Trailhead sign for Acra Point Loop Hike

Hiking the Catskill’s Acra Point Loop

In the shadow of the big peaks that line the Black Dome Valley (aka Big Hollow Valley) in the Catskills sits Acra Point. This 3100′ peak is located just north of Blackhead Mountain and is part of “The Catskill 67”. The Acra Point Loop makes for a great day hike any time of the year. This peak is especially nice on busy days when loads of people are scrambling up into the Blackhead Range. You’ll be able to hike in relative solitude. Parking is at the end of Big Hollow Road.

Trailhead to Escarpment Trail

Your hike begins about a tenth of a mile back up the road from the trailhead parking on the Acra Point – Burnt Knob Access Trail. Keep in mind that on many days this trailhead parking can fill up quickly. As you enter the trail you will immediately cross a bridge over the Batavia Kill. Take a moment to enjoy this section of trail as you will be walking over and along streams through a beautiful Hemlock forest. Also please sign the register.

First Bridge over the Batavia KillScott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
First Bridge over the Batavia Kill
After the bridge, you will cross a feeder stream on rocks. This section can be tricky during periods of high water and during the winter this section of trail can be icy. Soon after the stream crossing, the trail will begin to climb above the stream which it meets again at about .3 miles. You will be walking in the cool shade of Hemlocks up to this point.

Rock hopping the feeder streamScott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
Rock hopping the feeder stream up trail
Crossing the stream the trail will continue to climb and the forest composition changes to deciduous hardwoods. The climb is moderate to easy as you will reach the blue-blazed Escarpment Trail at 1.0 mile. When the leaves are down you can get views of the Blackhead Range, Burnt Knob and Acra Point from the col.

Sign on the Escarpment TrailScott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
Sign on the Escarpment Trail

Col over Acra Point to Batavia Kill Col

This section of trail will take you over Acra Point. The wide col and trail junction is a good place to take a quick break. Heading south on the Escarpment Trail you will rise out of the col scrambling through some easy rock ledges while entering a spruce forest.

Climbing up rock ledges on Acra PointScott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
Climbing up rock ledges on Acra Point
At 0.35 miles from the col you will reach a herd path leading to the best view on this hike and one of the finest in the area. The view encompasses to the south, Arizona Peak, The Blackhead Range looming above you, with Burnt Knob and Windham High Peak to the north. It is a fantastic panorama and you’ll want to spend some time here.

Panorama from Acra PointScott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
Panorama from Acra Point
Once you are high on Arca Point the trail will gently rise up and down with some views to the Hudson River Valley with one good one at 1.90 miles. The trail will begin a moderate descent to the col between Acra Point and Blackhead Mountain where you will find the junction with that Batavia Kill Trail reached at 3.65 miles from your start.

In the col between Acra Point and BlackheadScott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
In the col between Acra Point and Blackhead
If you are thinking of extending your trip over Blackhead Mountain be ready to work as it is a 1,100-foot climb from the junction to the summit, in less than a mile!

Batavia Kill Col to Trailhead

Leaving the col you will switch back down the valley along the yellow-blazed Batavia Kill Trail. After about .2 miles from the col you will reach two nice designated campsites and a lean-to.

Batavia Kill Lean-to in the CatskillsScott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
Batavia Kill Lean-to in the Catskills
There is generally plentiful water in the area as you now have again reached the Batavia Kill which you will have at your side for the rest of the hike.

On an easy grade, the trail winds down the valley toward the Junction with the Black Dome Trail. Before the junction, you’ll need to do a stream crossing that can be tricky at times of high water. You will reach the junction at 4.55 miles from the start.

Trail junction with the Black Dome TrailScott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
Trail junction with the Black Dome Trail
Now heading right on the red marked Black Dome Trail you will be .5 miles from the parking area. Hiking along this section of trail you soon reach one of two footbridges. Before approaching the second bridge look down to your left and you’ll get a view of an old dam which was used for logging operations in the 1800’s.

Second footbridgeScott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
Second footbridge
After you cross the second bridge you will easily drop down to the trailhead and reach the end of the Acra Point Loop hike.

Acra Point Trail Map

Windham-Blackhead Range Wilderness
Contact Information:DEC Region 4 Stamford
Office hours: M-F 8:30AM - 4:30PM
Phone: (607) 652-7365;
Backcountry Emergency: (Search, Rescue & Forest Fire): 518-408-5850 or dial 911
Location: Towns of Cairo, Hunter, Jewett, Windham and Durham in Greene County
Map: View Windham-Blackhead Range Wilderness Map - PDF (2.82 MB)
Amenities:Dining opportunities, as well as gas, food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Cairo, Windham and Palenville.
Weather:Blackhead Mountain weather

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