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Catskills Black Dome and Blackhead Loop

Difficult
 4.7 (10) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A loop trail that ascends both Black Dome and Blackhead mountains with some limited trail overlap.


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Map Key

6.2

Miles

9.9

KM

70%

Runnable

3,976' 1,212 m

High

2,195' 669 m

Low

2,245' 684 m

Up

2,247' 685 m

Down

14%

Avg Grade (8°)

54%

Max Grade (28°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

Overview

This trail will allow you to climb the 3rd and 4th highest peaks in the Catskills and enjoy some great views.

Description

This is a great run to get two Catskills mountains in a relatively short period. It was pretty quiet for us even on a holiday weekend. You can park right at the trailhead.

Head up the trail to the spur on your right (south). After this it is a very consistent moderate slope to the shoulder between Black Dome and Black Head. Go right (west) to the summit of Black Dome. There are a few steep spots requiring scrambling but there were plenty of good hand holds.

Black Dome is fairly flat and wooded on top (the pines give it a dark appearance from far away, hence the names). Head a little past where the true summit is for a lovely viewpoint to the south. Trace your path back to the shoulder then continue east up the clear trail to Blackhead. Again, the best views are before and after the true summit due to the pine trees. The loop part of the trail will take you down a very steep section before moderating on a lovely trail back to the parking area.

Note: you could easily add Tomas Cole Mountain onto this run by continuing west after Black Dome. This would not add a ton of distance, but will add a good amount of elevation. If you really fancy a long run or are backpacking, you could continue north after Blackhead along the ridge and bag Windham High Peak for another 35'er and a more complete loop.

Contacts

Shared By:

Karl W

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 10 votes

#835

Overall
  4.7 from 10 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#15

in New York

#835

Overall
55 Views Last Month
6,124 Since Jan 22, 2017
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Photos

Black Dome stands in the distance from the Blackhead West Viewpoint.
Jan 27, 2017 near Cairo, NY
The trails are all clearly marked in the Windham Blackhead Range Wilderness.
Jan 22, 2017 near Cairo, NY
Gorgeous views await from the summit of Black Dome.
Jan 24, 2017 near Cairo, NY
Snow in the Black Dome Valley
Apr 11, 2019 near Cairo, NY
As the view east from Blackhead Mountain shows, New York gets flat fast east of the Catskills!
Jan 24, 2017 near Cairo, NY
Big Hollow Road Starting Out
Apr 11, 2019 near Cairo, NY

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Apr 27, 2018
George Weld
Did all but the dogleg on the descent: https://www.strava.com/activities/1537283667 5.1mi