New Hiking Trail: Ashokan Quarry Trail

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New Hiking Trail: Ashokan Quarry Trail

A short, super-easy hike almost anyone can do — with fantastic terrain and scenic views, and a superb set of ruins to explore.

Hike Length: 2.0 miles (3.22 km)

Total Ascent: 189ft (58m)

Intensity: Easy Hike

Route Type: Lollipop

Includes: Blazed Trail, Easy Bushwhack

Parent Ashokan High Point

Similar Entries In: Best Hikes, Catskills, Nature Walks, , , , , .

Scenic Catskills View

Ashokan High Point

 This track includes an off-trail section which is why the total length shown here differs from the advertised length, which is what most hikers would do.

Hiking Trail Description

The Ashokan Quarry Trail is a brand new, short, but highly entertaining hike most people will be able to do in under an hour. It’s so varied in terms of terrain, flora, views and ruins, it’s a hit with younger hikers, too.

This trail was built by the Catskill Mountain Club and the NYC DEP, with support from the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program. More info on the Catskill Mountain Club’s page.

Getting There: How to Find the Trailhead

There’s currently no road-side signage for the trailhead, so it’s easy to miss. The entrance is in the Acorn Hill Unit on the south side of the Ashokan Reservoir. It’s just a minute or two west of The Lemon Squeeze lot on 28A. The entrance to the lot is in the south side of the road — that is, if you’re driving west, it’ll be on your left.

(You can see the exact topographic location of the trailhead at the bottom of this page.)

Enter the trail past the iron gate and begin hiking uphill. No single section of this trail is very long before the terrain and the flora change around you dramatically.

The first notable thing you pass is a small ruin on your left.

stone building ruins
First set of ruins

Not long after the ruin, you’ll come to the first intersection.

Turn left and head uphill, following the blue blazes.

After another 1000’ the trail turns abruptly to the right and leads you quickly to this spectacular view, which looks west to Ashokan High Point

Scenic Catskills View
Ashokan High Point
Scenic Catskills View
Most of Burroughs Range, Samuels Point, and North Dome (very far right)

To the right of High Point, you can see most the Burroughs Range (Friday, Cornell and Wittenberg) and Samuels Point (the large hump in the middle of the photo above). Catskills 3500’ Mountain Club members and aspirants will be delighted to see, on the far right, North Dome.

Quarry Top

Not far after this panorama you come to the top of the main quarry, from where there’s another great view of Ashokan High Point.

Scenic Catskills View
Ashokan High Point from above the quarry

The trail winds around the top of the cliff, before heading downhill to the right. The blazing here is not always perfectly clear. When you get to the flat trail at the bottom of this section, just turn right and follow it past some dramatic rock bands.

rock face
Exposed quarry face

My Gaia GPA track shows the exploring I did around here. I went off-trail to follow the old flat rail bed as far as I could (to Samsonville Road) before turning around. Luckily, I decided to take a slightly different route back to the blue trail and discovered the ruins you’ll read about below. So, ignore the way my GPS track deviates here, and just stick to the blue-blazed trail.

Quarry Bottom

Back on the blue trail, right after the exposed/quarried rock band, you’ll come to the main quarry. It’s just off-trail on the right.

quarry, ice
The Quarry

From here, the trail leads straight back to the first intersection and, from there, back to the parking lot.

However, if you want to explore a little more before you go…

Mini-Bushwhack to Old Railway Ruins

At the quarry shown above, turn around and look directly across the trail. If you head in a straight line into the woods, about 300’ downhill, you’ll come to this fantastic set of old railway yard ruins.

 Help: This section has since been upgraded by the Catskill Mountain Club. A yellow-blazed spur trail now leads down to the ruins. See comments.
If you have feedback on this page, please comment below or feel free to contact me directly.

ruins in woods
Old railway ruins

I’d love to know how these old buildings and mechanisms were used.

ruins in woods
Old railway ruins
ruins in woods
Old railway ruins
ruins in woods
Old railway ruins
ruins in woods
Old railway ruins

A little farther down, two long, imposing stone walls stand facing each other — between them, I imagine, railroad cars were once parked and loaded with quarried stone from above…

two walls in the woods
Old railway ruins

Head back up to the blue trail, and turn left to return to your car.

There are no tricky or steep sections tough, obviously, care should be taken near any cliff faces. Very young children should be reigned in near the top of the quarry. Otherwise, this is a super fun and very family-friendly hike.

This easy hike is also a beautiful and scenic Catskills hike and is so fun, I’ve added it to my list of best Catskills hikes. It’s also short! Basically, I can’t recommend this hike enough.

If you do this hike, let me know how it goes in the comments below…

Trailhead Info for this Hike

Description: Medium-sized lot just a minute or two west of The Lemon Squeeze lot.

GPS Location: 41.93578, -74.22935

Location: The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead.

Cell Service

Good throughout. (My network is Verizon. YMMV.)

6 responses to “New Hiking Trail: Ashokan Quarry Trail

  1. Great pictures and a nice review. Readers might like to know that a spur trail to the railroad ruins is now marked with yellow. The trail was built and is maintained by the Catskill Mountain Club on a NYCDEP parcel. More information can be found on the website.

  2. Love this little trail! It’s got a lot to offer and many points of interest. The gravel in the beginning, however, is tough on the ankles and is difficult to traverse. Luckily it’s only for the first 10 minutes or so.

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