Ascent of Pigeon Mountain on 2019-10-11

Climber: Josh Schmid

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, October 11, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Pigeon Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:2780 ft / 847 m

Ascent Trip Report

Pigeon Mountain, after today, lies squarely in the "never again" pile. While it definitely could have been worse, it's certainly not easy and it can be slow going.

I started from the trailhead at the end of Pinnacle Road and proceeded north among the blue trail. While the trail to County Line Lake is pretty well marked, it is minimally-maintained and there was quite a bit of blowdown. There were a few stream crossings, one of which was deep and would have been hard to stay dry across if I didn't have good balance. After the last stream crossing, maybe 2-2.5 miles in, the trail becomes much narrower and begins to climb steeply. At some points, it is barely a herd path, but markings remain good.

Unlike some of the previous attempts, I thought that I could make it easier by taking the trail to the height of land north of Pigeon and bushwhacking south from there. Once the trail begins to climb, the only difference between the "marked trail" and a bushwhack is that there are markings to make sure you stay on track. At the height of land, I turned south and began to bushwhack up. The woods here were thick and in a few places, I had to go around thick stands of evergreens that I wasn't going to get through.

I could not find the surveyor tape mentioned in previous reports. The summit, per GPS coordinates and the Peakbagger app, was an obvious area of high ground. By my estimation, the top of a boulder was the highest ground. Not much in the way of views up here thanks to the thick forest. From the summit, I bushwhacked northeast down the slope to the height of land between Pigeon and Panther Mountains and hopped on the trail there to take me home. The bushwhack down was easier than my climb up, though it was quite steep and I found it easier to sit down and slide in a few places.

In terms of views, you're not going to get them at the summit. There are some nice views of Pigeon Mountain and its sister peak to the south (unnamed) from the other side of a swampy area. The foliage was peak and the colors were brilliant. It's not a hike to take if you want to see far in the distance, but the scenery is pleasant and not a soul was around. I might return to visit County Line Lake in the future, but no way am I reascending Pigeon Mountain unless a trail is built.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Pigeon Mountain as seen from the trail. Yes, you need to bushwhack up THAT (2019-10-11). Photo by Josh Schmid.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Round-Trip Distance:7.5 mi / 12.1 km
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Mud/Swamp
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:County Line Lake trail, bushwhack
    Start Trailhead:End of Pinnacle Road  
    Time:2 Hours 0 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route:County Line Lake trail, bushwhack
    End Trailhead:End of Pinnacle Road  
    Time:1 Hours 40 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Josh Schmid
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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