This hike approaches Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Park from the north, using lesser-used portions of the Blue and White Trails. It is particularly useful for those arriving by public transportation, as the trailhead is less than a mile from the bus stop on Route 23. It includes several short sections of road walking, but it also features a scenic walk close to the shore of the Kakeout...
This hike approaches Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Park from the north, using lesser-used portions of the Blue and White Trails. It is particularly useful for those arriving by public transportation, as the trailhead is less than a mile from the bus stop on Route 23. It includes several short sections of road walking, but it also features a scenic walk close to the shore of the Kakeout Reservoir.
To start the hike, return to the intersection of Cascade Way and Kakeout Road, cross Kakeout Road, and continue ahead on paved Bubbling Brook Road. In about 800 feet, you’ll reach a gate across the road, which is usually locked. Here, the Blue Trail begins. Continue following the paved road along a stream, soon passing a large pile of wood chips on the left. Just beyond, it goes by a brick building, with a breached concrete spillway across the stream. The pavement ends at 0.4 mile, at the dam of the Kakeout Reservoir. Here, the blue-on-white-blazed Butler Connecting Trail leaves to the left, crossing the dam (this will be your return route). Continue straight ahead on the Blue Trail, which now becomes a narrow footpath.
For the next mile, the Blue Trail follows close to the shore of the Kakeout Reservoir (also known as the Butler Reservoir), which is dotted with white pines. This portion of the hike is particular scenic. After following the western arm of the reservoir, the trail briefly runs along Stone House Brook, then crosses the brook on a wooden footbridge. Just beyond, it crosses several wet areas on puncheons.
About two miles from the start, the Blue Trail crosses Fayson Lake Road. In another half mile, after passing through an area with many fallen trees and climbing a little on an old woods road, the trail turns left and descends to cross a small stream. It proceeds through a meadow, where it bears left and continues along a woods road. Upon reaching a second meadow, the trail turns sharply left and climbs to Miller Road, opposite the Shepard School. (Be careful to follow the blue blazes at the second meadow, as the more obvious route curves to the right.)
The Blue Trail turns right and runs along the paved road for about 500 feet, then turns right at a metal gate and descends gradually on a woods road. At the base of the descent, the trail bears left, leaving the woods road, and begins to ascend. Just ahead, the trail turns right onto a moss-covered footpath and climbs gradually to Miller Road.
Three miles from the start, the trail crosses Miller Road diagonally to the right, passes between two houses, and continues on a woods road. It turns right onto a footpath, descends to cross Bear House Brook on a wooden footbridge, then turns right and heads south, paralleling the brook. Soon, the Red-on-White Trail begins on the left, and the Blue Trail bears right and recrosses the brook on another wooden footbridge.
The Blue Trail continues along the side of the hill, with the brook below, then descends to the level of the brook, which widens to form Bear Swamp. Finally, the trail reaches Bear Rock, a huge glacial erratic. You’ll want to stop here and take a few minutes to explore this massive rock, which has been a local landmark for centuries.
When you’re ready to continue, turn left -- now following yellow, blue and white blazes -- and cross the brook on a wooden footbridge. Soon, the Yellow Trail leaves to the right, but you should continue ahead on the blue/white trail, which heads north through a rocky area, parallel to Bear Swamp. Soon, the trail bears right and climbs steeply through a stand of mountain laurel.
After a brief descent, the trail reaches a T-intersection. Turn left here, now following the White Trail. In 400 feet, you’ll reach Tripod Rock -- a glacial erratic perched on three smaller boulders. This unusual feature helped galvanize public support to preserve the mountain when it was threatened with development. You’ve now gone about halfway, and this is a good place to take another break.
Continue heading north on the White Trail, which climbs gradually. In half a mile, you’ll pass the other end of the Red-on-White Trail on the left (the junction is marked with a cairn). The White Trail now descends to reach a junction with the Orange Trail. Turn right and follow the Orange Trail for 100 feet to an east-facing viewpoint, then return to the White Trail and turn right. The trail now descends more steeply. At the base of the descent, the trail crosses a wooden footbridge over a stream and reaches a junction with the Green Trail, which begins on the right.
The White Trail now climbs steeply to the crest of the ridge, where it bears right and begins a gradual descent, passing close to the backyards of homes. At the base of the descent, it turns left and ascends along a stream. The trail emerges onto paved Reality Drive. It turns left onto the road, then immediately bears right at a fork and continues ahead onto Glen Rock Drive. After passing Lynnbrook Road on the left, the trail turns right onto Brentwood Drive, then again turns right onto Lakeview Drive. The trail follows Lakeview Drive for about 300 feet, then turns left and re-enters the woods.
After climbing a rise, the White Trail bears right onto a woods road that parallels the paved road. In half a mile, it crosses Fayson Lake Road and heads north on a woods road. Soon, the trail turns left onto another woods road and approaches the shore of the Kakeout Reservoir. It crosses a dike of the reservoir, turns right, then bears left and reenters the woods, ascending gradually along an old woods road.
At the crest of the rise, the trail turns left, leaving the road, and descends. It soon reaches a junction with the blue-on-white-blazed Butler Connecting Trail. Turn left and follow this blue-on-white trail downhill. After traversing a rocky area and turning right on a woods road, the trail reaches the dam of the reservoir. Turn left, cross the dam, then turn right onto the Blue Trail to return to the trailhead and your car.Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 04/10/2003 updated/verified on 08/20/2019
This loop hike follows a scenic path along the shore of the Kakeout Reservoir and climbs Pyramid Mountain, passing two unusual glacial erratics - Bear Rock and Tripod Rock - on the way.
Whether you are going for a day hike or backpacking overnight, it is good practice to carry what we call The Hiking Essentials. These essentials will help you enjoy your outing more and will provide basic safety gear if needed. There may also be more essentials, depending on the season and your needs.
Hiking Shoes or Boots
Water - Two quarts per person is recommended in every season. Keep in mind that fluid loss is heightened in winter as well as summer. Don't put yourself in the position of having to end your hike early because you have run out of water.
Map - Know where you are and where you are going. Many of our hiking areas feature interconnecting network of trails. Use a waterproof/tear-resistant Tyvek Trail Conference map if available or enclose your map in a Ziplock plastic bag. If you have a mobile device, download Avenza’s free PDF Maps app and grab some GPS-enhanced Trail Conference maps (a backup Tyvek or paper version of the map is good to have just in case your batteries die or you don't have service). Check out some map-reading basics here.
Food - Snacks/lunch will keep you going as you burn energy walking or climbing. Nuts, seeds, and chocolate are favorites on the trail.
Sunscreen and insect repellent
Rain Gear and Extra Clothing - Rain happens. So does cold. Be prepared for changing weather. Avoid cotton--it traps water against your skin and is slow to dry. If you are wearing wet cotton and must return to your starting point, you risk getting chills that may lead to a dangerous hypothermia. Choose synthetic shirts, sweaters and/or vests and dress in layers for easy on and off.
Compass - A simple compass is all you need to orient you and your map to magnetic north.
Light - A flashlight or small, lightweight headlamp will be welcome gear if you find yourself still on the trail when darkness falls. Check the batteries before you start out and have extras in your pack.
First Aid Kit - Keep it simple, compact, and weatherproof. Know how to use the basic components.
Firestarter and Matches - In an emergency, you may need to keep yourself or someone else warm until help arrives. A firestarter (this could be as simple as leftover birthday candles that are kept inside a waterproof container) and matches (again, make sure to keep them in a waterproof container) could save a life.
Knife or Multi-tool - You may need to cut a piece of moleskin to put over a blister, repair a piece of broken equipment, or solve some other unexpected problem.
Emergency Numbers - Know the emergency numbers for the area you're going to and realize that in many locations--especially mountainous ones, your phone will not get reception.
Common Sense - Pay attention to your environment, your energy, and the condition of your companions. Has the weather turned rainy? Is daylight fading? Did you drink all your water? Did your companion fail to bring rain gear? Are you getting tired? Keep in mind that until you turn around you are (typically) only half-way to completing your hike--you must still get back to where you started from! (Exceptions are loop hikes.)
Check the weather forecast before you head out. Know the rules and regulations of the area.
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
- Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
- Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
- In popular areas:
- Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
- In pristine areas:
- Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
- Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
- Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
- Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
- Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
The Trail Conference is a 2015 Leave No Trace partner.
(c) Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.