The Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail (about Fred) to High Point Cliff is a beautiful woods walk of about 3-miles round trip. Located in Boyd Thatcher State Park’s north section, it has fewer visitors than the southern section’s trails. However, the routes in the area are popular with trail runners and mountain bikers. Given the views from High Point Cliff, you can be sure that you’ll share this place with others, especially in season. The Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail is a beautiful family-friendly hike and has many cool attractions for the young hiker.
Hike Length: 3.4 miles
Route Type: Loop
Total Ascent: 150'
How Hard: Easy
The trail tends to be wet and muddy in the warm seasons and icy in the winter when snow is minimal. Given this, in winter, it may be wise to bring microspikes, snowshoes, or skis, depending on conditions, to stay on the trail and not stray into the woods or get injured.
You begin this hike at the end of Carrick Road at a parking area in an old bluestone quarry.
The parking area is large and open. However, at the start of the road, a sign says the road is seasonally maintained between November and March, it is not plowed. On this day, the road was clear, and we had no problems getting to the trailhead. In years with lots of snow, call the park and ask if the road is open.
The trail begins at the north side of the parking area and is identified by red blaze disks. The trail kiosk and information are a bit set back from the parking area. There is no trail register.
From the kiosk, head north on the red trail in a stand of Hemlocks, and you’ll quickly reach the junction with the end/beginning of the “loop.” You can head either way with about the same difficulty. From here, the loop is 2.49-miles around back to this point on the red trail.
On this day, we headed south (right) on the Schroeder trail. From this point, the trail enters the woods on the level and can be wet and icy. You’ll be hiking through a beautiful section of conifers. Throughout your hike, you will be passing through areas of Pine, Hemlock, and Fir.
After about .4-miles of hiking, the trail with swing left and began a .18-mile drop slabbing the side of a hill.
At .6-miles from the parking area, you will reach four corners. This junction provides access to the W-3, W-4, and W-5 connector trails. Taking the W-3 or W-4 will reconnect you with the Schroeder trail. W-5 will connect up with the Hang Glider Road trail.
As you hike this trail, look for signs of this land’s past use and man’s intrusion with the presence of rock walls.
You will follow the red trail another .17-miles to the junction where the Long Path and Schroeder trail become one with both blazes. Keep in mind that closer to the escarpment is an unmarked path that follows its crest. Take this only if you feel comfortable following paths.
From this junction, it is about .47-miles to High Point Cliff. The trail continues to be icy during the winter. There are also crevasses in the rock formations that line and cross the trail. One such crevasse requires a small wooden footbridge.
However, others are situated just off the trail. One can imagine that when the snow cover makes these hard to see, a person could step and injure a leg. Be careful!
At points along the trail, you can see trail maintainers’ work as old faded markers are sprayed to maintain their color and cut trees.
Besides man, creatures of the wild are busy at work as you’ll find signs of wildlife if you pay attention. Woodpeckers certainly leave their marks.
While hiking the Long Path, you’ll notice that you are on the Helderberg Escarpment as the land drops away to your right and the daylight starts to penetrate the forest.
Soon you reach a sign for High Point Cliff with a blue marker, but you’ll already be able to see the opening of the forest. Go and enjoy the views!
After you’ve taken in the views, you’ll return to the Long Path/Schroeder trail and head toward the junction with the W-3 trail, and pass it to the point where the Long path and Schroeder trail separate.
The Long Path heads towards Altamont and the Schroeder trail back to the trailhead. At this point, you’ll have hiked about .6-miles from High Point Cliff.
You’ll continue to follow the Schroeder trail.
During the next section of the trail, you will continue under tree cover then enter a couple of open fields that you will hike through. These open areas seem to be areas that people once farmed.
As you exit the open fields and head back into the woods notice the White Birch and Fir.
At about .45-miles from where the Long Path/Schroeder trails separated you’ll reach the junction with the W-4 connector trail.
Notice, again, the intrusion of man. The stumps on the hillside are marks left from bygone logging in the area.
The trail will now switchback up the ridge, and once on top, you’ll cross back and walk across the top of the ridge.
When the leaves are down look below and see the fields you crossed as you hiked to this point.
The junction with the W-4 trail is about .36-miles back to the start of the loop and then another .13-miles to the parking area.
Map of High Point Cliff Thacher Park
Click map or here to visit an interactive version of this map.
|Thacher State Park Hiking|
830 Thacher Park Road
Voorheesville, NY 12186
Phone: (518) 872-1237
Nature Center: (518) 872-0800
Campground: (518) 872-1674
In Case of Emergency: 911 OR
State Park Police: (518) 584-2004
|Trail Maps/hours:||Park Homepage
Picnic Tables (Accessible)
Backwoods wanderer with a passion for backpacking, hiking, kayaking, and exploring the wilds of the Catskills and Adirondacks in New York. A Catskill 3500 Club Member and Adirondack Forty-Sixer. Climbed Mount Rainier. Professionally an Exercise Physiologist.