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Bonticou Crag Route

Difficult
  4.7 ( 15 ) Favorite

Trail

2.3 mile 3.7 kilometer loop
86% Runnable
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 412' 126 m
Descent: -426' -130 m
High: 1,080' 329 m
Low: 688' 210 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 24% (14°)

Dogs

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Trail shared by Gunks Jesse

One of the best runs in the Gunks combining awesome views with precarious running!

Gunks Jesse

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

This run is probably one of the most popular destinations for non-climbers in the Gunks. It begins in a meadow, traverses through some hills, then scrambles up the side of Bonticou Crag, providing a very exposed feeling on the way up. Bonticou Crag has an incredible 360 degree view of the surrounding countryside, including the Wallkill Valley, the Catskills, the Gunks, and much more! The run continues along the ridge, where it descends and reenters the forest below to loop back around to the parking area.

Need to Know

Bring water and be aware that the scramble up Bonticou is intense and rocky. Don't do this run if a storm is in the forecast. The top of the crag is very exposed and offers almost no protection from lightning strikes.

Description

Begin at the Spring Farm parking area and run north along the parking lot on Farm Road. Take the obvious right on Crag Trail (red blazes) where it crosses an open meadow along a hedgerow. Stay straight on Crag Trail as it crosses Cedar Drive and Spring Farm Road. Crag Trail will dead end at the 5-way intersection with Cedar Drive and Bonticou Road. A pond will be visible directly in front of you.

Turn left, but stay right to take Bonticou Road as it begins a traverse around a small rise. Enjoy the view of the small depression on the left and look for wildflowers in this area. As you work around the rise, Bonticou Crag will come into view. Bonticou Ascent Path (yellow blazes) breaks off to the left at an obvious intersection directly in front of Bonticou Crag.

Take the ascent path as it rises through the talus pile and access the ridge via a notch in the wall. Be careful to follow the yellow blazes painted on the rocks and stay on course. Enjoy the scenery and explore the top of the crag. From this point, you may choose to descend and return the way you came (a popular but more risky route as the descent is a bit more perilous than the ascent).

Or, continue along the yellow-blazed Bonticou Ascent Path as it heads north along the ridge. After a half mile or so it will meet up with the Northeast Trail (blue blazes), and descend through a narrow and steep path. Use roots and rocks to balance as you descend. Follow Northeast Trail as it descends into the base of a small gulley. As soon as it starts to rise, Cedar Trail (red blazes) tees in from the right. Take Cedar Trail north past Cedar Drive to where it dead ends into Table Rocks Trail (blue blazes). Turn left on Table Rocks Trail and follow it all the way back to the parking area.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background

Contacts

Land Manager: Mohonk Preserve

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Check-Ins

Jul 13, 2019
Phil Stamato
Jul 6, 2019
Lily Fierman

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 15 votes

#421

Overall
  4.7 from 15 votes
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4 Star
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Featured Run Rankings

#8

in New York

#421

Overall
366 Views Last Month
8,197 Since May 5, 2015
Difficult

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15%
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38%
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Photos

This is one of the difficult parts along the Bonticou Ascent Path.
Apr 27, 2017 near New Paltz, NY
Vibrant leaves grace the view from the northern tip.
Feb 1, 2017 near New Paltz, NY
Enjoy this view of the Catskills from the top of the scramble.
Feb 1, 2017 near New Paltz, NY
Winter Spring trailhead and views north to the Catskills.
Sep 8, 2019 near Stone R…, NY
Enjoy this view of the Catskill Mountains from the Million Dollar View Vantage Point.
Feb 1, 2017 near Stone R…, NY
The beginning of the rock scramble to gain the ridge at Bonticou Crag
May 5, 2015 near New Paltz, NY

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