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Richmond Mountain and Richtmyer Peak in the Catskills

View from Richmond Mountain of the Blackhead Range and Windham High Peak
Average read time 5 min

Richmond Mountain and Richtmyer Peak are located in the Catskill Mountains on the border of Schoharie and Greene Counties. They can be considered as part of the Huntersfield Range. Both peaks make for a relatively easy day hike, but to get to the summit of Richmond Mountain will require a short bushwhack. Given this, one should possess knowledge on how to use a map and compass. There is a nice viewpoint on the ridge to Richmond Mountain. It is best when to trees are bare, but one still could get views when the leaves are out. At 3220′ elevation, Richmond Mountain is the most northern of the Catskill 67.

Hike Length: 1.6 - 2.5 miles - to both peaks depending on Route

Route Type: Out-and-Back or loop

Total Ascent: 520 feet to Richmond

How Hard: Easy to moderate

Click map for interactive version

We did this hike, on a sunny April day, the day after a snow storm passed, so a fresh layer of snow covered the ground which made for an excellent “spring” climb.

Trillium beginning its growth with fresh Spring snow!
Trillium beginning its growth with fresh Spring snow! Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
There are several approaches to Richmond, some of which are mostly off-trail. For our hike, we started at the high trailhead off Mt. Pisgah Road which is at about 2,750′ elevation, quite high for the Catskills trailheads. Both peaks are located in the Mount Pisgah State Forest. However, small parts of both are located in South Mountain and Ashland Pinnacle State Forest areas.

The access road from Mt. Pisgah Road is narrow, longer than many, wet at points, and rough. Sedans may have a hard time getting to the high spot.

In the parking area, there is room for about 8-10 vehicles.

State access road at parking area
State access road at the parking area Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking

Parking area for Richmond Mountain
Parking area for Richmond Mountain Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
The yellow-blazed trail which leads to the col between Richmond Mountain and Richtmyer Peak starts from the back of the culdesac and is marked by two worn DEC disks. You’ll notice tire tracks which are probably from ATVs which are not allowed in State Forest without a permit.

Two worn DEC disks marking the start of the trail
Two worn DEC disks marking the start of the trail Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
From the parking area, the trail, sometimes very wet, starts a gradual climb for a bit then begins a steeper section, levels after a hairpin turn, and then climbs again to the col. It’s a short 0.2-mile climb with about 190′ of elevation gain.

Trail markers at hairpin turn on the way to col
Trail markers at the hairpin turn on the way to the col Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
Level section after turn
Level section after the turn Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking

Final turn before last climb to the col
Final turn before the last climb to the col Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
The trail so far is following an old woods road which leads from Greene County across the ridge to Schoharie County. Upon reaching the col the yellow blazes end.

Marking the end of the yellow trail at the col
Marking the end of the yellow trail at the col Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
The unmarked woods road continues straight and downhill.

Unmarked woods road dropping out of the col
Unmarked woods road dropping out of the col Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
The trail that crosses at the intersection is the Long Path. It is marked with Long Path marking and DEC blue disks. However, the DEC blue-blazes are not very good, so simply look for Long Path markers.

To the right from the col, it is a quick walk up Richtmyer. There are no views, but if one wishes to bag this hill take the few minutes and do it.

Col to Richmond Mountain

Heading left out of the col and following Long Path markings you’ll begin the ascent up Richmond Mountain.

From the col, you’ll be in typical Catskill terrain with short uphills and level spots. Don’t be fooled the trek to Richmond may feel longer than it looks and the trees will become weathered and stunted the higher you get.

A view of Richmond Mountain as seen climbing along the ridge.
A view of Richmond Mountain as seen climbing along the ridge. Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
Before you reach the summit of Richmond you’ll need to go over a small bump on the ridge which is reached at about 0.25-miles from the col with about another 180-feet of climbing. On this bump will be a small rock ledge directly off the trail (left) which provides nice views.

Major peaks seen left to right: Windham High Peak, Blackhead Range, Kaaterskill High Peak and Roundtop
Major peaks seen left to right: Windham High Peak, Blackhead Range, Kaaterskill High Peak, and Roundtop Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking

Major peaks: Kaaterskill High Peak and Roundtop, on the horizon is Indian Head, Twin, Sugarloaf, Plateau, Hunter, Rusk
Major peaks: Kaaterskill High Peak and Roundtop, on the horizon, is Indian Head, Twin, Sugarloaf, Plateau, Hunter, Rusk, – Cave Mt. with ski slopes Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
From the view, the trail will momentarily drop below the ridge and then back up. You’ll follow the Long Path on the ridge until you see two plastic Long Path markers indicating a turn which is about 0.2-miles from the bump. This is the spot you can leave the trail and walk up to the summit of Richmond.

Long Path markers on Richmond Mountain marking a possible bushwhack point
Long Path markers on Richmond Mountain marking a possible bushwhack point Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking

Chris bushwhacking up Richmond Mountain
Chris bushwhacking up Richmond Mountain Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
The summit is flat and provides no views. By GPS and the Trail Conference Avanza Maps, the summit is at a dead tree. From the trail, you’ll have traveled about 0.2-miles and gained 140′ elevation. Your total climb from the parking area is about 520′ at 0.81-miles.

View-less summit of Richmond Mountain
View-less summit of Richmond Mountain Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
From the summit, you could retrace your path back to the col and parking area or explore a bit and drop off the summit as we did on this hike. We descended the peak heading west and intersected with the Long Path which we followed back up to the ridge and to the trailhead making it a short 2-mile hike.

Chris walking the Long Path back to the col after dropping off the summit of Richmond Mountain
Chris walking the Long Path back to the col after dropping off the summit of Richmond Mountain Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
There is a view marked on the Trail Conference map which is found on the Long Path but quite a bit below the summit as the trail heads towards Conesville.

Mount Pisgah State Forest
Contact Information:DEC Region 4 Stamford
Office hours: M-F 8:30AM - 4:30PM
Phone: (607) 652-7365;
Email: r4.ump@dec.ny.gov
Backcountry Emergency: (Search, Rescue & Forest Fire): 518-408-5850 or dial 911
Location: Town of Conesville, Schoharie County and Towns of Ashland and Windham, Greene County
Map: Mount Pisgah State Forest Map
Amenities:Lodging and dining opportunities, as well as lodging, gas and other supplies, may be found in the nearby communities of Prattsville and Windham.
Weather:Mount Pisgah State Forest Weather

Map of Richmond Mountain

Click the map or here for an interactive version of the map.

Richmond Mountain trail map
Richmond Mountain trail map Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking

Last Updated on December 7, 2020

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