Ascent of Plattekill Mountain on 2019-08-17

Climber: Crystal Davis

Others in Party:Dan Petit
Date:Saturday, August 17, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Summit:Bicycle
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Plattekill Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:3260 ft / 993 m

Ascent Trip Report

Initially when we started, as I was still getting my bike ready, Dan couldn't find the abandoned Plattekill Turnpike. I told him it may be a little overgrown and to try again. He did and found it; it was severely overgrown! We found the gate as it said in the book and at first Dan though that meant not to go that way since it had a large stop sign on it. I told him no, that was indeed the Plattekill Turnpike and we were supposed to go that way. The weeds / vegetation was chest high and he suggested we cut thru the woods, we did, but the road didn't get any better. We walked our bikes thru the mess of weeds for about 0.3 miles when Dan stopped and suggested we turn back and go do something else. I was almost on board with him, but kept quiet. I said it can't be like this all the way, maybe it will get better as we get higher. He said okay, and said we'd push on for another hundred yards. Then we stopped again as it wasn't getting any better. We decided to leave the bikes here and at least hike up to the South Plattekill summit, as it was supposed to be about 3.75 miles round trip from the trailhead.

We left the bikes and started hiking up. We were on what appeared to be another old road, then we cut thru the woods where we found the Plattekill Turnpike again, but now it was pretty open and obvious. We hiked along it for a bit, there was some down trees and stuff in the way, the beech whips a bit crazy, and the canopy was a bit low. We got a little farther and the trail opened up, we could see for a bit and we both agreed it looked rideable. We stopped and discussed the situation; we had gone 0.3 miles from the bikes. We decided to turn back, get the bikes, carry them thru the thick unridable part, and go on to South Plattekill via mtb.

The Plattekill Turnpike had some steep sections and some overgrown sections where we had to walk our bikes up. I saw that we would round a bend to the left, then the road would flatten out, at that point we were at the closest point to the summit of South Plattekill. We locked the bikes up and started bushwhacking up. The bushwhack was pretty fabulous, we found some chicken of the wood in decent condition which Dan took. We stopped and ate lunch at the top for about 10 minutes. We walked around the flat summit for a bit; and I think I found the rock that was assumably the high point. We walked over the the one edge and there was a slight view, it would have been decent had the trees not been full of leaves. We headed back down towards the bikes. The ride down the Plattekill Turnpike was really fun. Despite our difficulties coming up, we got back to the car in less than 40 minutes, and that included a short diversion over to the abandoned cars and stone wall for a couple photos. I chose "bicycle" as "machine to summit," however, we rode them just to the closest point on the Plattekill Turnpike, not to the actual summit. This was one of the most exhausting hikes ever due to having to walk the bike at difficult parts and even the riding was crazy hard! Because of the incline, when I was riding, I was mostly in granny gear on the way up. I wouldn't go that fast on the descent because the road wasn't in the best condition.

Our original plan was to bike to nearest part on road, then bushwhack / hike up South Plattekill, then get back on the bikes and ride over to the the closest spot on the road for Round Top, bushwhack / hike up to Round Top, then get back on the bikes and ride back along the Plattekill Turnpike to the car. It was supposed to be about 10+ miles of riding, but because the condition of the turnpike was so awful, we scrapped that idea and just did South Plattekill. It's such a shame that these wonderful old roads have been completely abandoned; they would be fabulous Jeep trails / mountain bike trails if they were even slightly maintained.

Started at 11:41AM from trailhead. Locked the bikes up and started hiking at 0.3 miles at 12:06PM. Turned around at 0.6 miles at 12:16PM and headed back for the bikes. Back at the bikes at 0.9 miles at 12:32PM. Started riding our mtbs at 1.1 miles at 12:43PM. Locked the bikes at the closest part of the turnpike to the South Plattekill summit at 2.3 miles at 1:35PM. South Plattekill summit at 2.6 miles at 2:01PM. Back at the bikes at 2.9 miles at 2:30PM. Back at the car at 4.7 miles at 3:07PM.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1473 ft / 448 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1473 ft / 448 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.7 mi / 7.6 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Bicycle, Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1473 ft / 448 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1196 ft / 364 m; Extra: 277 ft / 84m
    Loss on way in:277 ft / 84 m
    Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Route:Plattekill Turnpike, bushwhack
    Start Trailhead:Harold Roberts Road parking area  2064 ft / 629 m
    Time:2 Hours 20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1196 ft / 364 m
    Distance:2.1 mi / 3.4 km
    Route:Plattekill Turnpike, bushwhack
    End Trailhead:Harold Roberts Road parking area  2064 ft / 629 m
    Time:53 Minutes

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