Acra Point and Batavia Kill Loop
Directions to trailhead
From northbound I-87 (New York Thruway) take exit 20 towards Saugerties. After the tollbooths turn left on NY-212 W/NY-32 N. At the next intersection turn right on NY-32 North. After 6 miles continue on NY-32A North. In 1.9 miles continue on NY-23A West. Proceed for 5.5 miles then turn right on County Route 25. After 2.8 miles continue on County Route 23C. In 4 miles turn right on County Route 40 (Maplecrest Road). In 1.9 miles turn right on County Route 56 (Big Hollow Road) and follow 4.3 miles to parking lot on the right just before the end of the road.
When driving in on Big Hollow Road, watch for a hiking trail sign on the left after the road turns to gravel. This will be the starting point for this hike but drive in just a bit more to park in the lot on the right. The trail that comes into the parking lot straight ahead will be the return route.
After parking walk back up the road the about 100 feet to the hiking trail sign and turn right to access the Black Dome Range trail marked with red discs. Immediately cross a nice, sturdy footbridge, built to replace a bridge destroyed by Hurricane Irene. After crossing the bridge, the trail turns sharply right with a brook rock hop but before doing that, turn to your left and sign the trail register.
Rock hop over the brook and follow the red discs as the trail begins a moderate ascent. You will rock hop across the brook once more and continue ascending until you reach the end of the red-blazed Black Dome Range Trail at the blue-blazed Escarpment Trail. Turn right here and continue ascending on the Escarpment Trail. Soon after entering a spruce forest, watch for an unmarked side trail to the right with views. A little farther along the Escarpment Trail another side trail to the right brings you to a better vantage point on a large ledge with open views of Blackhead, Black Dome and Thomas Cole Mountains as well as Burnt Knob and Windham High Peak to the right.
Continue on along the Escarpment Trail as the trail levels out following the contour of the escarpment. In about half a mile, reach Acra Point with a view to the left of the Hudson Valley. The trail remains nice and level now and will lead you through a pleasant fairytale-like spruce forest.
As the Escarpment Trail descends, continue downhill to a trail junction. Where the blue-blazed Escarpment Trail continues on head, turn right on the yellow-blazed Batavia Kill Trail. You will soon meet up with the Batavia Kill which the trails will follow for the rest of the hike. In about a quarter of a mile, the Batavia Kill shelter is to the right of the trail.
Continue downhill until the yellow-blazed Batavia Kill Trail ends after a rock hop over a creek at the red-blazed Black Dome Range Trail. Turn right and follow this red-blazed trail as it continues along Batavia Kill. Cross two more footbridges, sign the trail register, and continue on a short distance to your car.
[ 0.00] Walk back the way you drove in 100 ft., then turn right on the red-blazed Black Dome Range Trail; cross footbridge and sign trail register; rock hop over creek
[ 1.00] Right on blue-blazed Escarpment Trail towards Acra Point
[ 1.35] Side trail to right with views of Blackhead Range, Burnt Knob and Windham High Peak
[ 1.70] Acra High Point view of Hudson Valley to left at rock outcrop as trail turns sharply right
[ 3.65] Turn right on yellow-blazed Batavia Kill Trail when blue-blazed Escarpment Trail continues straight ahead
[ 3.85] Batavia Kill shelter on right
[ 4.55] Rock hop accross Batavia Kill, yellow trail ends, turn right on red-blazed Black Dome Range Trail towards Big Hollow Road
[ 4.65] Cross bridge
[ 5.05] Cross bridge; sign out at trail register
[ 5.20] Back at parking lot