Vroman’s Nose is a little mountain with a giant view. Located just outside the Village of Middleburgh, this small peak has been a hiking favorite for thousands of people. I would imagine that many avid hikers got their start here.
Hike Length: 1.5 miles
Route Type: Loop
Total Ascent: 533'
How Hard: Easy
Although not typically thought of being Catskill, these hills are akin to their more prominent members inside the Blue line. Arnold Guyot, the geologist who measured much of the Appalachian chain, felt the Catskill escarpment included Leonard Hill, which is not too far from Vroman’s Nose.
Most people who hike Vroman’s Nose will do so from Mill Valley Road, where there is ample parking. Beginning the hike here allows the hiker to decide on taking the moderate Green Trail or the combined steeper climbing of the Yellow and Blue Trails to the summit. All other trail-heads involve steep climbing to the top.
Vroman’s Nose is a great family or beginners hike. It is also an excellent place for a quick climb to great views and a resting place to have lunch. If you start from Mill Valley Road as we did on this day, you’ll notice all the signage. Unfortunately, due to its location, the trail attracts people who will vandalize anything of great value, including markers and signs.
Another hike nearby: Leonard Hill and Hubbard Hill Two of the Scary 19
As you leave the parking area and head uphill, the first thing you’ll notice is a large sign showing how glaciers formed Vroman’s Nose. This is the last remaining sign of a complete nature and history tour done as an Eagle Scout Project. Vandals have stolen the other 10 – 15 signs.
At the sign, you’ll head left into the woods. You will come to the trail register soon. You will be on the green trail. The walking is pleasant as you begin to climb out of the valley. After about a 160-foot climb, you will reach a junction with the Yellow Trail. A sign points right to “the view.” Both trails lead to the summit. The Green Trail is less steep and has some lovely views, which get progressively better as one turns up the summits west ridge.
Taking the Green Trail, the grade soon eases, and you’ll be walking on a level contour for a bit. Pay attention as even here on Vroman’s Nose; you can run into all kinds of Catskill wildlife. One day climbing through some wet areas, we found a bear track. Another thing you’ll notice is the stone wall attesting to the land use of this place.
As you ascend, you may see a path come in from the right. This path is the red trail coming up from Rt 30. This is the most strenuous trail on Vroman’s Nose. It is also part of the Long Path, so you will now see aqua blue markings on the trees.
You’ll start to see some glimpses of the incredible views to come. You’ll have a few short-level sections mixed in with steeper climbing. As you progress up the ridge, you’ll notice several rock ledges.
As you get to this point, please beware that a drop off the cliffs can be deadly. A few years ago, several men got stuck on the cliffs and needed to be rescued!
The views up and down the Schoharie Valley are second to none. Directly below are some of the most fertile lands in New York. You’ll gaze at miles of farmland. In season, make sure you stop at one of the many excellent farm stands; you’ll be glad you did.
The winding Schoharie Creek, which has its headwaters on Twin and Indian Head Mountains slopes in the Catskill Park, seems so small in the valley far below. On many days keep a watch out for turkey vultures or hawks circling above. On the horizon, you’ll begin to see the Catskill higher peaks rising.
As you move along the long flat summit, take in the flora. Look at the cliff line and see dwarf oaks, pitch pine, and cedars (some of which are 150+ years old). Look closer; in season, you’ll find wild blueberry!
After departing the summit’s level ground, you’ll find blue/aqua markings on trees that head into the woods. The blue trail will drop steeply off the summit. You’ll need to watch your steps here. Keep an eye out for the yellow connector trail. This is what you will take to get back to the Green Trail and parking area.
If you’re in the Schoharie Valley near Middleburgh, Vroman’s Nose is well worth the trip. If you’d like, try hiking “The Cliffs” on the other side of Middleburgh. This is part of the Long Path and is also worth the effort, but it is harder.
Click on trails for information. Trail locations not exact.
Posts done in collaboration by Chris and Scott