Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail sign

Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail to High Point Cliff

The Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail (about Fred) to High Point Cliff is a wonderful woods walk of about 3-miles round trip. Located in Boyd Thatcher State Park’s north section it has fewer visitors than the trails in the southern section. However, the trails 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 trail has the tendency 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 in order 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.

Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail Parking Area
Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail Parking Area Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking

Bluestone Quarry at Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail
Bluestone Quarry at Start of the Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
The parking area is large and open. However, at the start of the road, there is a sign that says the road is seasonally maintained and that 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.

Road to trailhead
Road to trailhead Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
The trail begins at the north side of the parking area and is identified by red blaze disks. The trail kiosk and information is a bit set back from the parking area. There is no trail register.

Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail Kiosk
Chris at the Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail Kiosk Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
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.

Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail Chris in Hemlocks
Starting out on the Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail with Chris in Hemlocks Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking

Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail start of the loop
Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail at the start of the loop Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
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 sections of Pine, Hemlock, and Fir.

Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail Chris entering a section of conifers
Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail Chris entering a section of conifers Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
After about .4-miles of hiking the trail with swing left and begin a .18-mile drop slabbing the side of a hill.

Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail trail sign at the top of a drop to Four Corners
Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail trail sign at the top of a drop to Four Corners Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking

Looking back up hill from Four Corners
Looking back up hill from Four Corners Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
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 mans intrusion with the presence of rock walls.

Stone walls are found along this trail
Stone walls are found along this trail Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
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 umarked path which follows it crest. Take this only if you feel comfortable following paths.

Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail sign showing distance to Long Path
Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail sign showing distance to Long Path Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail and long Path Junction
Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail and long Path Junction Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking

Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail and long Path blazing
Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail and long Path blazing Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
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.

Foot bridge on Long Path
Foot bridge on Long Path Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking

Foot bridge on Long Path spanning a narrow but deep crevasse
Foot bridge on Long Path spanning a narrow but deep crevasse Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
However, others are situated just off the trail. One can imagine that in conditions where the snow cover makes these hard to see a person could step and injure a leg. Be careful!

Narrow but deep crevasse next to trail
Narrow but deep crevasse next to trail Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
At points along the trail, you can see the work of trail maintainers as old faded markers are sprayed to maintain their color and cut trees.

Markers sprayed on the Schroeder Memorial Trail
Markers sprayed on the Schroeder Memorial Trail Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
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.

Woodpecker activity on Long Path
Woodpecker activity on Long Path Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
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!

Marker to High Point Cliff
Marker to High Point Cliff Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
View from High Point Cliff looking at Hang Glider Cliff
View from High Point Cliff looking at Hang Glider Cliff Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking

Panorama from High Point Cliff
Panorama from High Point Cliff (click to enlarge) Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
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.

Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail and long Path blazing
Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail and long Path blazing Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
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.

Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail and long Path near the Long Path turn
Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail and long Path near the Long Path turn Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
During the next section of trail, you will continue in under tree cover then enter a couple of open fields that you will hike through. These open areas seem to be areas that were once farmed.

Chris on the Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail in the open field
Chris on the Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail in the open field Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
As you exit the open fields and head back into the woods notice the White Birch and Fir.

Chris on the Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail in the Fir
Chris on the Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail in the Fir Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
At about .45-miles from where the Long Path/Schroeder trails separated you’ll reach the junction with the W-4 connector trail.

The junction with the Schroeder and W-4 trail
The junction with the Schroeder and W-4 trail Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
Notice, again, the intrusion of man. The stumps on the hillside are marks left from bygone logging in the area.

Tree stumps off Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail
Tree stumps off Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
The trail will now switchback up the ridge and once on top you’ll cross back and walk across the top of the ridge.

Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail sign heading up ridge
Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail sign heading up ridge Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
When the leaves are down look below and see the fields you crossed as you hiked to this point.

From the junction with the W-4 trail, it 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 interactive version of this map.

Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail to High Point Cliff
Fred Schroeder Memorial Trail to High Point Cliff (Click to see map) Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
Thacher State Park Hiking
Contact Information:Address
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
Location: Latitude 42.654645
Longitude -74.017630
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