15. Berme Road to Riggsville

Features: Road walk
Distance: 12.30 miles
USGS Map Quads: Napanoch, Kerhonkson
Trail Conference Map: Trail Map 104 (Shawangunk Trails), and Trail Map 146 (Catskill Trails)

General Description

Currently this entire section is on roads but as soon as the DEC approves a Unit Management Plan for Vernooy Kill and Sundown state forests most of this section will get off the roads. The Long Path heads west on Berme Road to Port Ben, a hamlet in the town of Wawarsing, then turns north onto Port Ben Road and crosses the Rondout Creek. After the Long Path crosses US Route 209 it turns north on Lundy Road, then east on Rouge Harbor Road, and north again on Cherrytown and Upper Cherrytown Road to Riggsville. Although this is currently a roawalk there are many fine views and interesting features along the way and traffc volume is low on most of the roads.

Access

Take the New York State Thruway to Exit 19 near Kingston, then take NY Route 209 west through Kerhonkson, to Wawarsing. In Wawarsing, immediately after crossing the Vernooy Kill, turn left on Port Ben Road, and after crossing the Rondout Creek turn left onto Berme Road. Port Ben Road and about half a mile of Berme Road are marked with LP Aqua blazes. There is little parking available where the trail reaches Berme Road.

Camping

On DEC land.

Parking

0.00 There are plans for a small parking lot along Berme Road (41.75375°, -74.33943°) but until that has been built there is only room for one or two cars along the road. More parking is available along Foordemoor Road at the bottom of the Mine Hole Trail (41.75966°, -74.32420°) and near the Rondout Creek (41.76285°, -74.33401°), both about one mile away from the Long Path.
2.80 Old quarry off Lundy Road. (41.76811°, -74.37085°)
12.30 Parking area at entrance to Catskill Park on Upper Cherrytown Road. (41.86395°, -74.34630°)

Trail Description

0.00 The Long Path turns left (west) onto Berme Road and in 150 ft turns right, crossing the canal bed of the old D&H Canal.* The trail then turns left again and follows an overgrown railroad bed. Be careful, there is poison ivy present! In a few tenths of a mile the trail crosses a bridge across an old waste weir.
0.40 The trail reaches the end of Towpath Road and continues along the road. The third house on the right is across from the site of Lock 26 of the D&HCanal and is the improved locktender house.
0.55 Cross Port Ben Road and continue on Towpath Road which turns sharply right in a few hundred feet. On your left is the historical Port Ben railroad station.
0.60 Turn left onto Port Ben Road toward the bridge across the Rondout Creek. For the next half a mile the road passes farmland with great views on both sides of the road.
1.40 Turn right onto US Route 209 and cross the Vernooy Kill. The Wawarsing post office is on the right, next to the stream.
1.50 Turn left onto Lundy Road. Be careful, Route 209 is a very busy road.
1.80 Pass the last house on the left. The Vernooy Kill is on the left side of the road.
1.90 DEC land starts on the right. In the next half a mile there are a dam and rapids in the Vernooy Kill and opportunities for swimming. Both Lundy Road and Rouge (Rogue?) Harbor Road are very low traffic roads.
2.75 Cutler Road on the left crosses the stream. Future plans have the Long Path cross the Vernooy Kill here and then proceed north to the Vernooy Falls.
2.80 There is parking in an old quarry on the right.
3.10 Pass the first of two old homestead sites on the left. The second one is in another 500 feet on the left.
3.60 Turn right onto Rouge Harbor Road (unpaved). The property on the south side of the road is privately owned.
3.90 A large fence appears on the right (south) side of the road.
4.30 The end of the fence.
4.50 DEC lands start on the left (north) side of the road.
4.80 DEC lands start on the right (south) side of the road.

15.1 and 15.2 Turner cemetery off Rouge Harbor Road. 2011 [JAKOB FRANKE]

5.05 A tree on the left contains an old sign (facing east) pointing south to Turner Cemetery. About 300 feet off the road, just to the east of a stone wall, are two head stones.
5.60 End of the DEC lands.
5.80 J&J Road on the right. Rouge Harbor Road becomes paved.
6.20 Woodland Valley Ridge Road on the right. The traffic increases.
6.50 The end of Rouge Harbor Road. Turn left onto Cherrytown Road.
7.80 Pass Water Falls Road on the right – Cherrytown Road turns left.
9.00 Pass Baker Road on the left.
9.10 When Cherrytown Road ends, the trail turns left onto Upper Cherrytown Road. As it makes the turn, houses are on the left and a garage is on the right.
12.30 The section ends at a DEC parking area on the right side of the road. To continue, turn left and enter the woods on a DEC snowmobile trail.

 * The Delaware & Hudson Canal was in operation from 1828 until 1899. Following its demise the O&W used the canal right-of-way, and its railroad bed is in some places on the towpah or in the canal prism.