about half-a-mile west and then look to the left side of the trail for an entry to a fantastic lookout…

Acra Point Lookout

Until I saw the view from below Burnt Knob, I though this view was pretty amazing. Because it is! Directly across the way, you can see Blackhead, Black Dome and Thomas Cole.

Blackhead Range seen from Acra Point
Blackhead, Black Dome, Thomas Cole, seen from Acra Point in summer

This is a great spot to rest and snack, and to revisit in different seasons. To the right, you can see Burnt Knob in the distance…

acre point view of burnt knob in The Catskills, a snowy mountain winter scene
Burnt Knob seen from Acra Point in winter

From here, it’s a short distance downhill to the third junction, and then only 0.4 miles to the Burnt Knob Lookout.

Burnt Knob Lookout

There’s one spot on the way to the lookout that’s a little steep. I’m always glad I have my microspikes, and I‘ve put them on just for this one short section several times.

At 0.4 miles from the junction, look on your left for the short herd path down to the lookout. It’s easy to miss. If you end up walking on a long flat section, you’ve passed it and need to turn back.

The view from the large ledge kills me. There’s so much to take in. The Blackhead Range and Camels Hump

Blackhead Range seen from Burnt Knob
Blackhead, Black Dome, Thomas Cole, seen from Burnt Knob Lookout

This is another great spot to revisit in different seasons…

Blackhead Range seen from Burnt Knob
Blackhead, Black Dome, Thomas Cole, seen from Burnt Knob Lookout

Notice the house below the summit of Blackhead. The trail from the parking area actually passes this house on the way up through the notch…

blackhead mountain seen from Burnt Knob
Blackhead Mountain (with Arizona Mountain behind)

house in forest below mountain summit
House below Blackhead

You can bushwhack up to the top of Burnt Knob. I haven’t done it yet, as I’m usually pretty tired by this point. You can also hike 2.35 miles west from here to the summit of Windham High Peak.

Arizona Mountain

Looking through the notch, you can see Arizona Mountain peeking up from behind Blackhead’s northern ridge. (The notch is the location of the second junction on this route. So a while ago you were there!)

Arizona mountain summit seen from Burnt Knob Lookout
Arizona Mountain in summer

Arizona mountain summit seen from Burnt Knob Lookout
Arizona Mountain in fall

Arizona is a special mountain itself, with one of the great Catskills views tucked on one side.

Descent to Black Dome Valley

Head back to the third junction, turn right, and begin the quick 1.1 mile descent to Big Hollow Road. Follow the red blazes.

About ⅔ the way down, you’ll pass through a particularly beautiful hemlock forest into which two mountain streams converge.

beautiful mountain stream
Mountain stream

All around here is insanely pretty, with some very old hemlock trees…

hemlock trees at sundown
Hemlock grove

hemlock trees at sundown
Hemlock grove

hemlock trees in summer
Hikers in hemlock grove

hemlock trees at sundown
Hemlock grove

Make your way to the final footbridge, which is right next to Big Hollow Road.

final footbridge from Acra Point and Burnt Knob
Footbridge over Batavia Kill

Your car is close by.

Similar Hikes

This is definitely one of the most beautiful hikes in The Catskills.

The mix of trail and views here reminds me of the new trail up to Red Hill Fire Tower, and is similar in some respects to Baxter Mountain in the Adirondacks.

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The parent mountain for this hike is Acra Point.

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Trailhead Info for this Hike

Plenty of space, but this is one of the most popular lots in The Catskills.

Google Maps Location: 42.289049, -74.115395

The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead

Cell Service

None at trailhead. Patchy on the eastern Escarpment segment. Patchier on Burnt Knob. My network is Verizon. YMMV.

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Hello, I’m Sean

I write independent hiking content to help hikers like you find amazing hikes in the Catskills, Adirondacks, Gunks, Hudson Highlands, Taconics and beyond.

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