31. West Fulton to Middleburgh

Features: Patria State Forest and Vroman’s Nose
Distance: 12.00 miles
USGS Map Quads: Breakabeen, Middleburgh
Trail Conference Maps: none

General Description

Leaving West Fulton, the Long Path regains the highlands west of Schoharie Creek. The trail continues through pleasant reforestation areas and passes through stands of mature pine and spruce, with occasional evidence of the early settlement in this area. After descending steeply to cross Pleasant Valley, the Long Path climbs over the top of a hill, and then descends to Hardscrabble Road near NY Route 30, with dramatic views of the Schoharie Valley. The Long Path follows NY Route 30 north through roomansland, the flat floodplain of Schoharie Creek. The trail ascends Vroman’s Nose on the steep red trail. A sentinel over the Schoharie Valley, Vroman’s Nose is one of the most spectacular natural features in New York. The Long Path descends off Vroman’s Nose to the north on the blue trail, crosses Vroomansland, and follows the edge of Schoharie Creek to the Village of Middleburgh.

Access

Take the New York State Thruway to Exit 21 in Catskill. Continue west on NY Route 23 about 8 miles to NY Route 145, then west on Route 145 about 30 miles to the Village of Middleburgh. In Middleburgh, take NY Route 30 south about 8 miles to West Fulton Road (Schoharie County Route 4). Then turn right on West Fulton Road and follow it for 3 miles to West Fulton.

Parking

0.00 West Fulton town picnic area. (42.56438°, -74.46290°)
2.20 On Patria Road. (42.56661°, -74.45144°)
3.20 On Mallon Road. (42.58499°, -74.43881°)
5.80 Small parking area. Directions: drive north on Patria Road to the intersection with Greenbush Hill  Road, turn right and in about 0.7 miles there is an intersection with Snow Ridge Drive. At this point Greenbush Hill Road turns to the left and Snow Ridge Drive continues straight ahead. There are signs on both roads saying private roads. Continue on Snow Ridge Drive, which is still a public Right-of-Way (ROW). In another 0.5 miles there is a road to the right. This a DEC maintained road providing access to a portion of Patria State Forest. This intersection is at 42.60635°, -74.41105°. There is a sign at this intersection that says private land, but this does not pertain to the road. Start up the DEC road and in about 0.1 mile you will enter the Patria State Forest and in about another 0.25 miles there is a small parking lot on the left. The parking lot is at 42.60172°, -74.41352°. There is a lightly used trail off the back of the parking lot, blazed with red paint, that comes to the LP at 42.60145°, -74.41262°.
10.65 Church Street and the blue trailhead on Vroman’s Nose. (42.59335°, -74.35041°)
12.00 Village of Middleburgh (town park; elementary school). (Unlocated)

Camping

Camping is allowed in the state reforestation areas 150 feet away from the trail and water.
9.70 Near the summit of Vroman’s Nose to the left of the trail.

Trail Description

0.00 The Long Path leaves West Fulton on Patria Road.
0.10 Just past the bridge at the edge of West Fulton, turn left into an open field and head uphill to a blazed White Pine. The Long Path follows some White Pine trees through the field for a short time before entering a mixed hemlock-hardwood forest.
0.30 Turn uphill on a woods road that is marked as a snowmobile trail. The Long Path now follows the snowmobile trail until it enters the Patria State Forest.
0.70 Follow the snowmobile trail to the left on a woods road.
1.00 Turn left again on another woods road.
1.15 Turn right leaving woods road.
1.40 Enter the Patria State Forest.
1.45 Turn left uphill leaving the snowmobile trail and woods road. The trail continues uphill, with a break in the slope to the left.

1.90 The trail levels off, turns right, and crosses the ridge. After the ridge, turn left and descend on an old woods road toward Patria Road.
2.20 Cross Patria Road and descend through the woods to a stream. The trail turns left and heads uphill along the stream in a deep hemlock forest.
2.60 Turn right, cross the stream, and continue through a plantation of spruce and pine. After a short level stretch, the trail turns left and climbs steeply up the ridge. When the grade levels off, the trail turns right and crosses the ridge, following the edge of the reforestation area. At the east end of the ridge, the trail turns left and follows the east side of the ridge.
3.20 Cross Mallon Road and re-enter the reforestation area. There is a small parking lot here. The trail follows a woods road, crosses under a power line, and then turns right, leaving the road. The trail turns left and begins a gradual descent toward Pleasant Valley.
3.60 Cross a seasonal stream and parallel a rock wall, and an old property boundary, skirting private land.
4.05 The trail switchbacks to the right as it continues downhill on a moderate grade.
4.20 Turn left and descend steeply.
4.35 After crossing Pleasant Valley Stream on a bridge, the trail turns right onto the old Pleasant Valley Road for a short distance. The trail then turns left onto an old woods road.
4.60 Cross the stream on a bridge and ascend moderately, leaving the stream, and continue to follow the woods road through a pleasant hemlock forest.
5.40 The Long Path turns right to follow another woods road. As the trail reaches the crest of the hill, a woods road comes in from the right. The Long Path continues ahead over the crest of the hill.
5.60 Turn right, leave the woods road and snowmobile trail, and continue through a mixed hardwood forest and spruce plantation.
5.80 Turn right, and begin to descend through the woods, parallel to a rock wall. If you turn left instead of right there is a small parking area in about 200 ft.
6.20 Turn right and follow the abandoned Hardscrabble Road, continuing to descend. On the left is a reliable spring. In a few hundred feet, another abandoned road, now a snowmobile trail, comes in from the left near the site of an abandoned farm. The Long Path continues downhill along Hardscrabble Road.
6.25 The Long Path turns left off abandoned Hardscrabble Road and rejoins the snowmobile trail as it heads downhill.
6.30 The trail crosses a stream and continues to follow the snowmobile trail downhill along a rock wall. As the trail leaves State land, the snowmobile markers change from the round DEC discs to orange diamond-shaped markers.
6.90 Cross under a power line, then turn left uphill away from the stream onto a logging road.
7.10 The trail leaves the logging road on the right and turns downhill.


View of Vroman's Nose  View from Vroman's Nose

31.1 Vroman’s Nose. 2001 [HERB CHONG]                     31.2 View from Vroman’s Nose. 2001
 [MICHAEL WARREN]


7.70 Enter an open field. The trail continues across the field with views of the Schoharie Valley and Vroman's Nose.
7.85 Reach Hardscrabble Road. Across the road is a large gray barn. Turn left on the road.
7.90 Reach NY Route 30 near highway marker 30/9502/1179. Turn left on Route 30 and follow it north.
9.40 Just before a NY Route 30 sign on the right near highway marker 30/9502/1195 on the left, the Long Path turns left and follows a red-blazed trail up Vroman’s Nose on a very steep grade. As there is loose dirt and scree here, it is suggested that you have very sturdy boots and carry a walking stick or ski pole for balance.
9.60 The trail reaches the top of the extreme grade, having gained 400 vertical feet in the last 0.2 miles. At this point the trail turns right and continues to climb the ridge at a more moderate grade. As the trail begins to level off, views of the Schoharie Valley open up through the trees.
9.70 The red trail ends at an intersection with the green trail. The Long Path turns right and follows the green trail up to the summit of Vroman’s Nose. There is a view to the right, across the Schoharie Valley to the Catskills. To the left of the view is a campsite.
9.85 The trail reaches the summit of Vroman’s Nose, with a spectacular view across the Schoharie Valley and Vroomansland south to the Catskills. This is a wonderful place to have lunch, rest and take in the sun. Locals have been taking the hike up here for over a hundred years, as is evidenced by the initials in the rock. The mountain is owned by the Vroman’s Nose Preservation Corp., which has preserved it as forever wild. Although the route followed by the Long Path up the mountain is quite steep, the summit can also be reached by an easy 600-foot climb from the maintained parking lot at the base of the green trail on West Middleburgh Road. A very informative book on the history of Vroman’s Nose and its environs, written by Dr. Vincent Schaefer, the founder of the Long Path, is available at the Old Stone Fort in Schoharie. The Long Path continues along the green trail, following the cliffs, with spectacular views along the edge of the escarpment.
10.05 Reach an overhanging promontory, with views both up and down the Schoharie Valley. You can see north to the Village of Middleburgh and the cliffs of Middleburgh, where the Long Path continues north and east toward Albany County. Here the green trail ends and the Long Path continues on the blue trail that descends, sometimes steeply, through the woods.
10.35 The yellow trail, which leads to a parking area on Mill Valley Road, begins to the left. The Long Path turns right and continues to follow the blue trail downhill on an old road.
10.65 The blue trail ends at Church Street, just past a church and a house. The Long Path turns right on Church Street and follows it to Route 30.
10.85 Turn left on NY Route 30 and follow Route 30 for about a mile. 
11.90 Cross the Schoharie Creek on the Route 30 bridge.
12.00 Reach the intersection of NY Routes 145 and 30 in the Village of Middleburgh. To continue on the Long Path, follow Route 145 east.

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.

Snow Ridge Drive to Middleburgh

The red blazes near the parking area on the access road are easy to spot and lead right to the Log Path. Initially the aqua blazes are well done but then they become older, fainter and too far apart. The hike over Vroman's Nose from Route 30 is interesting. The red trail definitely requires hiking boots and poles. In many places there is no trail but only a steep hillside to navigate. The biggest problems start with the turn onto Mulberry Lane. There IS NO BRIDGE at t5he end of the street and the stream must be crossed some other way. When the water is low, this is not a problem. After the bridge, there are NO BLAZES until the Rotary Park. The corn is planted right up to the edge of the field and the area between the field and the creek is impossible to break through. I would suggest that no one walk down Mulberry Lane but simply continue on Route 30 into Middleburgh. It is a shame that no one from the NYNJTC reads these posts. If they did, they could correct the mistakes in the descriptions. Some of these problems were pointed out a year ago but the mistakes remain.

Section 29

  Because there are no plans to replace the snowmbile bridge we did finally enter some of the suggested changes. Jakob - 2015

Trail conditions

Section hiked From Middleburgh to West Fulton (North to south)on 10/26/13.After leaving the town park an easy hike along the fields edge now that the corn crop is harvested as opposed to my earlier experience as noted above.Vroomans nose was very interesting going down the extremely steep section with all the leaves on the trail.There are a couple new bridges recently completed in the Pleasant valley area(4.2-4.6)Unlike my earlier hike in this section,I found the trail was rerouted upstream about .2 mile.If you are hiking from south to north the trail turns left now at the last righthand switchback at about the 4.2 mile point about 60-70 yards before you get to the washed out bridge.The trail reroute heads upstream with the creek on your right,crosses a tributary before coming to the new bridge and crossing this larger creek,then turning right and heading back down stream and connecting with a well used woods road.This section is well marked but does have like three stream crossings with No bridges which could be a problem in high water conditions.Also the month of October has been the worst I've ever seen for Ticks! I tried to keep from brushing trees etc and still ended with 11 ticks on me and clothing and it was 37-48 degrees out! I will use repellent next time regardless of temperature.

Trail conditions

Yesterday 8/17/13 a friend and myself hiked the West Fulton to base of Vroomans nose(9.40)The trail was fairly well marked with the only problem we had was at 4.20-4.35 marks.We found the Aqua blazes down the switch backs to a washed out bridge and crossed the stream without issue as water level was very low.Hiked up a distance of .10-.20 on the old woods rd(stream on left,posted land on right) and found it connected with a freshly cleared woods rd with good Aqua blazes going BOTH directions.We were confused at this point and went back to the washed out bridge and confirmed there was an Aqua blaze on the preceeding bank of the stream.We also found very faint blazes on the woods rd next to the stream up to the freshly cleared rd.After checking the GPS we decided to take the freshly cleared woods rd to the east(right) which in short order lead us to a newly constructed bridge(not quite completed) at 4.60 over a stream.Apparently the woods rd was cleared to bring in equipment for the bridge.Remainder of trail with a few trees down,but could be walked around without problem.Trail okay remainder of way.

Trail conditions

Section hiked this am 8/4/13 from rt30 up Vroomans nose(9.40 mark)This trail is extremely steep with loose scree and trekking poles are a godsend along with Vibram soled boots.Beautiful views on top.Continued on to Middleburg.After crossing the bridge at the end of Mulberry Ln(11.10) the trail turns right and becomes nearly non existant.The corn crop is towering at 8-9 ft high and the undergrowth is over my head between the corn and hedgerow to my right..Paint blazes are hard to find.If it werent for someone riding a 4 wheeler down thru the trail lately I probably couldnt have found any trail at all.Every once in awhile when not sure of where I was,I would beat back the brush to the hedgerow and find the Aqua Blaze on a tree.A tenth of a mile after the bridge(11.20)you will come out to what looks like a dry stream bed.Turn left and keep the Hedgerow on your right and corn field on the left once again.This part is also heavily overgrown and trekking poles help push back the undergrowth and keep your balance on the uneven terrain.There is one view of the Schoharie creek to your right.About a tenth of a mile before the Middleburg rotary Pavilion the trail? came out to a overgrown woods rd which I followed to the small park..