Features: Mine Kill State Park with Mine Kill Falls, and Lansing Manor
Distance: 13.55 miles
USGS Map Quads: Gilboa
Trail Conference Maps: none
In this section, the Long Path leaves the rugged terrain of the Catskills and descends into the Schoharie Valley. After passing the Schoharie Reservoir, which is the northernmost outpost of the New York City water supply system, the Long Path begins a 30-mile journey along the Schoharie Valley and the hills surrounding Schoharie Creek. The trail passes through Mine Kill State Park, whose primary attraction is Mine Kill Falls. The Long Path passes both the top and the bottom of the falls, which plummet out of a spectacular gorge. Between the falls and the main part of the park, the trail follows a beautiful pine and hemlock forest. In the north end of the park are spectacular open views of the Schoharie Valley. Beyond Mine Kill State Park, the trail passes through the Lansing Manor Visitors Center of the Power Authority’s Blenheim–Gilboa pumped storage complex. There are expansive views up the Schoharie Valley from both Mine Kill State Park and Lansing Manor.
Take the New York State Thruway to Exit 21 (Catskill). Continue west on NY Route 23 for about 30 miles to the Village of Prattsville. At the end of Prattsville, NY Route 23 crosses a steel bridge that goes over Schoharie Creek. Just before the bridge, turn right on Prattsville Road, and follow it for about 5 miles to the intersection of Prattsville Road and Route 990V.
0.00 Intersection of NY Route 990V and Prattsville Road. (42.38064°, -74.43084°)
1.20 Gilboa Dam overlook. (42.39278°, -74.44705°)
3.40 Pullout near the Nickerson Campground entrance. (Unlocated)
8.05 At north end of swimming pool, when park is open. (42.43792°, -74.45597°)
8.95 Lansing Manor Visitors Center. (42.44886°, -74.46452°)
10.15 On North Access Road near turnoff for fishing access to Schoharie Creek. (Unlocated)
13.45 West Kill Road at Doney Hollow. (42.48519°, -74.48447°)
3.40 Campsites available at Nickerson Park Campground (fee charged).
Camping is allowed in the state reforestation areas 150 feet from the trail and water.
0.00 At the intersection of Prattsville Road and NY Route 990V, the Long Path turns left and follows NY Route 990V downhill toward Gilboa. On the left side of the trail is the Schoharie Reservoir.
0.90 On the left is the former site of the Gilboa Settlement. From 1840 to 1869, a cotton mill, tannery, church and cemetery stood on the ground that is now covered by the Schoharie Reservoir. On the right is the Gilboa–Conesville Central School.
1.05 Bear right on Wyckoff Road.
1.20 Opposite the school playground turn left into the woods.
1.30 New York City DEP property line. Follow the property line for a short distance and continue downhill through mixed woods.
1.60 Reach the intersection of Route 990V and Flat Creek Road, near the Gilboa Town Hall and Post Office. On the right, a few yards past the town hall, is an exhibit of fossilized trees. They were discovered while constructing the Schoharie Reservoir. The Long Path continues along NY Route 990V, which curves left and goes downhill.
1.80 The Long Path crosses Schoharie Creek on a bridge. There is a small cemetery to the right, just past the bridge.
2.00 Turn right onto Stryker Road. Pass the Gilboa Museum on the right (open only on summer weekends; check the website).
2.50 Pass a large farm and B&B on the left, with views of Schoharie Creek to the right.
2.60 The road is closed to traffic.
3.40 Turn right from Stryker Road into Nickerson's Campground and past the campground store.
3.55 Turn right off the camp road onto a trail which parallels the camp road and overlooks the Schoharie Creek.
3.80 Turn right, back onto the camp road, then turn left onto another camp road. Continue on this road past the pool area to the end of the campground.
4.30 Leave Nickerson's Campground at campsite 615. Enter the NYS Power Authority Corridor with the boundary marked with orange stakes. The trail has several ups and downs in the next half a mile.
4.75 The Long Path passes a National Recreation Trail marker.
4.85 Go up a bank and turn right. In about 150 ft pass by a ledge overlooking the Schoharie Creek and turn left. Enter an open area with scattered red cedar trees. There are nice views of the Schoharie Creek and the reservoir from the ledges through this section.
5.05 Cross a ledge above a small stream entering the reservoir. Turn left downhill, and in 0.2 miles rock hop across small stream. This can be done fairly easily unless the water is high. Follow the stream down to where it reaches the Schoharie Creek, and turn left up the bank.
5.45 Enter an open area under the power line. Turn right on the power line access road for about 150 feet and then turn left toward the woodlands. Cross a hill covered with a pine forest.
5.65 Turn left on a woods road with the Mine Kill to the right. There are several ups and downs along the way.
6.25 Turn right leaving old woods road. Start downhill toward the Mine Kill and reach a ledge overlooking the Mine Kill in 100 yards.
If the water conditions are low:
6.50 Turn right onto the white trail heading to the bottom of the Mine Kill Falls. Continue on the white trail adjacent to the Mine Kill.
6.70 The trail crosses the stream on large boulders that have been placed in the stream.
6.80 (7.35 below) The white trail rejoins the Long Path. Turn right to continue north. This shortens the hike by about half a mile.
If the water conditions are high:
6.50 Mine Kill Falls is to the right. A short trail leads to the bottom of the falls. The Long Path starts uphill.
6.75 A walkway to the right leads to the falls overlook and is worth visiting. Continue straight through the Mine Kill Falls parking lot and turn right onto NY Route 30. Follow the road over the bridge. There are views of the upper falls from the bridge.
7.10 After crossing the bridge, turn right and head downhill.
29.1 Mine Kill Falls. 2001 [MICHAEL WARREN]
7.15 Turn left with views of the Mine Kill to the right. The trail crosses a small stream.
7.35 (6.80 above) A white-blazed trail comes in from the right.
7.45 The trail crosses a stream on a new bridge. To the left is a beautiful cascading waterfall. The trail climbs continuously from here to the park entrance road. Part way up, the trail passes several rock piles on the right. Near the top, two trails lead right; the Long Path continues straight ahead.
7.75 The trail emerges onto an open field and crosses the main park entrance road. It continues on the western edge of an open field to reach the park administration building.
7.85 To the right is the park administration building, where there are restroom facilities. The trail bears left and follows a mowed path at the western end of an open field with scattered evergreens. From this path, there is a spectacular view up and down the Schoharie Valley.
8.05 The trail turns right and descends along the northern boundary of a soccer field, then passes a small playground that is just north of the swimming pool.
8.25 Turn left and follow a cross-country ski and snowmobile trail that leads from Mine Kill State Park to Lansing Manor. Here, there is a spectacular view north along the Schoharie Valley and across the Blenheim-Gilboa Reservoir. Soon, a yellow-blazed cross-country ski trail leaves to the right. The Long Path continues straight ahead.
8.55 The trail crosses an open field with scattered cedar trees, leaving Mine Kill State Park and entering the New York State Power Authority Lansing Manor Blenheim-Gilboa complex. The boundary is not marked. Note the fences around the small cedar trees. These trees are pruned so as to provide the deer with a source of browse. The fences prevent the deer from killing the trees. There are also a number of bluebird feeders. Be sure to watch for the Long Path blazes on top of the fence posts by the cedar trees.
8.95 The Long Path enters a picnic area and then crosses the parking lot of the Lansing Manor Visitors Center. At the far end of the parking lot, the trail follows a walkway through the Visitors Center, where brochures on the historic Lansing Manor and the Blenheim–Gilboa pumped storage power plant are available. Brochures are also available at the nearby museum. There are picnic tables at the Visitor Center, making this an ideal lunch stop in the warm months.
29.2 Lansing Manor Visitor Center. 2001 [MICHAEL WARREN]
9.15 Take the left fork in the walkway and pass the entrance to the museum. The Long Path now heads across a field with trees, skirts a wooded area on the right, then turns right and cuts diagonally across another field to enter the woods.
9.40 After a rather steep descent, reach the bottom of a ravine. The trail now ascends gradually and turns right, parallel to a powerline right-of-way.
9.65 The trail crosses the powerline near a microwave tower.
9.70 Reach the top of a hill, with a view down to the dam of the Blenheim–Gilboa Reservoir. During periods of low electrical demand, water is pumped up the hill to the reservoir. During periods of high demand, the water is released, thus generating electricity. The Long Path turns left and descends, passing between two rows of white pines.
10.05 Turn left down a bank to cross a small stream, then turn right to the NY Power Authority'sNorth Access Road. Turn left, and in about 100 ft turn right off road and down the bank.
10.20 The trail turns left just before reaching the Schoharie Creek. This section, which may be overgrown at times, has views of the creek throughout. During flood conditions this section may be flooded and it will be necessary to walk the access road to NY Route 30.
10.60 Turn left up a ladder next to a measurement station, then turn right on the Power Authority's North Access Road.
10.75 Reach NY Route 30, turn right across the bridge, then turn left onto Creamery Road. Pass a cemetery on the right.
11.00 Turn right uphill into the woods at the very end of the cemetry, across from house no. 137 on the left. In about a tenth of a mile pass a stone wall. Soon you’ll reach a hedgerow and pass another stonewall on the right.
11.25 Turn left across the corner of a field and turn left along the hedgerow.
11.35 Go down a short steep bank to West Kill Road and turn left on the road.
11.55 Intersection of West Kill Road (Schoharie County Route 43) and Burnt Hill Road; continue on West Kill Road.
11.75 Just past a driveway, turn left into woods.
11.90 The Long Path crosses West Kill Road to the north side of the road, making a short left-right jog. (Between October 10 and December 15 this section is closed for hiking. During that time follow West Kill Road for about 0.8 mi, past the beaver pond on the right, and turn left into the woods 100 ft past a DEC boundary sign.)
12.05 Turn left onto a woods road.
12.25 Turn left leaving woods road, and in one-tenth of a mile turn left again, back onto woods road.
12.70 The Long Path turns left and downhill, toward a beaver pond.
12.85 The trail enters a State Reforestation Area.
12.90 The trail crosses West Kill Road to the south side of the road and descends to West Kill Creek. The trail continues west along the creek.
13.30 The trail turns right and climbs back up toWest Kill Road, turns left, and follows the road for about 0.15 miles, across Doney Hollow. There is room to park several cars here.
13.55 This section ends where the trail turns right to follow Doney Hollow.
29.3 Lansing Manor. 2001 [MICHAEL WARREN]