Dibbles Quarry & Beyond (Ultimate Guide)

A short, easy hike to a memorable quarry in one of The Catskills’ loveliest notches.

Hike Length: 3.3 miles (5.23 km)

Total Ascent: 650ft (198m)

Intensity: Easy Catskills Hike

Route Type: Out-and-Back

Includes: Blazed Trail, Herd Path, Rock Scrambles, Stream Crossing

Parent Sugarloaf

Similar Entries In: Catskills, Nature Trails, The Moderate Hikes, The Most Popular Hikes, , , , , , , .

Stone thrones made of quarried bluestone

Stone thrones in Dibbles Quarry

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 An straightforward out-and-back from Roaring Kill trailhead.

Hiking Trail Description

Dibbles Quarry is a beloved destination in The Catskills, nestled just a mile into the hollow between Twin and Sugarloaf Mountains. This is a delightful, moderate mountain hike.

Want giant bluestone thrones of unknown origin? You got it. Epic views? That too. The moderate hike in to Dibbles Quarry is just shy of a mile.

But there’s more to Dibbles Quarry than meets the eye. A “secret” area behind the main quarry. A waterfall below it. And, above it, so much goodness…

Not far beyond the quarry is one of The Catskills’ most idyllic stream crossings. After crossing, climb through a gorgeous hemlock grove to stand at the edge of a massive beaver pond.

It’s well worth exploring beyond the quarry, even if you don’t intend to continue up to Pecoy Notch to hike Twin or Sugarloaf.

Allow two hours for this short, memorable, scenic, very fun hike.

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Dibbles Quarry Hiking Trail

The Dibbles Quarry hiking trail includes…

  • Less than 1 mile moderate hike in
  • Beautiful mixed forest with several hemlock groves
  • Massive bluestone quarry
  • Epic views of Twin Mountain, Kaaterskill High Peak and the valley between
  • Beyond Dibbles Quarry:
    • Idyllic stream crossing with waterfalls
    • Steep hemlock grove
    • Vernal pool/meadow
    • Enormous beaver pond
    • Clear view of Pecoy Notch between Twin and Sugarloaf mountains

Dibbles Quarry Trail Notes & Gallery

This route begins at the Roaring Kill trailhead on Roading Kill Road in Elka Park.

Following the yellow blazes, hike in one quarter mile to the first junction. Bear left and head uphill, now following blue blazes.

After just 250 feet of elevation gain, the trail levels out and becomes nice and easy — although it can be muddy, here, so it’s wise to wear hiking boots rather than sneakers.

At 9/10ths of a mile from the trailhead, on the far side of a small hemlock grove, the trail dips down into Dibbles Quarry.

summer view of Dibbles Quarry
Dibbles Quarry in summer

The mountain seen straight ahead is Twin Mountain.

winter view of Dibbles Quarry
Dibbles Quarry in winter

The thrones are super fun to sit on…

hiker sits comfortably on a rock chair in Dibbles Quarry
My kiddo surveying her kingdom from the Bluestone Thrones

Stone thrones made of quarried bluestone
Stone thrones in Dibbles Quarry

snow-covered stone thrones made of quarried bluestone in dibbles quarry
Stone thrones in Dibbles Quarry in winter

Standing by the thrones, to your left you can see Round Top and Kaaterskill High Peak. Straight ahead, you can see down through Platte Clove. To your right, the large prominent mountain is Twin Mountain. (The route up Twin from Pecoy Notch is one of the most rugged, sketchiest (and funnest) trail sections in The Catskills.)

sunset cloudy view from dibbles quarry
View of Kaaterskill High Peak

The view from Dibbles Quarry is magical at any time of year…

Dibbles Quarry snowy scene
Snowy Platte Clove

On the far side of the quarry, the trail winds through mounds of abandoned bluestone shards.

mounds of bluestone shards in Dibbles Quarry
Dibbles Quarry

Look down and you’ll see some fun stone graffiti

stone graffiti in Dibbles Quarry
George, Gertie, Leo

Remember to Leave No Trace.

About Bluestone

Bluestone from New York is a kind of sandstone defined as feldspathic greywacke. Its sand-sized grains were deposited in the Catskill Delta during the Devonian Period, 370 to 345 million years ago.

About Dibbles Quarry

Dibbles Quarry was active in the 1800’s. It was abandoned in the twentieth century, like most other Catskills bluestone quarries, after concrete usurped bluestone as a building material.

Is Dibbles Quarry named after a local man called Mr. Dibbell? I don’t know but I do know that until 1928, when the U.S. Geographic Board formalized its current name, Sugarloaf Mountain was locally known as Dibble Mountain.

decision card showing alternate names of Sugarloaf mountain
US Geographic Board Decision Card

Notice the name of the assessor from Hunter: Geo. Dibbell. Also long ago, there was another assessor called H.E. Dibbell in Hunter. Perhaps they were related. Online, I’ve found recent references to current local Dibbells.

I also found references to a Dibbells Dam on Schohaire Creek which is nearby.

The Dibbells have a long history in this area.

Behind Dibbles Quarry

After the thrones, if you keep an eye to your right, somewhere along the tail you might find a way to get up behind the main quarry. Stepping off a hiking trail is a risk you have to assess for yourself. Proceed at your own risk.

I’ve passed through Dibbles Quarry many times before without noticing this back-of-quarry area.

area behind dibbles quarry
Behind Dibbles Quarry

This section was flooded after rain. I can’t wait to revisit it in winter.

more thrones behind dibbles quarry
Behind Dibbles Quarry

Below Dibbles Quarry

After rainfall, if you stand in Dibbles Quarry, you can hear gushing water below. On topographic maps, you’ll see a waterfall symbol in the area.

I’ve not yet visited these falls; the terrain directly around the quarry is too steep to hike down. But the falls sound fantastic. I need to find a non-sketchy route that heads down there…

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Beyond Dibbles Quarry

Back on the main trail, not far past the quarry, the route brings you to stunning riparian zone. The stream crossing, here, is one of my absolute favorites in The Catskills.

When the water is flowing heavily, it can be tricky to rock-hop to the far side. Trekking poles are helpful here for extra stability, or do like my hiking buddy did and pick up a sturdy branch …

hiker crossing a stream in The Catskills
Hiker crossing stream

After the crossing, the trail heads uphill to the right, through a hemlock grove. At the top of the incline, the trail turns left and passes a small vernal pool/meadow on the right. Keep going.

You’ll eventually pop out into a massive open area formed by what was once a beaver pond.

In winter it freezes over…

snowy beaver pond in winter
Winter view of the beaver pond

In summer it’s lush…

catskills beaver pond
Beaver pond and the edge of Sugarloaf

Enjoy the view of Twin and Sugarloaf mountains.

From here, you can make your way back to the trailhead, following the blue blazes until you get back to the junction, then the yellow blazes back to your car.

A Fun Fact

You’ve probably heard that bears hibernate in winter. Well, not quite. Not Catskills bears…

bear print in the snow on Sugarloaf Mountain in The Catskills
Large bear print with claw marks

In New York, black bears don’t fully hibernate. Even in deep winter, they’ll often pop outside to poke around for a bit. This photo was taken on the way to Dibbles Quarry on a brutally cold day in February.

The print is extremely fresh.

Happy hiking!

Similar Hikes

The hike as far as Dibbles Quarry is short and gentle enough that it qualifies as a Nature Walk. After that, there’s the stream crossing and the steep section up through the hemlock grove, which earn this full route its moderate rating.

Check out the short and lovely hike around Sloan Gorge Preserve, suitable and fun for families.

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The parent mountain for this hike is Sugarloaf.

If you do this hike, LMK how it went…

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Trailhead Info for this Hike

Medium-sized lot, popular, fills up quickly on weekends.

Google Maps Location: 42.151238, -74.131177

The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead

Cell Service

Patchy and weak signal at trailhead and for the entire hike. My network is Verizon. YMMV.