Ashokan Quarry Trail to the Beautiful Acorn Hill and Yale Quarry

View of the vernal pool of Yale Quarry with Ashokan High Point towering above.
Average read time 6 min
Summary

An easy hike for almost anyone. A walk back through time. Great views and fascinating ruins from the making of the Ashokan Reservoir; the body of water changed the region’s landscape and history.

The NYCDEP Acorn Hill Unit is 220 acres of incredible forest and history. In this unit, you’ll find the Ashokan Quarry Trails that will take you 165’ up to excellent ledges with great views of Ashokan High Peak, Ashokan Cobble, South Mountain, Friday, Dink, Cornell, and Samuel’s Point, Wittenberg. Looking up the Esopus Valley, you’ll be able to see Mt. Pleasant, North Dome, Mt Tremper.

From the ledges, you’ll be able to peer down to the Yale Quarry and its vernal pool. As the trail descends to the quarry, you can walk a side path to the remains of a past rail bed and building used to process and transport the stone used to build the Ashokan Reservoir.

In season, when in bloom, you’ll hike through a section of wonderful Mountain Laural. As you ascend toward the ledges, you’ll find various species of oak, eastern white pine, chestnut, bitternut, maple, and many more species.

Trail specs on the Ashokan Quarry Trail

As typical with the hikes on NYCDEP land, you’ll be walking on various surfaces from, on this hike, footpaths to gravel roads. If you’re looking for a short hike with a great return on investment, these are your trails!

Distance RTClimb from the roadDifficulty
2-miles165′ (to views)Easy

The Ashokan Quarry Trail Step by Step

  1. Start at the parking area off NY 28A (Long: 74°13’42.393″W Lat: 41°56’8.706″N). 8-miles off RT 28 via Reservoir Road.
  2. From the trailhead, walk 0.3-miles on a stone path to a junction. On the left will be the remains of the munitions building.
  3. Turn left and head uphill following blue markers.
  4. In about 0.3-miles, you reach several viewpoints.
  5. After the views, you’ll drop 0.2-miles to a junction where you’ll turn right.
  6. Shortly, you see a sign that indicates RR Remnants. The yellow marked path takes you 0.1-miles to the railroad ruins. Look uphill to your right at the railroad ruins, and you’ll see another structure; this is the rock processing building.
  7. Returning to the trail, you’ll quickly reach the Yale Quarry and its vernal pools. The pool is created by the water draining from the walls of the old quarry.
  8. From the quarry, you’ll follow a wide road back to the junction at the munitions building. From here, return to the trailhead. Your total hiking distance is about 2-miles.

Photos

Parking area for Ashokan Quarry Trails
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Parking area for Ashokan Quarry Trails
Trail register and gravel path
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Trail register and gravel path
One of the information signs along the trail.
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking One of the information signs along the trail.
Remains of munitions building
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Remains of munitions building
Remains of munitions building
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Remains of munitions building
Blue marker heading toward views
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Blue marker heading toward views
View of South Mountain, Friday, Cornell, Wittenberg, Sams Point, Mt. Pleasant
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking View of South Mountain, Friday, Dink, Cornell, Wittenberg, Sams Point, Mt. Pleasant
View of the vernal pool of Yale Quarry with Ashokan High Point towering above.
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking View of the vernal pool of Yale Quarry with Ashokan High Point towering above.
On the cliff top, glacial striations and a drilled hole, possible blast hole??
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking On the clifftop, glacial striations and a drilled hole, possible blast hole?
Yellow marker heading to railroad ruins
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Yellow marker heading to railroad ruins

Another DEP hike: Palmer Hill Trail in the Catskills. Fun but Unusual.

Railroad docking port
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Railroad loading port
Railroad loading port
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Railroad loading port
Remains of rock processing building
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Remains of rock processing building
Looking down at the loading station from the rock processing building
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Looking down at the loading station from the rock processing building
Information sign at Yale Quarry
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Information sign at Yale Quarry
Pool in the Yale Quarry
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Pool in the Yale Quarry

Video of View from ledges over Yale Quarry

Map of Ashokan Quarry Trail

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

Ashokan Quarry Trails map
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Ashokan Quarry Trails map

Other resources

Catskill Mountain Club Avenza Map Set

NYC DEP Recreation Map

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