Echo Lake and the beavers that call it home offer serene overnight camping spots and a lean-to for small groups as a reward for several miles of moderate hiking from Platte Clove Road. Views atop Overlook Mountain, Codfish Point, and of a 70-foot waterfall are all photo-worthy.
Take I-87 (New York State Thruway) to Exit 20 (Saugerties). Turn left onto NY-212 and proceed for 2.3 miles. Turn right on Blue Mountain Road/CR-35 and continue for 1.4 miles. Bear left on CR-35, which becomes West Saugerties Road/CR-33 and continue 2 miles. At the “Seasonal Limited Use” sign, the road becomes Platte Clove Road and continues another 2.3 miles uphill on a narrow road with an 18% grade. Drive safely. At the top, cross a small bridge then turn right on a gravel drive into a parking lot marked with a the "Trail Head Parking" sign.
The steep part of Platte Clove Road is not maintained and is closed from November 1 through April 15. The only way to reach the trailhead in winter is to approach from the opposite direction. Take Exit 20 from I-87, turn left on NY-212, then right on NY-32 at the first intersection. Proceed for 6 miles then keep straight on NY-32A when NY-32 bears right. In 1.9 miles turn left on NY-23A and proceed for 6.9 miles into Tannersville. Turn left on Railroad Avenue, which becomes Spruce Street (CR-16) in .4 mile. When Spruce Street ends at a T-intersection in .5 mile, turn left on CR-16/ Platte Clove Road, continue for 5.7 miles and turn left on the gravel drive at the “Trail Head Parking” sign before a small bridge.
To begin your hike from the parking lot on Platte Cove Road, turn right onto the road and follow the aqua blazes of the Long Path. You’ll spot a red cabin on the left about 250 yards up the road. It was once used by the Platte Clove Preserve’s Artists-in-Residence program.
To visit the 70-foot Plattekill Falls before you begin the hike to Echo Lake, turn left on the gravel drive and head downhill towards the red cabin. Stay left of the cabin and the split rail fence and follow the blue diamond markers of the Platte Clove Preserve as it follows a ledge cut into the canyon wall and then descends, sometimes steeply, to base of the waterfall. Retrace your steps and arrive back at the red cabin having logged the first half-mile of your hike, as well as the steepest descent and climb.
From the red cabin, follow the aqua blazes a few more steps along Platte Clove Road until you see the trailhead and trail register downhill on your left. Sign in and make your way across the replica kingpost bridge, which was rebuilt recently by Trail Conference volunteers. The trail follows historic Old Overlook Road, which was constructed in the early 1800’s to access the many bluestone quarries. The trail is blazed with aqua Long Path markers as well as the green diamond markers of Platte Clove Preserve.
At the “camping prohibited” sign 1.3 miles into the hike, you will be leaving Platte Clove Preserve and the aqua and green trail markers will be replaced by round blue markers. Keep an eye out for a clearing on the left. It’s an old bluestone quarry where a seating arrangement has been constructed out of stone slabs. Shortly after this quarry, the red-blazed Devil’s Path joins in from the right for a short distance then leaves to the right. Continue straight following the circular blue blazes.
The trail passes directly in front of the Devil’s Kitchen lean-to 1.75 miles into the hike then crosses a footbridge over a creek with pretty cascades. In another .7 mile, watch for a yellow-blazed side trail to the left for a short walk to Codfish Point with sweeping Hudson Valley views on the left and an abandoned bluestone quarry on the right. Retrace your steps back to the blue trail and turn left to continue to Echo Lake.
From Codfish Point, hike 1.3 miles and turn right on the yellow-blazed trail and descend about 450 feet in a .5 mile to reach Echo Lake. Camping at Echo Lake is allowed in designated areas. A lean-to is located to the left of the trail and a half-dozen campsites are evenly spaced around the lake.
To visit Overlook Mountain and take in views of the Hudson River and explore the Overlook Mountain House ruins from Echo Lake, hike back up the yellow trail and turn right on the blue trail heading toward Overlook Mountain. Turn left to hike 4.4 miles and return to where you parked at Platte Clove Road.
Heading toward Overlook Mountain on the blue trail, pass through an open gate with a stop sign at the 6.8-mile point. To visit the Overlook Mountain House ruins, continue straight a short distance on the red-blazed trail . Return to this intersection and head up the hill on your right to finish your ascent of Overlook Mountain and climb the fire tower.
Overlook Mountain rises to 3,140 feet, offering sweeping views of the entire Mid-Hudson region on a clear day, especially from the top of the fire tower.
From the top of Overlook Mountain, walk back down the hill and turn right on the blue trail to begin the hike back to the car. Follow the blue markers all the way back to the aqua-blazed Long Path in Platte Clove Preserve. Follow the Long Path back across the kingpost bridge to the trailhead and along Platte Clove Road to the parking lot.