Rochester Hollow Hike in the Catskills: Easy and Peaceful

Rochester Hollow Trailhead Parking
Average read time 7 min

Rochester Hollow located in the central Catskills is a quiet and nice area for a quick day hike or overnight. It is full of history with the remains of part of Rochester Estate, Rose Camp apparent throughout the hike. Visiting the Burroughs Memorial Forest and Monument is interesting. The gem of this land unit is the handicapped accessible Rochester Hollow lean-to and the Eignor Farm Trail on return after hiking the Colonel Rochester Trail!

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Per the NYSDEC

Access to the Rochester Hollow Trailhead on Matyas Road in Shandaken Wild Forest is currently limited to 4-wheel drive access vehicles due to damage sustained from the recent flooding events in the Catskill Forest Preserve. Please use caution when attempting to access the Rochester Hollow Trailhead-2wd vehicles should not attempt to access at this time.

The Dirt

The trail system in Rochester Hollowing includes 3 trails; The Colonel Rochester Trail, Eignor Farm Trail, and the Burroughs Memorial Forest Trail. When hiked all together it is over six-miles of trail. With permission from the landowner, one can use this area as a jumping point to bushwhack a Catskill 67 peak, privately owned Rose Mountain.

These trails are relatively lightly traveled as compared to many others in these mountains.

COLONEL ROCHESTER HOLLOW AND EIGNOR FARM TRAIL “LOOP”
Distance:5.58-miles RTRoute type:Lollipop
Total climb:1171′ RTHike type:Trail
How hard?Easy-moderateTrailhead:Rochester Hollow TH
map

Multi-use Trails

The trails in Rochester Hollow are multi-use.

The Colonel Rochester Trail serves as a hiking, cross-country ski trail, horse, and mountain biking trail. Additionally, ATVs are allowed on the Colonel Rochester Trail in order for people with disabilities to reach the lean-to.

The Eignor Farm Trail and the Burroughs Memorial Forest Trail serves as a hiking, cross-country ski trail, horse, and mountain biking trail.

Access by ATV is granted only to Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) permit holders.

The Rochester Hollow Trails are open to horseback riding. Proof of current negative Coggins certificate is required for all horses and out-of-state horse owners are required to produce a 30-day health certificate.

The trailhead is at the end of a dirt road off of Matyas Road. Matyas Road is a couple of minutes west of Big Indian on Route 28 and 40 minutes from Kingtson.

The parking area is large and can hold up to about 10+ cars.

Parking area at Rochester Hollow
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Parking area at Rochester Hollow

Trails

There is a kiosk at the trailhead with a gate. The memorial plaque on the top of the kiosk is in memory of Timothy O’lear, a Boy Scout who tragically perished near the Slide Mountain trailhead while attempting a stream crossing during high waters.

Trailhead Kiosk at Rochester Hollow
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Trailhead Kiosk at Rochester Hollow
Colonel Rochester Trail w/ ATV Access Sign
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Colonel Rochester Trail w/ ATV Access Sign

The blue-blazed 1.75-mile well-graded (ADA compliant?) Colonel Rochester Trail takes you deep into the hollow. The trail is a multi-use trail and can be used by horse, mountain bike, and ATV to access the lean-to with a permit.

The beginning of the Colonel Rochester Trail
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking The beginning of the Colonel Rochester Trail

Passing two nice primitive campsites not long after leaving the parking area.

"Camp here" disk on the Rochester Hollow Trail
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking “Camp here” disk on the Colonel Rochester Trail
Primitive Campsite on the Rochester Hollow Trail
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Primitive Campsite on the Colonel Rochester Trail

As you gain elevation into the hollow, you’ll enter an area of wonderful hemlock stands and pass old stone posts for a bygone gate.

Stands of Hemlock on the Colonel Rochester Trail
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Stands of Hemlock on the Colonel Rochester Trail
Old stone posts for a bygone gate
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Old stone posts for a bygone gate
Water drainage space on gate post
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Water drainage space on gate post

After about 1.6-miles you’ll reach the junction with the Burroughs Memorial Trail and then continuing on the blue trail the Burroughs Memorial Monument is reached on your right soon after.

Junction with the Burroughs Memorial Trail
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Junction with the Burroughs Memorial Trail
John Burroughs Memorial Monument
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking John Burroughs Memorial Monument

Continuing on the Colonel Rochester Trail you’ll soon pass the remains of Rose Camp and then reach the lean-to where the blue trail terminates.

Foundation walls
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Foundation walls
Retaining wall for veranda at camp (view once here)
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Retaining wall for veranda at camp (view once here)
Rochester Hollow Lean-to
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Rochester Hollow Lean-to
End of ADA route
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking End of ADA route

Related post: Rochester Hollow Lean-to in the Catskills: Secluded & Beautiful

You could backtrack but you’d be missing a lot by not looping back on the very pretty Eignor Farm Trail.

After the lean-to and back on the blue-marked trail turn left and now follow the red marked Eignor Farm Trail. The trail will lose and gain elevation as it loops through the forest hooking back up with the blue-marked Colonel Rochester Trail not far from the Burroughs Monument.

Sign for the Eignor Farm Trail
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Sign for the Eignor Farm Trail

Along the way you’ll pass many rock walls and foundations from passed farming and maple syurp production. At a hiarpin turn you pass a small meadow that could serve as an at-large campsite as long as you get 150′ from the trail. Make sure to check out the massive maple tree.

Massive Maple tree near a small meadow
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Massive Maple tree near a small meadow
Stone fence
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Stone fence
Stone Foundation
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Stone Foundation

Contact and Trail Map

Shandaken Wild Forest
Contact Information:DEC Region 3 New Paltz Office (M-F, 8:30 AM - 4:45 PM), (845) 256-3076;
r3admin@dec.ny.gov
Enforcement Matters: (518) 408-5850 (24/7) or 911
Location: Hamlet of Shandaken, Ulster County and Town of Lexington, Greene County
Map: Shandaken Wild Forest
Amenities:Lodging and dining, as well as gas, food and other supplies opportunities, can be found in the nearby communities of Arkville, Margaretville, Woodstock, and Phoenicia.

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

Rochester Hollow Trails
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Rochester Hollow Trails